Did you know that a blue whale needs to eat millions of krill a day just to survive – millions of them, more than 3,000kg in weight – just to survive.
On top of that, the amount of energy required for that 98 foot monster to open its mouth, means it needs to hit its target of 40 million krill every feeding time – no small snacks, no “just enough to get by” mouthfuls – because if it does that, then it won’t have enough energy to open its mouth again, it will starve even if it finds the next sizeable opportunity.
So it has to find the right sized win every single day. Due to that fact it will quite happily swim past smaller opportunities – you see, being pointlessly busy isn’t an option for the blue whale.
Salespeople suffer from an incredibly similar problem, but because the symptoms aren’t so immediately obvious – or life threatening – we can easily fool ourselves that opening our mouth doesn’t waste any real time or energy.
However, if your pipeline is looking a little bleak or you’re some way off your sales target, maybe it’s time to get a bit “Blue Whale”on the job.
Here are five tips to get you on your way;
1. Hunt Out the Greatest Opportunity
Make finding the perfect opportunity a mission – take 100 prospects, and find the 20 that will deliver 80% of the opportunity – and then when you’ve got there, whittle down those 20 prospects to 4 (the next 20%) – and work on those first. (To get this down to a fine art, I can highly recommend Perry Marshalls brilliant best selling book 80/20 Sales and Marketing)
2. Put Aside Time So that You Can Sell Properly
When you’ve got down to four exceptional opportunities (the kind that you can justify spending a decent amount time and definitely end up filling your belly on) , take away all your other distractions. Turn off your internet, emails, put a sign on your door.
In his exceptional book Fanatical Prospecting (currently the Amazon #1 in the Telemarketing, Marketing and Sales categories) Jeb Blount quite rightly points out, that during a face to face appointment with a customer, none of us sit there with our phone pinging text messages at us, checking our emails or looking things up on the internet. So don’t let those distractions stop you selling appropriately when you’re casting your net – put aside time and do it properly.
3. Work Out What You Need to Achieve Every Day
If you need to eat 40 million krill or starve to death, don’t accept 39.9 million. And keep swimming until you’re done.
Work out your numbers, understand them – and then live them.
4. Confidently Swim Past Distractions
If your business has thrown a stick for you to fetch, don’t bring back an easy twig and expect them not to notice.
I have no idea how a blue whale calculates the weight of krill in any particular area, but they can and happily swim past any group that doesn’t add up.
Selling yourself the lie that small wins will do can become habitual – don’t fall into the trap of believing your own version of what’s “good enough” just because more than enough looks too tough.
Oh – and make sure you avoid the Lobsters.
Wake up tomorrow and do it all again – but promise yourself to find one more way of doing it even better than the day before.
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