• The Whale Hunters Services: Workshops; Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company
  • Industry:  Marketing, Advertising, and PR Agency
  • Headquarters:  Longmont, CO
  • Goal: Target and close ideal customers that could propel desired growth plans and better sustain the organization



While business was steady since its founding in 1980, Avocet Communications’  growth had been somewhat flat in recent years. Despite a long tenure serving Colorado-based companies, Avocet realized that its client base had become relegated to small companies with shrinking budgets who required excessive support for little return. Although the entire company felt the pressure, no one knew how to shift their thinking or their process from feeding on seals or minnows to hunting and closing big sales from more profitable, sustainable accounts. Beyond that, several key team members involved in the sales process could only envision their future with “bigger minnow nets.”


Avocet co-founder Lori Sutorius-Jones was introduced to The Whale Hunters® author and founder, Barbara Weaver Smith, through a seminar hosted by a national consortium of agencies. During the seminar, Barbara relayed the core principals of The Whale Hunters methodology. The message not only resonated with Lori, she quickly realized that incorporating this methodology into Avocet could be just the secret sauce they were looking for to land big sales. But time was of the essence, and Lori instinctively knew that a bigger minnow net wasn’t the answer.


On a Friday plane ride home, Lori read Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, Barbara’s leading book on sales transformation. By Monday, she was meeting with all the stakeholders in the Avocet sales process to communicate the methodology and to get everyone focused on filtering – the process of determining what the ideal target customers really look like and where to find them. Despite several team members’ initial reactions to keep hunting ‘more and more minnows’ to drive growth, they agreed it was time to break old habits and move up the food chain to big sales and bigger customers.

Avocet team

Within a month, the group had worked through several of the Whale Hunting steps: they redefined their target industries, assessed their own strengths, clarified their offerings, identified specific targets, and packaged up their unique selling proposition for mid-sized and large accounts. It wasn’t long before the sales pipeline grew healthy again, and the company had secured solid leads with a number of whales and many other clients on the hook.


Today Avocet is excited to report that since going through The Whale Hunters Process™, the company has transformed into a successful whale hunting organization: they’ve landed four new whale accounts, several other accounts, and have a pipeline of notable deals at the final proposal stage. The team is operating more efficiently and effectively than ever before, and everyone shares a crystal-clear focus of what their best customers look like. They approach every prospect with a purpose and strategy. Not only are they more organized and deliberate in their new business efforts, they know exactly where to expend energy and resources for the most positive impact. Maybe the best part of all – they are having more fun than ever in the process.