Landing the “Big One”

It may not be your preferred metaphor, but it’s a potent one in business: catching big clients, or “fish.” The idea is that if you’re able to “catch big fish” your business will grow, or be sustained, as a result. The underlying belief that you need to land big fish to survive is common. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your company wouldn’t thrive with a gazillion small fish. Maybe you don’t need a big fish. Still, there are important principles related to your thinking like a big fish.

Your Lunker Strategy

An immediate benefit to fishing for the “big one” is the clarity you’ll gain by preparing to catch one. Because landing big(ger) clients requires your onboarding system is tight. If you’re working solo, this means you have developed a systematic process, which aligns with your vision. If you have a team, it means everyone is clear on their role, what is expected of them, and that they have everything they need to deliver. Either way, there are six key areas to focus on.

  1. First Impressions: Some gurus argue that “you have one shot to land a big client.” If you know anything about actual fishing, you know that it can become an epic quest to “land the big one.” Which means that it takes persistence, not “one shot.” However, optimizing your chances of success is never a mistake. So level up as much as you need to and then drop your line.
  2. Set Your Priorities: With any customer or client, your goal must be to always make them feel like they matter. Find out their preferred communication style…and use it. Theirs, not yours. So, return their calls with a call. Reply to their emails with an email. Delivering solutions to their problems or questions as quickly as possible is simply good business.
  3. Be Bendable: Let’s say your new “big fish” needs something outside of your normal operations. Would it make sense to be flexible in your negotiations with them? If they ask you to provide a special service for them, or that you customize a product, consider that 1) accommodating them may generate good things for your company a long time, and 2) you may be able to leverage this “special” request into a new service or product for the rest of your customers.
  4. Think Long-Term: Some businesses will go for the big score without thinking through the long-term impact. They’re dazzled by the short-term revenue boost. That’s not a viable approach to scaling your revenue growth. And it might just get you into hot water.
  5. Enjoy the Ride: Just like fishing, working at landing “big fish” should be fun. Pushing out of your comfort zone is good for you, professionally and personally. At some point, isn’t it possible that your current “big fish” may in the future represent your normal customer? So, getting your message (unique value-proposition) and vision out to new people will bring more and more of them into your “boat.” That sounds like fun!
  6. Know Your Audience: Just like an expert fisherman learns where the lunkers hide, what they eat, when they feed, etc., be mindful of your audience. In other words, swim in the same pond as your lunkers. Get to know their habits, their expectations, and what keeps them up at night. How you serve your “big fish” may be different than your regulars, but with all of your customers make sure to invest a little bit of your time on their behalf. Are there ways you can save them money, outside of your service or products? Are there potential business partners you can introduce them to (much better than a simple referral)? The more you find ways to intentionally serve your clients, the better your business will be.

Swimming in the Same Pond

Keep in mind that there are a few other tactics you can employ for landing your “big one,” but the most important element is not a tactic, at all. Instead, develop a full-bodied strategy for any marketing campaign, whether it is aimed at the many…or the one.

Need help in building out powerful tactics? Or is your need more about developing the overall strategy for all of your marketing? Reach out. We can help.