Business Deals

Capture the Whale

In the whale hunting process, “capture the whale” is the middle phase of the hunt.  It’s the phase in which you hope to move from your formal presentation to the whale’s commitment to purchase.

What process steps do you have to close your deal?  Are you satisfied with your follow-up?  This is a vulnerable time in the sales process.

Here are some suggestions to keep your deal alive and moving forward:

  • Choreograph your follow-up.  Under the harpooner’s leadership, your team should be involved.  Track and review all interactions; bring your boat together to discuss progress.
  • Engage your boat with the buyers’ table.  Your subject matter experts participated in the presentation to this whale.  Ask them to follow up with each of their counterparts, offering to answer questions or provide additional information.
  • Use your chief.  Following a successful presentation, your chief should contact his/her counterpart at the whale.
  • Host the Big Show.  Try to get the buying team to visit you at your site.  Make it easy for them.
  • Provide a simple summary presentation for your raven to use internally.  The person or team at the whale company who want to buy from you are now faced with the task of selling you internally.  Help them out; make it easy.
  • Understand their process.  Be sure that your harpooner is on top of the whale’s process.  Know when they expect to make a decision and continue contact.
  • Be assertive about the whale’s deviations from projected time lines.  Do not be afraid to ask why and offer to help move the process forward.

Finally, if you often lose the deal even after a face-to-face presentation to the buyers’ table, ask your whale sponsor to help you debrief.  There is something in your presentation that is getting in the way of your close.  Keep after it until you figure it out and take the steps to improve.