John's Journal...

Why Take Your Employees and Customers Fishing

A Fishing Trip Equals Good Work

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Business doesn’t have to only be conducted in boardrooms. You can transfer information about new products and services, strengthen relationships and build a strong sales team while on a charter boat fishing off Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

I watched as a financial-service specialist in south Alabama moved quickly to the side of the “Summer Breeze II,” with his arm straining, his rod bending and his hand furiously turning the handle of his Penn reel. He hooked up to a nice red snapper. After a battle that lasted only about 6 Click to enlargeminutes but seemed to last an hour or more, we took a break. I asked him how a trip like this could help his business and his clients. He quickly answered, “I don’t have clients; I have friends I work for and with. I once went on a fishing trip with an underwriter. At the time, I had a friend who recently had undergone bypass surgery and was still having serious health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight problems. But he desperately needed life insurance for his estate planning. For 1-1/2-hours, I talked to this underwriter about my friend’s problems and learned about his issues from the underwriter’s perspective. Together, we developed an innovative solution to help this gentleman acquire life insurance. After the trip, I helped my friend fill-out an application and sent it to this underwriter’s company, addressed it to his attention and followed-up with an email reminding him about the meal and the fishing trip we’d shared. As a result, he helped my friend get the insurance he needed. The relationship I built with that underwriter helped me understand the insurance company’s position and how to help my client understand what he needed to do to get insured. I might not have been able to help my client had I not built that relationship with the underwriter on that business fishing trip.” The connections this financial service specialist made on that company trip not only enabled him to solve a problem for one of his friends but also prepared him to address similar problems for other friends. Click to enlarge

Another financial advisor reports yet another aspect of good work that happens on fishing trips. “To build trustworthy relationships with our clients, we have to employ people who fit in with the culture and the beliefs of our firm. We’ve learned over the years that when you take a potential employee on a fishing trip, you really get to see if that person is reliable, and if he or she will be suitable to meet your company’s needs and goals. By taking that potential new hire on a fishing trip with people who will beClick to enlarge a part of his peer group, you can better make that critical hiring decision.”

Many people consider work stressful and unpleasant. But the more you love your work, the more you’ll enjoy the people you work with, the more time you’ll spend with your colleagues away from the office, and the more your working relationships will improve. You can learn from people with different experiences and make friends who can help solve problems, based on their knowledge and experiences when you fish together.
I witnessed how deep-sea fishing out of Orange Beach, Ala., on a charter boat like the “Summer Breeze II” was one of the best business classrooms ever. On a company fishing trip, employees can spend a day together and enjoy receiving company information, helping each other solve company problems, spending time with the people they work with, and at the end of the day, walk off the boat with a bag of fish fillets and new business relationships.

To learn more about fishing with Captain Bobby Walker on the “Summer Breeze II,” call 251-981-6159 or 251-747-3575, visit, or email For more information on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit, or call 1-800-745-SAND (7263). For one of the best places on the beach to stay that has nice amenities, check out Perdido Beach Resort. Go to, or call 800-634-8001.

Check back each day this week for more about "Why Take Your Employees and Customers Fishing"

Day 1: You Can Conduct Business and Network with Clients on a Fishing Trip
Day 2: You Can Learn in a Classroom on the Water
Day 3: Take a Fishing Trip to Develop Trust
Day 4: A Company’s Take on a Corporate Fishing Trip
Day 5: A Fishing Trip Equals Good Work


Entry 521, Day 5