Fishing for No’s and Yeses – by Andrea Waltz

Driving back from Key West the day after Christmas we saw a boat called “Fishful Thinking.” Fishing is often used as a metaphor for selling. In fishing like sales, you’ve got to figure out where to go to find the fish. You’ve got to be able to catch the fish so you need to have the bait – that is, an offer, product or service. You need to know the right moment to reel in the fish once “hooked.”

Seeing this boat got us comparing the Go for Yes fisherman to the Go for No fisherman…

The Go for Yes fisherman gets very upset if the fish don’t show up and blames the fish. The Go for No fisherman doesn’t get mad if the fish aren’t around and will get creative to find them.

The Go for Yes fisherman lets each day’s catch make or break his/her mood – getting thrown for a loop on a bad day. The Go for No fisherman knows that all he/she needs to do is get back out and fish the next day, without emotional swings.

The Go for Yes fisherman puts out one hook. The Go for No fisherman puts out a lot of hooks.

The Go for Yes fisherman focuses on how many fish they need to catch to be successful; when the amount of fish they want, they stop. The Go for No fisherman just keeps fishing and makes the goal to fish everyday without fail.

At the end of the day, the Go for Yes fisherman and the Go for No fisherman may very likely catch the exact same number of fish! The difference is, one enjoyed just a small percentage of the process while the other enjoyed the entire process. Which one do you want to be?

Fishing is a great metaphor for selling. What else do you have to add to this??


Andrea Waltz is the co-author of Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There, a short powerful story written specifically for sales professionals in every industry who must learn to harness the power of no to be successful.  To learn more, visit


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