Friday, November 10, 2006

Infect The Whale to Overcome Defeat

This past Monday I posted a quote that I have found particularly inspirational throughout my career and hoped it would prove valuable to my readers as well. I received some great responses, both on the BLOG and via email, so thank you everyone for the spirited personal stories and encouragement to my quest to capture Starbucks!

The quote was about not taking a single defeat as a final defeat. Well I am here to tell you.....something occurred this week that totally drove this point home.

In my line of work I have to do a fair amount of prospecting to companies (of all sizes), organizations and conference/convention promoters. Ever since I was selling office technology way back yonder, I have always focused my guerilla marketing tactics on a concept that I call Infect the Whale. For the sake of brevity, how do you get your "stuff" considered, sold, loved, entrenched, etc.. within an organization? You have to go at securing beachheads or entry points in multiple areas which means....covering all the bases and cultivating as many fans as you can along the way. Never is this more important than in the prospecting phase of gaining or earning an opportunity. When one door shuts someone else in management, in a different department, with a different set of needs, etc., well, their window may just open (or at least remain unlocked so you don't really have to break the glass). Are you with me so far?

Anyway....On Wednesday I was doing some follow-up calls and my strategy paid off. I had followed up with one particular person who I had initially targeted as one of my entry points and was summarily dismissed and told they were not interested. Still bumming a bit from this often received, but never expected response, I focused my attention on my next call to someone else with whom I had targeted within the same company. AND WHAM! A completely different experience from the word hello!

From going from a person who honestly didn't let me get a word in edgewise (and then basically slammed the phone down in my ear) to a person, at the same company mind you, who gushed over what I had to offer and was tremendously receptive and encouraging. As I enjoyed this ride of emotional roller coaster, I realized that my infect the whale concept had given me ample reason not to accept the first single defeat and pursiver.

Now rather than focusing on my initial defeat I could focus on the small victory and utilize that victory to create additional ripples within the whale.

After concluding a very positive and informative phone chat with my second entry point, I immediately picked up the phone and called the two other people with whom I had targeted as entry points plus one new target that my positive new friend had suggested I include in the ongoing conversation. In each instance the conversations became easier and easier because I had already made an entry point within the whale and the ripple virus (a good virus mind you) was beginning to take hold.

I don't care whether you are in sales and marketing, looking for your next position with a dream company or simply want to insure the clients you have remain satisfied with what you already offer them. Take the time to insure you are approaching it from multiple angles and getting exposure to the many audiences who just might influence or further your cause. You will absolutely be glad you did!

Fair thee my noble whale hunters and as always....

Ripple On!

Steve Harper

1 comment:

MagnumVox said...

GO, GO, GO, GO, GO, Bro!!!!!
Heck yeah!!!!!