How to Land Leads & Hook Snook

August 16, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

7 Lead Lessons I Learned from Snook Fishing

My husband and I recently went on a half-day inshore fishing charter here in Tampa and were able to land ten nice snook, including some big lunkers (a 35-incher and a 38-incher). If you think fishing is boring, you’ve probably never fought a snook.

Our captain was excellent, and I’m not sharing his name because I want to be able to book him in the future. But he yelled at us a lot; rightfully so – we were making some critical mistakes. He taught me some important lessons about fishing for snook, and I think these lessons might apply to fishing for leads as well.

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1. Use the right bait. We mostly fished with live pinfish, but we also had about 16 grunts in our live well. We used these sparingly, but the grunts were what the big fish hit on the day we were out. Our last grunt brought in my 35-inch beauty.

The marketing lesson: If you want to land the big client, you need to provide them with something they really value. Otherwise you’re just wasting your resources.

2. Don’t worry about setting the hook. I’m not a super experienced fisherwoman, but for the fresh water fishing I had done in Pennsylvania, you always had to set the hook with a quick yank upwards. You don’t need to set the hook with snook. They hit hard and set their own hook. You just need to reel.

The marketing lesson: Avoid the hard sell – the big yank. You might just scare your lead away. If you truly interest them with something of value, they will stay on the line.

3. Never let the line go slack. When you have a fish on the line, you always want your line to be taut – either by pulling up on the rod or reeling. If you stop either of those and your line goes slack, the hook can pop out, and you lose your fish.

The marketing lesson: Persistence. Don’t let the line of communication between you and your lead go slack. Don’t inundate them, but do follow up with them regularly. Use drip campaigns, emails, follow-up calls, etc. to keep that line tight. Wait too long to reconnect and you could lose their interest.

4. Know when to do nothing. When my snook went on a run and zoomed away from our boat at top speed, our captain gave me my favorite advice of the day. Hold the rod up, but otherwise, don’t do anything. Just let him run. Eventually, he’ll either snap your line or tire himself out and start swimming the path of least resistance…back towards the boat.

The marketing lesson: While you need to be persistent with leads, if they adamantly don’t want to hear from you, leave them alone in the nicest way possible. Let them know you are here for them, and that you’ll follow back up in a few months. If it was meant to be, they’ll come back.

5. Look around you. Our captain took us out to a couple of spots where the snook were hiding, and both locations were right next to public beaches, in shallow water. We could have walked out to our fishing spots. Tourists were swimming nearby. The snook weren’t far away – they were right under our noses.

The marketing lesson: Your best leads may be local, maybe even right next door. Digital marketing allows us to reach out to leads all around the world, but there is something to be said for being able to easily meet in person, to have a shared community. Don’t forget the potential leads that are right in front of you.

6. Beware of dolphins. I love dolphins! So I was delighted when a dolphin showed up right next to our anchored boat and stayed nearby for a couple hours. Our captain, however, was not happy. The dolphin was there to try and poach any fish we caught, and could have scared other fish away.

The marketing lesson: Your competition is watching you, and waiting for you to screw up so they can take your leads. Keep an eye on them.

7. Don’t do everything at once. Our captain kept telling me when I was bringing in a fish to pull the rod up and then reel as I moved the rod back down towards the water. I kept trying to reel and pull up at the same time, which makes reeling virtual impossible. If you reel when your rod is lowered, you are reeling in slack (easy). If you reel while pulling up, you’re reeling in the full weight and fight of the fish (hard).

The marketing lesson: Don’t make it harder on yourself than you need to. Don’t try to do everything at once with your lead. See if you can land a small project to start with, or just a little work to get your foot in the door. Remember to under-promise and over-deliver. Bring ‘em in a little at a time.

Snook fishing is heart-pounding, adrenaline-surging stuff, and believe it or not, lead generation can be too. Just wait till you land the big one.

Need help reeling in real leads? Let’s talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.