In this series of blog posts about The Whale Hunters Process for rapid business development and growth, harpooning is the last phase of Scouting. It’s also the first true phase of Hunting–sort of the transition between advanced research and reconnaissance and actually venturing out to meet the whale.
You may think of harpooning as the actual step of capturing the whale, but in fact once you’ve landed a harpoon, it’s more the concept that the whale’s got you! You are in for a long and harrowing ride!
Before you have a first meeting, you will be prepared with a dossier and perhaps some whale signs that indicate a potential readiness to buy. What can entrepreneurs learn from this phase of the process? A few key points about that very important first meeting:
- focus on what you need to discover about the whale–not what you need to disclose about your services or products
- include your needs assessment–a list of questions to which you need answers that can’t be discovered through objective research
- explore the whale’s buying process, the specific steps that they follow to make a purchase decision
- begin to identify members of the buyers’ table–those people who would be affected by a decision to buy from you.
A well-prepared harpooner will leave the first meeting armed with critical information to help the village determine whether or not to launch a boat to hunt this whale. You will know whether you have identified a potential sponsor who is willing to introduce you to key influencers and decision-makers, and you will know how the whale makes decisions.
The harpooner is a special type of sales person, one who completes the advance work and then orchestrates a cross-functional team to make the sale. Setting the harpoon gets the whale’s attention; next you will be going for a ride.
What does a great initial call look like for you? What do you reveal, and what do you need to learn?