In the last post we covered the first two of the 5 biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with big fish clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones: Taking on More Than You Can Handle.
When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and therefore you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and highly quality products/services, they don’t know or care about your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.
Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:
- Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
- Employee morale is low, clients are upset and you’re in a panic.
- You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
- Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.
- Profits are going down.
- You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
- Your clients/customers leave.
- Resources are being reallocated.
There is a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:
- Help increase sales in a short period of time.
- Alter your products/services for the better.
- Fulfill promises you made to your clients.
There are six steps to this plan:
- Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the fish needs.
- Review your operational system.
- Anticipate future problems better.
- Communicate better.
- Include costs in your quotes.
- Always have a back-up plan.
All Your Eggs in One Basket
You can allow your company to become dependent on any one fish. Eventually or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period with your fish. In order to stay in the game you need to diversify.
If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do. These things include:
- Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your fish company.
- Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
- Stay exclusive.
- Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
- Spread your contracts out.
- Price your products/services correctly.
You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your fish. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.
These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, try our GUIDED TOUR to get the help you need fast.
Next time we’ll talk about the last of the killer mistakes and how to combat it from hitting your business hard.
In the last post we talked about negotiating with your big fish and how to nurture and build on the relationships you are creating. Today we’ll talk about the power your fish has and how to utilize that for your benefit.
One of the most important aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the ally you created in the company and who needs to stay loyal to you for you to continue a profitable partnership with your fish. You can keep your champion going by offering or doing a number of things to show appreciation. Some of these things are:
- Share the limelight.
- Help them thank their company with new products and services.
- Emotionally connect them to your company.
- Know when to leave them alone.
- Keep your “family” happy.
- Stay on the front lines.
Now that you have some ideas of how to build solid relationships, you need to seek out people to build these relationships with. These alliances will help you get bigger clients that stay with you forever. You can often get in the door by offering them something in exchange for something they need:
- Better work experience
These are all great ways to feed your alliance. You need to go into a relationship considering the things a big fish can offer you besides money. These can include:
- The opportunity for your business to expand
- The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow
- The opportunity to improve your processes, systems and other means of doing business
These are some of the best ways to keep your alliances going strong and your partnerships fresh and content.
If you need help with any of these tactics, try our GUIDED TOUR for great tools and resources that can help you every step of the way.
There are a few things you need to do and consider to prepare for your first face to face
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
- Anticipate potential concerns from the client.
- Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Bring support staff with you.
- Use and respect the clients’ format.
- Always follow through.
- Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
- Simplify your prospects life.
- Find ways to boost your credibility.
- Build and nurture relationships.
- Learn from “no”. Find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the
These are all important things to do both before and during your presentation. With confidence behind your company and product you will catch that big fish. The next step of the process is negotiation. This can seem a little intimidating but with a few tips and tricks can become natural to you.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:
- Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
- Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you
and what you are willing to give in on.
- Don’t give in too quickly.
- Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they
would like to, but can’t.
- Don’t sell yourself short.
- Mitigate your pricing. If you go too low you won’t be able to raise it back up and
you need to make a profit.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
- Your services should always count as costs.
- Boost margins with add-ons.
- Handle requests for proposals with the utmost care.
These are the ways you make sure that both parties are getting the best possible
situation from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s
important to continue to build your relationship so that that representative becomes a
big ally for you. They are more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership
you have with their company.
We like to call this person a champion. They are champions for your company and can
bring a stronger, brighter future to your company. Here are the characteristics of a great
- They are respected by supervisors.
- They are socially networked.
- They think in the best interest of their company’s long run.
- They are able to quickly navigate through the company to get things done.
- They are willing to give credit to another person.
- They share the same business philosophy, values and vision as you.
Now that you know how to negotiate for what is best for both parties and build on
relationships, we’re going to talk about how to use your fish’ power to the best of your
If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting process, try our GUIDED TOUR
to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you be successful.
In the last post we talked about making first contact with your prospective big fish and
how to make a positive first impression. Today we’re going to talk about feeling out the
personality of your prospective big fish to match the right salesperson to the fish.
You need to do this in two steps:
- Profile your salespeople’s personalities.
- Match the right salesperson to your target fish.
There are essentially three different selling personalities:
–> Pit Bull
This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort and trust. They can make a
concerned customer feel at ease. In order to be successful they need plenty of
information, a demo of the product/service, references and case studies, if possible.
Much like it sounds this is a salesperson that shines at building relationships. They can
instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no
time. They work best with clients who are looking for friendship, information and in a
similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to
hobbies and nightlife. While sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new
relationship, your salesperson must always keep it professional and dignified. The
resource’s this personality type needs is help pairing with the right client, entertainment
(or schmoozing) budget and the right information to meet the client’s needs.
The Pit Bull
Obviously, this personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. They are all
about business and the bottom line. While this may seem harsh to a lot of people, there
is a set of business people out there that want the same thing and respect someone
who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. This salesperson will
need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot.
They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best
placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authoritative
discretion and seal deals quickly.
These can all be successful when each is used in the right selling environment. You can
easily see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more big fish and
for a longer period of time.
If you need help figuring out which of your salespeople fit into these three areas, try our
GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches to get your big fish plan in
In the last post we talked about how to learn about your big fish and prepare for the
first contact you’ll make with them. This first contact is essential to your success. You
need to instill confidence in them. They need to know you can fulfill exactly what you
are offering on time, at a good price and at the quality you promise.
Today we’ll go through the big approach and how to make that perfect first
impression. Before you put together your approach plan, you need to choose which big
fish you’re going after. Take a look at your notes and the research you’ve done about
prospective fish. Then decide which one will be the easiest approach to start out with.
There are a series of things to go through in choosing which fish to start with. They are:
Position Your Business
Compile Your Hit List
Select the Best Target
Position Your Business
You need to position your business to make the first move by listing your revenue
streams, id and list your operational procedures, where your fish is initially positioned,
your big-customer research, and putting it all together.
Compile Your Hit List
Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then narrow it down to
the ones who know could use your products or services. Don’t overlook obvious choices,
whether they are big or small. Even small companies could be big fish in the future.
Select the Best Target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the best fish
to start with. You need to consider a couple of things:
- Which have the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision compliment yours?
- What are their employee incentive programs as they relate to your
- What’s the company’s real need for you?
- Will the partnership lead you off-course?
Now you should have a target in mind to start with. It’s time to plan your approach and
execute that plan.
Here’s the step-by-step plan to help you make a good first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different
categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your
company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and
- Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the
mailings. During the phone call find out whom you need to be speaking with in
the future and try to set up a meeting with the right person.
- Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the
time to speak with you and offer more details about your products/services. Use
this letter and opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
- Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would
have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your
relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a
presentation meeting with them.
- Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if
they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute
when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.
Now, don’t be upset if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a
little longer to woo. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you know you
are offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve gone through this process and make first contact (and hopefully a good
first impression) it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right
salesperson to seal the deal.
If you need help putting together your approach and making a good first impression, try
our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources