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Finding the hot spots when selling

By Brian Barfield

27631724-mainLast time, I shared with you the concepts of successful fishing and how it relates to the sales floor. In short, there are three important things you will need to find success in fishing: the right location, the right equipment, and the right bait. If you are missing anyone of these important factors, your fishing trip will not be very successful. Today, I am going to discuss the importance of finding the right location in greater detail. Let’s face it, you can have the right equipment and bait, but if there are no fish around, you would just be wasting your time.

Have you ever been to an amazing seminar where the speaker shared some insight that opened your eyes to a new world of potential success? The information they laid out before you was like a road map leading you straight to success. That, my friend, is an experienced fisherman who has found success and is showing you the way to the hot spot where fish are abundant and plentiful.

In the previous paragraph there are two words you should focus on: potential success. In order to reach the hot spot, you must follow the map toward success. The problem is many people leave that seminar with their newfound knowledge only to return to their old fishing spot without venturing out to find the hot spot. So day after day they cast out their line with very little success because they are in the wrong location. They have the right equipment (i.e. new skills and knowledge) and the right bait (i.e. selling style), but no success, given there are no fish. They may get a little nibble here or there and catch a fish occasionally, but it is hard, tedious work.

Many of you can relate to what I am sharing because selling may sometimes seem this way to you. However, anyone who has found a hot spot will tell you that fishing becomes a totally different experience. Just about every time you cast your line out, there is a fish striking your bait. The success you find brings joy and excitement to your fishing trip. Fishing just became a lot more fun!

I look back at some of the great fisherman—by that, I mean sales trainers—of our generation who have led so many to find success, and I am thankful for their service to our industry. With their wisdom and insight, they have helped many sales associates find more fulfilling sales careers. Being a sales trainer can be very rewarding when you see the positive impact you have on someone’s career. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating when you see the light bulb go on inside someone’s head and they choose not to follow the light to success.

Just recently I attended a seminar at JCK Las Vegas and the message was very similar to what I have been saying for over a year now. The winds of change are blowing and moving us back to focusing on our customers and away from sales tactics. If you are wondering, the seminar was standing room only because people want to hear the truth and find greater success. I could not help but smile within as I witnessed the change taking place.

In closing, I challenge you to examine your location and make sure you are achieving the success you desire. If you are not satisfied with what you see, I encourage you to explore the new insight I’ve shared with you in previous articles appearing on this website. Next time, we will discuss selling skills and knowledge, or as I like to call them, your equipment.

This article is based on the book, “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential,” by Brian Barfield. For more information, visit his website at or e-mail him at

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