Hunting Big Sales with Tom Searcy

Hunt Big Sales Blog

Insights for Finding, Landing and Harvesting Whale-Size Accounts

Latest "Prospecting" Posts

The Key to Landing Big Deals? Speak to the Right People


Every decision maker is looking for someone who can solve their biggest problems. To close a big deal, you need to demonstrate you can do just that.

This is an excerpt from Tom Searcy’s latest book, “How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett–Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dealmaker” written with Henry DeVries and published by McGraw-Hill, available now.

When Warren Buffett bought Barnett Helzberg’s jewelry business, “Helzberg Diamonds, he followed the most important sales principle in doing large deals—he solved the other person’s problem.

As Barnett Helzberg put it;

“I knew we could trust him to keep the headquarters in Kansas City, resist changing the company’s character, and retain the jobs of all of Helzberg’s associates. It might have been simpler to sell to the highest bidder, but that notion seemed as sensible as choosing a brain surgeon based on the lowest price rather than on talent and reputation.”

It is easy to assume that because Buffett has so much money, he wins deals by writing the biggest check. It would be equally easy to assume that you win deals on the lowest price bid only. Both assumptions would be wrong. Buffett often is not the highest bidder—he wins because he sells his solution as a better option to solving the other person’s problems. Often his price is considerably lower than the other person could have gotten from another buyer.

How do you get to the real dealmakers?

1. Start with the dealmaker’s problems. Most senior executives in companies are in place to solve problems.

Posted by Tom Searcy in Hiring/Firing/Paying,, Prospecting.

How to Be Ready For the Next Big Opportunity


Will you be ready when the next big deal comes along? When it comes to negotiations, being prepared is far more valuable than having a big checkbook–just ask Warren Buffett.

This is an excerpt from Tom Searcy’s latest book, “How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett–Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dealmaker” written with Henry DeVries and published by McGraw-Hill, available now.

When Warren Buffett bought the then largest furniture store in North America, Nebraska Furniture Mart from its founder, Rose Blumkin, she told him, “Warren, you bought an oil well.” It has been, producing profits every year regardless of economic conditions, contributing to the growth in value of Berkshire Hathaway.

It would be natural to expect that Buffett, the second-richest man in the world, just made an offer that was too good to be true and won the auction as highest bidder. That’s not the Warren Way. Buffett wins his deals by selling them- using facts and focus, to beat higher-bidding competitors. In this example, Buffett won with a bid almost 40% lower than his competitor. How did he do it? He was ready when the opportunity presented itself.


  • Research—Warren knew the business, the core value of the brand, the leaders he would keep in place to run the business after he bought it. This homework was done in advance of the offer conversation or even the expression of interest. Curiosity and personal observation of the business led Warren’s instincts to conclude that it was a business candidate for Berkshire Hathaway; the rest was hard-rock mining of information in the market.

Posted by Tom Searcy in, Prospecting.

Round up the usual suspects

Regardless of your business, there is a mega opportunity for you somewhere — follow these tips to find your suspects

Posted by admin in Business Strategy, MoneyWatch, Prospecting.

The psychology of negotiation

When negotiating your next deal, don’t get conned by a “black-hole” prospect

Posted by admin in MoneyWatch, Prospecting, Sales Strategy.

How to dance with your prospects

You’ve got to have the right moves to sweep potential customers off their feet

Posted by admin in MoneyWatch, Prospecting, Sales Strategy.

Overcome the fear factor

Prospects make purchase decisions based in part on what they can sell now and defend later

Posted by admin in MoneyWatch, Prospecting, Sales Strategy.

4 Things Customers Don’t Want to Hear


Just because your prospect is courteous doesn’t mean he is interested. Use these tips to avoid boring your audience.

This is part of a package on selling to prospects. Read the other part: 5 Things Customers Want to Hear.

So you’re on a sales call, and the people listening to you are polite. They nod, ask questions, smile. At least, this is what is happening on the outside.

Inside, they are sleeping, mentally traveling, making lists, and counting minutes until the meeting or presentation ends.

In truth, you are probably droning on about things that are boring to your prospect. Some will have the mercy to tell you to move on, but most will commit the courtesy sin of pretending to listen.

What are the top ways to bore a prospect? Here’s what customers tell me they don’t want to hear about:

1. Your Company History

Really: No one cares about this but you. If it takes more than 90 seconds to hit the highlights, you are talking to yourself, not to your customer.

Remember this simple rule: Talk to people about what interests them. If you can directly connect the history to this conversation, then do it–but do it fast.

2. Lists

Whether you’re citing equipment, locations, awards … Just stop it.

I recently reviewed a commercial printer’s initial presentation materials. The slides included pictures and descriptions of the entire inventory of printing equipment, capabilities, and production specifications. For a technical buyer, maybe you could include this in the leave-behind, but never in the presentation materials.

Posted by Tom Searcy in, Prospecting, Sales Skills.

5 Things Customers Want to Hear


When you’re going on a sales call, make sure you give your prospects the information they are looking for.

This is part of a package on selling to prospects. Read the other part: 4 Things Customers Don’t Want to Hear.

Through the economic downturn of the past few years, organizations have become ever leaner. Employees with valuable experience have been bought off, downsized, or reassigned. This leaves a new generation of decision makers with less time, experience, and market intelligence with which to make important decisions.

What they want is for you to provide a level of insight that will make them personally and organizationally more effective. The companies and salespeople who can do this become trusted advisors–a relationship that is key to the sales process.

Want to win a buyer’s attention and secure that company’s business? Make sure you can talk intelligently about these five topics.

1. Market Position

Prospects often see outside salespeople as knowing a lot of information about the marketplace. The “feet on the street” perspective is seen (often correctly) as being more valuable and current than what gets generated by the company’s marketing department. You, of course, need to remain discreet and maintain confidentiality. But if you can also provide the prospect with market intelligence, you gain trust as well as status.

2. What’s Next?

Who doesn’t want a personal fortuneteller? In the professional context, buyers are looking for people who can give them perspective on upcoming regulations, technology trends, industry mergers and acquisitions, and any other developments that affect the business.

Posted by Tom Searcy in, Prospecting, Sales Skills.

Be ruthless about preparation

How to manage your sales team’s eleventh-hour fear, panic, and frustration

Posted by admin in Meetings/Presentations, MoneyWatch, Personal Development, Prospecting.

Gaining commitment

Commitment can be gained from customers when they can see the road map and how they will transition once the contract is signed

Posted by admin in MoneyWatch, Prospecting, Sales Skills.