A colleague recently pointed out to me the importance of the Whale Hunters concept that we call “launch the boat.” That’s the critical management decision to go or not go in pursuit of a particular whale or whale deal. In The Whale Hunters Process three key components–Scout, Hunt, Harvest–launching comes between Scout and Hunt. It’s not a phase of its own–rather it’s a key turning point.
Launching the Boat means that you are prepared to commit significant resources to landing this whale. Your scout’s initial research and the haarpooner’s initial contact allow you to have confidence in a number of key attributes of this deal:
- the whale meets your target filter criteria
- “whale signs” indicate that the whale is prepared to purchase products and services that you provide
- you have met with a key member of the Buyers’ Table who will introduce you to other buyers
- you believe that you can win this business
- this is business that you want
- this is business that you can deliver if you get it
It is expensive to launch a boat. You can’t go after every deal–only those select few for which you have a high probability of winning.
The discipline to make a deliberate, thoughtful decision about launching is the mark of a company that is in control of its resources, is confident about its pipeline, and is becoming successful in a high proportion of its hunts.