Low-Hanging Fruit

What is a 'Low-Hanging Fruit'

A low-hanging fruit is a commonly used metaphor for doing the simplest or easiest work first or for a quick fix that produces ripe, delectable results. In sales, it means a target that is easy to achieve, a product or service that is easy to sell, or a prospective client who seems very likely to buy the product, especially compared to other, more reluctant prospects. The phrase also refers to a problem that is easy to solve.

BREAKING DOWN 'Low-Hanging Fruit'

To illustrate the concept of low-hanging fruit, imagine a sales rep has been talking to several prospects and one seems more likely to buy his product than the others. If the sales rep channels his efforts toward the easiest sale, he is focusing on the low-hanging fruit. This is also referred to as cherry picking clients or opportunities.

Similarly, if a company implements a strategy to boost sales quickly, rather than an arduous process that takes a long time to produce results, this is also grabbing the low-hanging fruit.

Pros of Cons of Focusing on Low-Hanging Fruit

Businesses or sales professionals who opt to focus on low-hanging fruit are likely to meet their targets faster, close sales more easily or accomplish their to-do lists sooner. From this perspective, focusing on low-hanging fruit can be an effective sales and business strategy. However, in most cases, there are usually only so many low-hanging fruits, and once those have been "picked," the company has to put in more effort to achieve results. Essentially, if a company or an individual decides to exclusively focus on low-hanging fruit, it pushes all of the more difficult tasks onto the metaphorical back burner, and putting those tasks on hold can make them harder to achieve in the long run.

History of the Phrase Low-Hanging Fruit

Phrases such as "fruit low hung" and "fruit hanging low" have been part of the English language since the 17th century, but the exact phrase "low-hanging fruit" likely first appeared in print in a 1968 article in the Guardian newspaper, and the phrase referenced something easily attainable. Through the following decades, the phrase picked up steam, and by the early 1990s, it had become a staple in corporate management and sales lingo, referring to corporate gains that could be easily achieved.

During the first 15 years of the new millennium, the phrase became much more popular than similar phrases such as "easy pickings," "easy as pie" and "shooting fish in a barrel," and by 2015, "low-hanging fruit" was nine to 10 times more likely to appear in New York Times articles than similar phrases. This upward trend also presumably mirrors the phrase's rise in business culture.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Market Is Up

    A common phrase meaning the stock market (or a major market index) ...
  2. Soft Commodity

    A commodity such as coffee, cocoa, sugar and fruit. This term ...
  3. Free and Clear

    A slang phrase describing the situation of someone when he or ...
  4. Cash Is King

    The belief that money (cash) is more valuable than any other ...
  5. Always Be Closing - ABC

    Retail jargon used to describe a sales strategy in which a salesperson ...
  6. Take A Report

    A slang phrase signifying that an individual's trade order has ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Secrets You Should Know When Buying Groceries

    There are lots of ways to enjoy a nutritious diet while sticking to a budget.
  2. Markets

    Whole Foods Tests Selling Ugly Fruits and Veggies

    Sometimes, the power of the petition apparently works: Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) will be piloting a program with Imperfect Produce later this month at 11 California stores under which ...
  3. Investing

    Sales Director Career Provides Daily Challenge

    Find out what you need to do to close the deal on this investment management position.
  4. Trading

    Is Your Psyche Ready For A Bull Market?

    Not all investors are mentally prepared for when a much-awaited bull market finally comes charging in.
  5. Personal Finance

    4 Secrets You Should Know When Buying Groceries

    With a little foresight, every consumer can find ways to eat healthier without spending much money.
  6. Investing

    What Are The Costs And Benefits Of Organic Food?

    Organic food is becoming more commonplace in supermarkets, and there are several hidden costs and financial benefits associated with the certification.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Building Client Trust

    Find out how you can strengthen your client's trust in you professionally.
  8. Markets

    Explaining Economic Trade

    Economic trade refers to the concept of parties voluntarily negotiating and exchanging goods or services.
  9. Retirement

    Net Worth Nosedive: Can You Still Retire?

    If a dip in the economy has you worried about retirement, you still have options.
  10. Investing

    Understanding Gross Sales

    Gross sales represents the overall revenue of a company through its sales activities.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Is the substitution effect negative for consumers?

    Explore whether the substitution effect is positive or negative for consumers as well as for retailers, manufacturers and ... Read Answer >>
  2. Where does the term "always be closing" come from?

    Understand the meaning of the phrase "always be closing" and the mentality and approach it is intended to represent for salespeople. Read Answer >>
  3. Where did the phrase "pork barrel" come from?

    Learn what the phrase "pork barrel" means and the time period it originated from. Discover how it has become associated with ... Read Answer >>
  4. How many mutual funds beat the S&P 500 on a percentage basis after operational fees?

  5. What components are factored in determining net sales?

    Understand the key components that factor into determining a company's net sales. Learn about the underlying drivers of those ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between macroeconomics and finance?

    Dive into the world of economics by learning the key differences between macroeconomics and finance. These ideas help investors ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  2. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  3. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  4. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  5. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  6. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
Trading Center