Sales Process

Hibernating Polar Bears

By October 23, 2008December 29th, 2015No Comments

At a Whale Hunters seminar in Phoenix, Laura Galante of Sitewire Interactive Marketing spoke as a representative of “the whale.” Based upon her experience as a marketing director/buyer of marketing services, she confirmed the whale hunting premise of the buyers’ table–that team of people who influence buying decisions in a very large company.

We talk about the “polar bear”–the economic buyer, who has the power to say “yes” to a sale.  But Laura added the concept of the “hibernating polar bear”–one who is not going to make the “yes” decision initially but can ultimately say “no.”

One hibernating polar bear is the C-level person to whom the key buyer reports.  Not interested in any of the details, that person simply wants to ratify any decision to spend money, even money that is budgeted.  Another hibernating polar bear is a legal department that refuses to authorize the project after funding has been committed.  Any example is a legal department that would not allow a corporate blogging project under any circumstances.  One more hibernating polar bear is a CFO who slashes the budget or redirects funding.

As a whale hunter, you may never meet these bears in hibernation.  Occasionally one will pop into your big presentation, but that is iffy.  What can you do?

According to Laura in her “whale” role, your best bet is to make it very easy for your key buyer to defend and sell the project “up.”  This means one paragraph, chart, slide, or page of data/info that summarizes the ROI (return on investment).