Make sure you pursue only “good fit” large deals
A company can spend a lot of time and energy chasing deals that eventually go to a competitor or fizzle out. That’s a fear many of our clients have.
Everybody has had some experience where they chased some large account. They put a lot into something that doesn’t happen and they feel somewhat burned.
Tom Searcy calls this “target filters.”
The secret here is being really clear about what a fit is, and what not a fit is. You must be super clear on this. I define “fit” as a situation where you’re an ideal fit for them and they’re an ideal fit for you. By working together, you are actually thriving versus just getting by. We’re not talking about an “OK” business move.
We’re talking about a great business move. Let me emphasize again, this must be a super, clear fit.
What makes this idea work is clarity of your target filters.
The challenge we see many times is this: it’s tempting for a company to go after a larger deal or a larger account because of the big revenue. Or perhaps, it’s a big name that they would love to have on their client list. However, a big name or big opportunity does not mean that it’s a good fit for your business.
I refer to this as “big deal intoxication.” You get drunk on the possibility of something happening and you start to make exceptions. If this was a little, tiny deal, there’s no way you do these things. You wouldn’t put resources into it. You wouldn’t jump through flaming hoops or jump over barrels. If this was a small deal, you would make them earn the time and the energy.
The goal is not to go after okay deals.
It’s to go after great fits. Most folks have had an experience where they landed a client that was a big client, a sizable client. It may not have been your biggest client ever, but it was big enough that you actually made some compromises to get the deal.
After you landed that deal, you realized you weren’t a good match. This deal made you compromise a little more than you should have compromised.
Since you value your reputation and you want the client to be happy, you bend over backward to make them happy. You throw extra resources at it. You give them extra time. You do everything that you can to make them happy. What happens is you give them the extra time and the extra resources.
The extra time and resources consume the profit you were going to make on the deal. You decided to be a little more opportunistic and ignore some of the signs that you should not have ignored. All of this happened because your companies were not a good fit.
Use a Target Filter
We have a great target filter exercise that we take people through to see if you’re a fit. It shows where you’re not a fit and it helps you protect your time so it’s not wasted. It helps prevent you from bringing on clients that may suck your time and energy dry.
The goal is to play to your strengths. The answer to the question is to get really clear, super clear about what makes your business thrive.
I want you to emphasize the word “thrive.” Don’t just get by with an okay business deal. Make a deal so that you and your customer can thrive.