Reading the River or Understanding your Customer

The first rule of fishing is finding the fish.  Every fisherman attempts to read the river so you can understand where the fish like to hang out.  We have a saying, “fish where the fish are.”  Every river is different, ever riffle has a character, every kind of fish has it’s preferred spot, even the size/age of the fish will determine where a fish will live, eat and breed.  The river temperature, the ambient temperature, the time of the day or year - so many variables to consider when you are trying to find the fish.  Finding fish is just the first step in actually catching fish.

Once you have determined where the fish might be living and eating the next logical step is working on strategies to catch the fish.  Catching fish is all about convincing a fish to eat the imitation food that you deliver to them.  The lure a fly fisherman uses is simply an imitation insect crafted on a hook to look like something food that a fish might see in their habitat. What bug is fish food depends upon what insect is hatching at that particular moment in time in that particular habitat. 

If the artificial bug is convincing enough, the fish will bite.  If not, the fish will simply ignore the fly you deliver.  No matter how many times you cast the fly and drift the fly past the fish’s face - if the fish is not convinced that the fly you deliver is worthy of their attention, then there is nothing you can do to make the fish eat that fly.

So, the fly fisherman carries a wide variety of artificial bugs in tidy little boxes.  If the fish aren’t biting one fly, we try another, and another and another… until hopefully one of the flies is something that the fish will want to eat.

Is this so different than trying to find new customers?  We use marketing, salespeople, advertising, websites, social media, testimonials, rebates & coupons, discounts, direct mail, robo calling, sky writing, bill boards, you name it - with one goal, to convince a prospective customer to buy what we are selling.

In fishing, when a fly fisherman chooses the correct fly to entice the fish to eat, we call it Matching the Hatch.

In business we call it Product-Market Fit.