Whale HuntingHow to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company
Using the ancient Inuit whale hunt as a metaphor for big sales, Whale Hunting gives you a clear nine-phase model for successfully finding, landing, and harvesting whale-sized sales accounts—the kind of sales that transform your business. Here, you’ll learn how to turn the dangerous endeavor of selling to large companies and big contracts into a strategy for continued success and growth. Stop wasting time with little accounts and start landing monster accounts.
Foreword xiii Preface xvii Acknowledgments xxi Author Biographies xxiii CHAPTER 1 The Whale Hunters’ Story 1 Inspiration from the Inuit whale hunters—how we got here. CHAPTER 2 Signs of the Times 7 Brief history of why the sales process is more difficult and complex today than it used to be; overview of the Whale Hunters’ Process. CHAPTER 3 Know the Whale 33 Define your ocean, chart your waters, and create a target filter. CHAPTER 4 Send Out the Scouts 65 Populate your whale chart, complete dossiers, define whale signs, create a tracking system, and establish performance metrics. CHAPTER 5 Set the Harpoon 87 Plan your initial contacts, control “the aperture of perception,” go in the right door, and ask great questions. CHAPTER 6 Ride the Whale 109 Launch a boat, analyze the buyers’ table, power your boat, and define metrics for the boat’s performance. CHAPTER 7 Capture the Whale 131 Define the steps of progressive discovery, progressive disclosure; map your process, and refine your proposals. CHAPTER 8 Sew the Mouth Shut 159 Stage the “big show,” anticipate spoilers, use your chief, and get on the whale’s calendar. CHAPTER 9 Beach the Whale 183 Prepare your village, accelerate capacity and velocity, align reward systems, and communicate with the whale. CHAPTER 10 Honor the Whale 205 Build a fast-growth culture, make and keep promises, improve handoffs, and control barnacles. CHAPTER 11 Celebrate the Whale 227 Conduct “lessons learned,” communicate your gratitude, feed the ravens, and search for ambergris. Epilogue: Let the Hunt Begin 245 Our challenge to you! Glossary 247 Index 251
Tom Searcy and Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith are founders of The Whale Hunters, a sales and business process development company dedicated to strategies for rapid business growth. Building on Searcy's experience in leading four companies through accelerated growth in sales and revenue and Smith's background in managing the culture of growth, they help their clients grow quickly by engaging their entire company in selling and delivering big deals with large companies.
For thousands of years, the Inuit people of thefrozen North have risked life and limb to hunt thebiggest game on earth—the mighty whale. They endure treacherous seas, frigid temperatures, and deadly ice floes for days at a time in order to catch these elusive and massive mammals. Why risk so much when they could have fish and caribou so much more easily?Because a single whale can provide a village with food and oil to last an entire year. Would you hunt small game day-in and day-out, when you could hunt the biggest prize of them all every year? It's the same in the sales business; small fish will keep you fed, but landing each whale-size account can fill your corporate belly for years. Hunting the biggest, most profitable deals is no easy task, and if your targetescapes, you'll lose time and resources. But the payoff is almost always worth your risk and effort. Whale Hunting provides a clear, step-based model for successfully finding, landing, and harvesting whale-size accounts—the kinds of accounts that transform your business. For small and mid-market companies especially, whale hunting can mean the differencebetween merely surviving and thriving spectacularly. But you have to be smart, and you have to be prepared. This revolutionary, one-of-a-kind sales guide will show you how to: Scout your best prospects, learn all you can about them, and get their attention Hunt your whale using a cross-functional team ofexperts throughout the process of selling and closing the deal Harvest new accounts by delivering superior service and setting the stage for future long-term business Whale Hunting isn't a theoretical or experimental take on sales, but a proven, practical system that has earned $2 billion in new sales for the authors and their clients. The secret to success in today's fast-moving corporate environment is to find and land the biggest creatures in the sea. Why spend all your time reeling in smallaccounts, when you could land big accounts regularly and predictably?
Praise for Whale Hunting "Whale Hunting is required reading for anyone who is going after the big fish in a market. Engaging, practical, and well organized, it is simply the best book on major account selling out there. Someone once said that confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and bringing the mayonnaise. Whale Hunting gives you the tools to pursue big deals with that kind of confidence." —Keith R. McFarland, author of The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers "I meet with the leaders of thousands of entrepreneurial companies every year from around the world. Every one of them is looking for ways to grow faster, smarter. The straightforward Whale Hunting system gives companies a road map for landing the elusive anchor accounts—the big accounts that let them get to the next level of people, services, and revenue. Searcy and Smith have put the key principles together to learn how, with the power of the remarkable story of the Inuit whale hunt. This is an entrepreneur's must-read!" —Dr. Tom Hill, coauthor of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul
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