There Are Three — and Only Three — Ways to Find and Keep a Customer

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You like to eat, right? That wasn’t a rhetorical question.

On a basic level, we all work so we can eat. Sure, the car, the house, the clothes — they’re all nice. But when you’re starving, they don’t matter much.

For many of us, “working for a living” entails prospecting and — hopefully — selling. And just like the quest for food, there are three ways to go about it.


Whether it’s conquering a new market or a new world, we all start out hunting. After 66 days on the open sea, I’m guessing the first thing the pilgrims did when they landed at Plymouth Rock was to venture into the forest for some fresh game.

Hunter-style prospecting is like that. Into the wild you go, looking for a quick, easy kill (someone who’s ready to buy, that is).

Unfortunately, the percentage of people who are ready to buy at the precise moment you’re hunting … I mean, looking for them, is small. In fact, at any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying.

Is it ironic that a lone lion hunting by daylight has the approximate success rate of the average salesperson? Yet faced with the loss of their prey to the bushmeat trade, lions are vulnerable to extinction. If only they could learn to farm.


Unlike these predators, we humans learned that hunting wasn’t a sustainable long-term solution. So eventually we began planting crops.

However, farming requires patience — just like marketing. It’s been said that Marketing is looking for Mr. Right, but Sales is looking for Mr. Right Now.

But what if Mr. Right Now is nowhere to be found? That’s when Marketing steps up.

If you’ve been farming diligently (i.e., marketing and nurturing leads), you should have a steady stream of crops — er, prospects, for everyone to feed on. When done right, you’ll no longer be dependent on hunting as your sole means of generating leads.

Domesticating Livestock

At some point, we grew weary of trudging into the forest to hunt game. But being the carnivores we are, we figured out that domesticating livestock enabled us to get our daily dietary protein requirements.

Not to put too crude of a point on it, but your existing customer base provides your daily revenue requirements — so long as you keep them fat and happy. Chances are you’ll always need to farm and hunt, but you won’t be at the mercy of scant game or a bad crop.

Farming, hunting and domesticating livestock aren’t mutually exclusive. Sales, marketing and customer satisfaction shouldn’t be either.

In fact, they’re all players on the same team — Team Revenue.

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