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Danny Wood Enterprises, L.L.C. | Rutherford, NJ | 201-842-0055

Many of us have fished at one time or another, or at least seen a fisherman in action.  The most common scenario is a line with a baited hook in the water, the fisherman waiting for a strike.  When a fish hits, the fisherman yanks the rod up, often resulting in a return to the fisherman of a hook with no bait, and no fish. 
Watching a professional fishing guide led to the discovery of an exciting selling concept known as the Strip-line Technique.  When the fish hit, the guide didn't yank the pole.  His first move was to drop the tip of the rod into the water, creating slack in the line.  The guide began to "strip the line" from the reel as fast as the fish was swimming away.  The reasoning behind the guide's technique is intriguing.  When a fish is facing the fisherman, a sudden yank on the line can pull the bait out of the fish's mouth.  But when the fisherman "strips line," the fish ­ secure with his find ­ turns and begins to swim back to deeper, safer water to eat.  The hook can then be set with a flick of the wrist.  Let's see how this technique can be applied to the professional sales. 
During the selling interview, when a prospect is showing interest in the product or service by making positive statements, the usual scene is one in which the salesman joins with the prospect in a high level of enthusiasm.  For example:
Prospect:  "You really have something great here!"
Salesperson:  "I just knew you would be as impressed as I was when I first saw it!"
As the salesperson continues the presentation, he and the prospect generate more and more enthusiasm.  Soon the salesperson will go to the close.  Now, how many times have you had this experience:  at the moment of truth, the prospect has second thoughts, realizes he may have become overly enthusiastic, and begins to cool down?  Result:  No sale! 
Too many times the buyer senses he's getting "hooked" and wants to escape before getting "caught."  The buyer wonders if he is paying too much, making too quick a decision, etc. 

Applying the "strip-line" technique to professional selling, you create "slack," by allowing your prospect's interest level to climb while you remain calm and collected.  In fact, the more interested your prospect becomes, the more you strip line.  For example:
Prospect:  "I like it!"
Salesperson:  "That's interesting, George.  Just what is it about my product or service that you like?"
By using the Strip-line Technique, your prospect is placed in the position of selling you on the feature or benefit he likes.   The prospect actually "sets the hook" himself.  Another example:
Prospect:  "Well, this certainly answers my question as to how I can solve my problem."
Salesperson:  "I can see some application, but exactly how do you see it working?
When you are patient, the Strip-line Technique allows your prospects to discover the benefits and features of your product or service themselves, without your having to sell them.  Your job is as easy as...going fishing! 

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