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Top sales executives will tell you that the reason they are successful is because while they are hunting their next big deal (Whale Hunting), they do not forget to continue to pick up the small accounts (Fish) along the way. This practice is very well laid out in a book by Tom Searcy appropriately titled, Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company. In it he explains how the mixture of small deals and large whales is how you build stability in your organization and make sure your hunters stay fed while on the hunt.
These practices are typically well understood by sales executives, but all to often lost on many business leaders. What happens is a company will land one or two whales, then they get complacent or sometimes worse, get super picky about the deals they will take on going forward. Now, I am not saying you should not be selective of the business you take on, but it is a fine balancing act that you must be ever evaluating to make sure it is inline with the continued success of your sales team and overall organization.
Unfortunately many business leaders realize their need to readjust their threshold for new business to late, and watch their top sales performers move on to another company or find out that one of the fish they turned away became a baby whales for a competitor. Both scenarios hurting their organization, because they stopped allowing their team to fish while they were on the hunt.
Remember fishing is like practice for the big hunt. It sharpens the spears and skills of your sales executives so when a whales comes along your sales executive has the sharped tools and practice to drive their harpoon into the whale and make sure it sticks. Without that practice their tools may get dull and their skills weak, so when they go for the close they miss and your team loses the whale.
So as your team begins to sit down to review Q1 sales results and look to Q2 and beyond. If you see your top performers not being consistent with deals, you need to evaluate how much business you have refused. If it is more than 1 or 2 deals, you may need to sit down and revaluate your threshold for new business so you are not missing those chances for your team to practice closing, or those future baby whales that look like fish.
To Your Success & Prosperity!
This article was originally featured on http://creativebusinessmind.blogspot.com/2013/02/remember-to-fish-while-you-whale-hunt.html