LPM Staff

Whales and sales

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In 2008, Barbara Weaver Smith and Tom Searcy published Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, a book that uses the whale hunter’s story as “a metaphor for the business development strategy and sales process of a modern business.”

The story goes like this: For many centuries, the Inuit people, who inhabit the Arctic regions of the world, have risked survival to hunt whale, the largest game on earth. To do this, they endure freezing weather and navigate perilous waters and ice floes. The question posed by Smith and Searcy is, “Why risk so much when they could have fish and caribou so much more easily?” The answer: A single whale can supply a village with nourishment and oil for a whole year.

Smith and Searcy believe it’s the same in business – small fish will sustain you, but landing the killer whale account can keep you thriving for years. And although going for the big game is not the sales path of least resistance, the reward is typically worth the energy and risk. They even use terms like scout, hunt and harvest in their guide.

According to Whale Hunting, success in the modern-day, corporate environment means to “scout” and “hunt” the big pescados; go for the humpbacked Hewletts and IBM belugas in the sea of business.

In light of this analogy, the AZSBDC Network is offering a two-day program called The Whale Hunter’s Process on Wednesday-Thursday, June 22-23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 2400 N. Central Avenue, Suite 104, in Phoenix.

Recommended for small business owners, CEOs, VPs and directors of sales, the workshop is designed to help small businesses compete in the “new normal” and increase their business. A few strategies participants will learn include how to

• develop a client target filter
• evaluate buyer needs versus company skills
• and map the sales process.

SBDC counselors will lead the workshop. The fee for the program is $295.00, acceptable in cash or by check. Online registration is available at maricopasbdc.com or by calling 480-784-0590.

Incidentally, The Whale Hunters (a trademarked name, by the way) is based in Tempe, Arizona, with chapters in New York, Indianapolis and Florida. You can find out more about the founders, read their blog and join their online community at thewhalehunters.com.

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