Surfing Lesson 1 of 3: Its All About Timing

Note: This post was archived from the Infusionsoft Blog. More details here.

Tyler Garns Surfing - Riding a Huge Wave!As an avid surfer, I always tend to relate everything in life to surfing.  I’m sure my wife is getting a little tired of it, but hey, I can’t help it.  So, lately I’ve been thinking a bunch about how marketing and surfing are closely related.  Maybe its because I haven’t been in the water for a few weeks and my mind is not fully functioning.  Anyway, I think this little analogy should be helpful.

Keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3 of the series.

Back in high school (’94 & ’95), I started using the National Weather Service website along with some weak surf forecasting sites to try and know when good swells were coming.  If you’re not familiar with how this works, good waves at any particular beach are created by large ocean storms hundreds, even thousands, of miles away.  Those storms stir up the water and send waves traveling across the ocean until they expend their energy at the beach (kind of like when you drop a pebble in a pond and the waves radiate outward in all directions).  More times than not, the water is fairly calm.  If you went surfing everyday of the year, you’d probably only get really good surf 5-10% of the time.  In addition to timing distant storms, you also have to time the local weather.  If there’s a storm on the coast, the wind could really mess up the surf that was sent from a storm far away.  And a lot of rain can pollute the beaches.

So, in the end, scoring good surf is all about timing. Nowadays, the forecasting tools and websites that broadcast that information are awesome and you can really increase your chances of hitting it big.

In the same way, marketing is all about timing. If you ask one of your prospects if they’re ready to buy everyday for an entire year, there’s a good chance on one of those days you might get a yes.  But, you’ll get skunked most of the time.  Back in the old days, you relied on that tactic of showing up everyday at the beach (e.g., telemarketing, or other evil tactics) to randomly be there at the precise moment when someone was ready to buy.

Nowadays, just like with surf forecasting technology, we have sweet marketing tools that can do the job for us.  Instead of you having to take a pulse every day to see if your prospects are ready, sales & marketing automation software solutions like Infusionsoft can allow your prospects to “raise their hand” when they’re ready, notifying you to “come to the rescue” and close the sale. There’s also innovated (free) ways to measure the results and activity such as with Google Analytics, social media engagements and the advent of multivariate testing.

If you’re not consistently scoring it big in your business, take a second look at how you’re using (or not using) intelligent marketing automation. It’s time for you to get out of the dark ages of showing up at the beach when its cold, rainy, and flat and start hitting the big surf every single time.

Tyler

P.S. If you’re not convinced of the power of intelligent marketing automation, check out what these guys had to say:

From: Colin Receveur
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:41 AM
To: Derek Solomon
Subject: Infusionsoft

Derek,

As of end of September, I’m 24% above my total year end sales for 08.  And I’m looking to have another record month in November if/when I close on some opportunities.

I started Infusionsoft end of July, really about Mid August after I got back from vacation.  Being able to take a half dozen accounts, some home-grown apps, and merge it all into one interface has been a huge timesaver and a lot cheaper than paying my employee’s to do this administrative type work!!

I thought the advertising you all did promoting “double your business in 12 months” was BS – I’ve done it in less than 6.

Thanks,
Colin

Here’s another one:

From: Mark Bowden
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 5:55 AM
To: Cory
Subject: Re: Infusionsoft Enrollment
Hey Cory

Here is a good story for you, been live with infusion for just under 1 week & just launched my first campaign. I have just put more money in the bank in the last 24 hours than I did in all of last month.

Cheers Bud

All the best,
Mark Bowden

2 thoughts on “Surfing Lesson 1 of 3: Its All About Timing”

  1. I'm also an avid surfer and I also relate surfing to other things. One of my favorites is the relation of surfing to golf. In both sports you take a lot of time preparing to do the thing you are there to do — catch the wave or hit the ball, respectively.The actual act of doing that thing is a very small percentage of the overall time spent engaging in the sport. In surfing you are lucky if you get a 30 second ride on each wave and in golf you address the ball for probably less that 60 seconds total per hole.

    However, in both sports you spend a lot of time learning the rules. As you pointed out in part 2 – Don't be a Snake. In order to be good at either one of these sports it take a lot of practice, combined with a lot of additional knowledge that can only be gained while in the company of others that are passionate about your chosen sport.

    Of course, there are parallels to business too. The actual act of asking for a purchase order is a very small percentage of the time it takes to prepare for that moment. It takes a lot or practice, again often in the company of others who share a similar passion, before that act is accomplished.

    Does everyone stand up the first time surfing? Does everyone hit a perfect drive their first time at the tee? Does everyone make the sale the first time they try? The answer to these questions in most cases is a resounding no. Not because the participants weren't committed and passionate about what they were doing. It's because they are just getting started. They need guidance from people that have been there before.

    I see your business is one that is offering help to those that are new and/or willing to try something new to kick their business into high gear. In the surfing analogy you are helping those that have done well in the small shore break to learn the skills that will take them to the larger waves looming offshore. You are helping them to learn the rules of the water (“Don't be a Snake, Timing, Positioning, etc.). One of my greatest accomplishments in surfing (and in business) has been seeing people stand up for their first time or make that first sale. The second greatest accomplishment is seeing them do it again … on their own.

    Thanks for the great article and for getting me thinking and writing about this. I hope to see you in the water soon.

    Jeff

  2. I'm also an avid surfer and I also relate surfing to other things. One of my favorites is the relation of surfing to golf. In both sports you take a lot of time preparing to do the thing you are there to do — catch the wave or hit the ball, respectively.The actual act of doing that thing is a very small percentage of the overall time spent engaging in the sport. In surfing you are lucky if you get a 30 second ride on each wave and in golf you address the ball for probably less that 60 seconds total per hole.

    However, in both sports you spend a lot of time learning the rules. As you pointed out in part 2 – Don't be a Snake. In order to be good at either one of these sports it take a lot of practice, combined with a lot of additional knowledge that can only be gained while in the company of others that are passionate about your chosen sport.

    Of course, there are parallels to business too. The actual act of asking for a purchase order is a very small percentage of the time it takes to prepare for that moment. It takes a lot or practice, again often in the company of others who share a similar passion, before that act is accomplished.

    Does everyone stand up the first time surfing? Does everyone hit a perfect drive their first time at the tee? Does everyone make the sale the first time they try? The answer to these questions in most cases is a resounding no. Not because the participants weren't committed and passionate about what they were doing. It's because they are just getting started. They need guidance from people that have been there before.

    I see your business is one that is offering help to those that are new and/or willing to try something new to kick their business into high gear. In the surfing analogy you are helping those that have done well in the small shore break to learn the skills that will take them to the larger waves looming offshore. You are helping them to learn the rules of the water (“Don't be a Snake, Timing, Positioning, etc.). One of my greatest accomplishments in surfing (and in business) has been seeing people stand up for their first time or make that first sale. The second greatest accomplishment is seeing them do it again … on their own.

    Thanks for the great article and for getting me thinking and writing about this. I hope to see you in the water soon.

    Jeff

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