When I can, I fish for trout with a dry fly in mountain streams. It can be cold, obviously very wet, frustrating, but oh the joy of the feel of a fighting trout on the end of a 2kg breaking stain line, and a light rod.
Often you sneak up a stream all day and see nothing, but sometimes, occasionally in unexpected places, you get a rise, with luck and skill hook them, and with more luck and a lot of skill and experience, can bring some of them into the net.
So what has this got to do with lead generation?
Well, a lot actually.
Fish where the fish are.
There are places in a river where the trout are more likely to be, at the tail of runs, behind an exposed rock, under the banks, protected by overhanging trees. You can spend a lot of time fishing every inch of a stream, but if you need a feed for lunch, best spend your time going to where the best odds lie.
You rarely get lucky quickly, it takes time, perseverance and patience, as well as skill, and better yet, local knowledge.
Use the right bait
Trout are fussy feeders. In the really clear streams, you will sometimes see a trout come up ‘for a look’ and pass on the fly. When that happens, it sometimes pays to give a it a few minutes, and change the fly to an alternative. You know there is a fish there, you know it can be tempted, so trying an alternative fly sometimes pays dividends.
Blend into the ecosystem.
Being obvious ensures failure. Colorful shirts, noise, creating any disturbance in the surroundings puts trout off. They are timid, easily scared, and have very good senses that pick up anomalies. Alarm them even slightly, and you have no hope of tempting them to a fly.
Learn to stalk
When you find an ideal spot, and you know there is a trout there somewhere, spend some time watching, noting the nuances of the stream, observing the sort of food that is around, and how it behaves in the water , and particularly if and when your target comes up for a look or rises to take something. Then you have the knowledge to tempt them onto your fly.
The conditions have to be right
Trout are very sensitive to conditions. They will not rise if there is a storm coming, they feel the pressure differences, so they hunker down. Similarly, they rarely rise in the rain. Surprising really, a bit of extra water should not make a difference, but it does. Best times are early morning, when the sun has been up for an hour or so, and still evenings around dusk.
Luck plays a role.
J.P. Getty was once asked how he became so successful. His response was ‘rise early, work hard, strike oil’.
Sometimes you just get lucky but if you are not in the river at the right time, with the right fly, and doing all the right things, by definition you cannot be lucky. Luck comes with hard work, engagement and commitment.
None of this is any different with Lead generation, it is remarkably like fly fishing. Every lesson I learnt a my old dads knees, hiking through the bush to find the right spots, wading up steams, learning the knots and skills of the sport is applicable to commercial ‘sport’, where lead generation is an absolutely essential skill for most businesses, certainly all B2B businesses.
As we fly fishers say ‘tight lines’ .