Low Hanging Fruit

Autumn in Louisiana is an interesting time. Ask anyone around here and you’ll likely hear things like “football, gumbo, deer hunting, and Satsumas” to describe what’s good about the Fall season. Never heard of a Satsuma? It’s a small, loose-skinned orange type of fruit, similar to a tangerine or mandarin- grown in parts of China, Spain, and Japan. In the US, it grows almost exclusively in the southern part of Louisiana. It’s very sweet, easy to peel, and fairly plentiful. The fruit grows on small trees that can extend to about 20 feet in height, but are often much shorter, making the fruit easy to pick.

A few weeks back, I asked my nephew if I could stop by and pick a bag of Satsumas from the trees that lined his driveway. He obliged, so I scheduled to be there the next day and to bring my teenaged son with me. When we arrived the following morning, we noticed the distinct mark of illicit carnage! Even I, a relative, was kind enough to ask my nephew for permission to harvest, but it appeared that any number of fruit beasts of the southern wild had already descended upon the citrus bounty! (Ok, I get carried way. Let’s just say the joint was picked over by fruit thieves.)

It was funny looking. The trees sported a distinct horizontal line halfway up- with a dark, leafy green underside and brightly dotted orange tops. The thieves had taken the easy spoils and left the top for more honest folk like me.

So what the heck does that have to do with sales and marketing? Just this: as we pulled out our ladder and began to pick our fruit from the highest perch, it occurred to me why salespeople refer to an easy sale as “low hanging fruit.” Not that I never got the analogy before, but this was a real life example. The easy picking was done first- quickly, efficiently, even in the dark. It was almost like stealing. I wished I had been there for that part of the harvest- but I was too late.

But with a little hard work I was able to get more than my share of fruit; big, deliciously sweet Satsumas- untouched and natural- from the crowns of the trees. My tall, lanky teen gently picked each orange sphere from atop a ladder and tossed them down to me as I filled shopping bags. We had a good system. These jewels were the prime stock of the harvest and well worth the effort. All I needed was a little time, a helper, and a ladder.

Do you know where your “low-hanging fruit” is? When will you grab it? And what about the big, juicy but hard to reach fruit? All you need is time, the right tools, and maybe a little help.

Let me know. I’m ripe for the picking.

sales, fruit, marketing, strsategy

The Satsuma is juicy, sweet, easy to eat, and fun to pick.

4 Comments on “Low Hanging Fruit”

    1. dday99

      Great question. This post mostly applies to sales rather than marketing. Some of my clients participate in my Marketing Coach Program, and this is one of the areas we often cover. While the term is typically a sales term, the best “low hanging fruit” in any case is the sale, or customer, or marketing channel that costs you the least and yields the most. An example for marketing might be your current customer. They are much easier to communicate with, have already experienced your brand, and probably need additional services from you but are unaware of it. It has been said that it’s easier to increase business from current customers than to get a new customer. Another example might be doing the simple things well in your marketing, like creating a good logo and putting it in places that don’t cost a fortune (vehicle magnets, email blasts, business cards, yard signs, etc.) Sometimes we miss the forrest for the trees, and we reach for the big ad campaign without doing the basic, inexpensive things first.

  1. A-sheep-LikeFaith

    That makes sense. Reading your response, I can see ways I’ve already been doing that, but being aware of it now makes it easier to think about more ways to do it intentionally. Very helpful! Thanks for your kind response.
    –Kelli C Miller

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