In the past few years, during elections candidates have spent millions of dollars getting their persuasive message out to the public in the hopes of being elected. However, polls show that the vast majority of the voting public had already made their decisions early in the race- they were not going to change their votes regardless of what the candidates said or did. Often times, these decisions were down party lines- This meant that the entire race- all the money, debates, advertising and endless media coverage was related to moving a very small number of people from the category of “undecided” to voting for that candidate.
I think about how this is really the same thing for selling and whale hunting- so often in the marketplace we are trying to sell our products, services and solutions to companies who are not going to change- it’s not because of party lines or single-issue voting- but other criteria make parts of the market unmoveable- contracts, reciprocal purchasing practices between companies, procurement processes that are exclusionary and so on. Our job is then to figure out early whether or not a target prospect fits into one of five categories:
- Loyal customers of ours
- Loyal/unmoveable customers of our prospects
- Current customers of our who are open to changing to a different provider
- Current customers of our competitor’s open to changing to a different provider (hopefully us)
- Open prospects in the marketplace