Today we bring you a guest post from The Whale Hunters Certified Partner, Loretta Love Huff, headquartered in Phoenix. Enjoy!
Whale hunting is a process that takes a while to perfect. People mistakenly believe they can decide to land big deals one day and start prospecting the next. Having worked with several companies in their quest for “The Big Ones”, here’s what I’ve learned about the mindset and behaviors of successful Whale Hunters.
1. They think big
It’s comfortable to continue prospecting and servicing just-slightly-larger accounts. But dramatic growth will not happen in this manner. One whale-hunting law firm made a conscious choice to go up against the “Big Boy” law firms and pitch a deal they would never have previously attempted.
Not only do Whale Hunters envision working with big companies on big projects, they see the potential in their own company to grow and mature. They commit to developing capabilities in existing staff members and potentially, hiring new ones. They recognize they need to ‘ramp up’ and streamline their production processes. They understand that larger projects will fundamentally change the way they deliver their services and they seek to anticipate potential breakdowns before they happen.
2. They engage a broad spectrum of the staff in the process
Whale hunting is not something the CEO or Sales Executive can do alone. Truly transforming a firm takes the collective brain power of all of the key players and the expansion of who is considered to be a key player. Previously ‘hidden away’ service delivery experts must be brought in early, prior to when an agreement is reached with the prospect. Ideally, these experts would be consulted still earlier as the company is mapping out how to design new whale-sized service offerings and how to reposition existing ones so that they appeal to larger prospects. A consulting firm is now considering how to reposition themselves with their current whales to take on even larger projects that would involve the engagement of multiple consultants rather than the single consultant projects they are currently known for in the Whale World.
3. They conduct an image makeover for the firm
Whales are afraid of working with small firms. They worry that small companies won’t be able to handle the volume nor maintain quality of service on a large contract. It is critical then to manage the Aperture of Perception prior to approaching the whale so that their ‘small fry’ alarms don’t go off before you even get in the door. This may require overhauling your website or collateral materials or striking collaborative relationships with other firms whose staff could complement and supplement yours. One realtor assembled a team of specialists all serving a particular niche market to handle every aspect of her prospects’ anticipated needs. This positioned her new ‘firm’ as the go-to expert in that arena. Her clients can have ‘One-stop shopping’ when they hire her.
Taking each of these steps helps the Whale Hunter build confidence, leverage internal resource capabilities and reposition the firm’s image. They are better prepared for the hunt and are perceived as worthy hunters.
About the author
Loretta Love Huff, a Certified Whale Hunter Partner is an award-winning business consultant and coach. She has a BS in Psychology from Howard University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. Visit her at http://www.facebook.com/EmeraldHarvestLove.