Always after the whales!

Over a year ago a casual friend of mine, let’s call him Stan (my daughter has a beta she named Stan), started in a new sales position. He was not new to sales, just new to the service he was selling. I like to help others be successful so I offered to help in any way possible. Knowing that referrals and introductions are critical Stan asked if I would be willing to make some connections for him. Of course I was happy to do so…until he asked for the largest company, and one of the richest entrepreneurs, in town.

Interestingly enough I have actually met this entrepreneur before. While I doubt he knows me personally I know that through my connections I could have arranged a meeting for Stan. But frankly I wasn’t willing to. Not knowing how well Stan might represent himself, and therefore me, was part of that decision. But the other part was that I felt Stan was trying to tap into a crowded space. Everyone in town wants time with the same entrepreneur.

This practice is what I call “going after the whale”. Most sales people do this because they see it as an easy way to accomplish large amounts of production. Land one huge client and they are done for the year. A whale can certainly make your year; but it can also take out your boat. Even if you land that huge account you are still one lost account away from zero. So why compete in overly crowded spaces?

Diversifying your portfolio of clients is not much different than diversifying your retirement account. Don’t put most or all of your eggs in one basket. This is even true of your centers of influence. Knowing every attorney in town is great, so long as they are not the only profession you know (no attorney jokes please). Make sure you are diversifying your contacts as well.

Grow your business by connecting with like-minded professionals over lunch at .


About Jonathan Patrick connects like-minded business professionals over face to face, one on one appointments based on each member's preferences.

Posted on May 19, 2011, in Networking, Sales and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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