Don’t Waste Your Time on Sales Opportunities that Won’t Feed You

Did you know that a blue whale needs to eat millions of krill a day just to survive – thousands of kilogrammes 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.

5. Repeat

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.



Next UK Sales Training Workshops


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This one-day workshop was designed to provide delegates with a comprehensive introduction to the Selling with EASE process and to show how a thorough understanding of the four major steps – Earn the Right, Ask the Appropriate Questions, Solve the Problem and Execute the Solution – can help them to succeed in all genuine sales situations.

This interactive workshop is perfect for any salespeople who need to hit the ground running or anyone requiring a comprehensive sales “refresher”

In short – If your job remit requires you to convert sales meetings into profitable business relationships – then this workshop is the one for you.

At the end of this workshop delegates will be able to:

  • Explain why customers make the buying decisions and how they choose suppliers
  • Understand why your current pitch isn’t the solution to your prospects problem
  • Explain why setting yourself two different outcome targets to each call can lead to success every time
  • Demonstrate a high level of consultative questioning techniques
  • Use real life examples and case studies to sell concepts and solutions
  • Effectively overcome all genuine objections
  • Understand – and execute – the process of closing every sale opportunity

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