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Fun With Killer Whales

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I hope you’ve been enjoying my blog posts for the past couple of months here, and putting my strategies and tactics to use.

My beautiful wife and biggest fan Michele has also been following along, so she knows I’ve been teaching my fellow business owners the exact steps to take to “Catch Your Big Fish” and land the client or clients that can totally transform your income and lifestyle.

That’s why Michele called me to come watch a news report she saw on TV the other day, all about a couple whose scuba dive was cut short when a school of killer whales decided to crash the party. (It was actually a pretty cool video.)

“Very funny, My Honey,” I told her. Not exactly the “Big Fish” I’m talking about, and ones that I’m not qualified at all to help anyone catch.

I am, however, going to continue to help you Catch Your Big Fish in a business sense – where you start to land the major client or clients that can take your business to a whole new level.

Why should you listen to me on this topic?

I’ve done this over and over in my career, and have attracted clients who want to take advantage of my connections and skills at doing just this.

Over just the past month, for example, I’ve set up these two potential major deals for clients of mine:

  1. A Center Of Influence who is looking to endorse and promote my client’s product to his list of over 1 million of my client’s ideal prospects.
  2. A Center Of Influence who wants to engage my client in the largest contract in their history – worth multiple millions of dollars over several months.

Now here’s a very important point to keep in mind…

Not everyone grasps the concept of “Catching The Big Fish.” Expect some negative feedback, even when you’re extremely successful at it.

For example…

That first client’s reaction to my news about this Big Fish and others I’m working on for her elicited the response “All these deals you’re working on for us are so big. Can’t you help us find some little deals in the meantime?” Sheesh.

Another business person who didn’t get the whole “Catch The Big Fish” concept was a manager I had back in my days as a sales rep for a Yellow Pages publisher. I landed what is still the single biggest deal in the company’s history (a $30,000-a-month internet marketing program), and was consistently landing big new clients for them.

On one sales report that showed me in my customary #1 spot, this particular manager drew an arrow pointing to my relatively-low ranking for “Number Of New Sales” and wrote some comment about wanting me to get that number up (by doing what everyone else was doing – running around like crazy, selling a bunch of tiny ads and listings and making virtually no money for themselves or the company).

Makes no sense, of course – but bad managers often feel compelled to feel like they’re “managing” their people.

Yes, it takes a little more time, effort and skill to Catch The Big Fish instead of just settling for whatever comes along or going after small-fry prospects. That’s one reason there will always be a 99% and a 1% in any group.

Last week, I shared some tips on how to prepare for your first face-to-face meeting with your Big Fish. The next step of the process is negotiation.

This can seem a little intimidating at first, but with a few tips and tricks – and plenty of practice – it will soon become like second nature to you.

Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully…

  • Build a pricing strategy – and stick to it
  • Prioritize what you plan to offer, including the points that really matter to you and those 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 “Well, we’d like to, but we can’t do that.”
  • Never sell yourself short.
  • Don’t go too low on your pricing, because then you won’t be able to raise it back up. Always remember: You’re in business to make a profit.
  • Never sacrifice quality just to get a deal done.
  • Don’t undervalue the services you provide as part of any deal you make.
  • Boost your margins with upsells, cross-sells and add-ons.

When you make sure to do things the right way, you’ll help both parties get the best possible results from the partnership.

Then, once you start working together, it’s crucial that you continue to build your relationship. When your primary contact at your client company becomes a big ally for you, they’ll be more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.

I call this person a “Champion.” Having an influential Champion can bring a stronger, brighter future to you and your business.

A great Champion of yours is someone who is…

  • Respected by his or her supervisors
  • Socially well-connected
  • Always thinking and asking in the best long-term interests of his or her company
  • Able to quickly navigate through his or her company to get things done
  • Willing to give credit to others
  • In line with the same business philosophy, values and vision as you

Now you know how to negotiate for what’s in the best interest of both parties, and how to build relationships with key people. Next week, I’ll conclude this Big Fish series by revealing how to use your new-found power to your best benefit.

If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting process, try my FREE test drive of SSSMarketingUniversity.com to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources guaranteed to help you reach the goals you want, at the speed you want to go:

—–> SSSMarketingUniversity.com

One Response to Fun With Killer Whales

  1. Phil Brakefield Reply

    May 1, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Steve…I’m loving this series on catching the big fish. I reminds me of when I was a little kid and every Saturday at the movies I would be left with the impossible task of having to wait until NEXT week to see how my favorite cowboy star survived the previous week’s “cliff hanger” episode-ending finale.

    I REALLY appreciate two nugget/reminders in your post this week…
    1. “Build a pricing strategy…and stick to it”. In my business, which is commodity-based and overrun with cheapo internet sellers and guys working out of the trunks of their cars, the temptation to go low to compete is omni-present and ultimately serves no one.
    2. “Negotiate with a person, not a company”. That is a HUGE concept, and leveraged correctly, will separate you from the competition, which always is prone to bow to the corporate policy argument. (I recently convinced a big client to figure out a way to manage an exception rather than enforce a policy, and the gratitude emails from the President, VP and COB validate the concept).

    I look forward to next week’s wrap-up, but plan to spend the waiting room time to best advantage….there HAS to be an eyePod joke I can build around the killer whale video.

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