Let’s Go Fishing: How to Catch a Big One

This is not your typical fishing story. This is about fishing for a whale and not the kind that lives in the sea. A whale is the kind of client that can make a significant positive impact on your bottom line. There are three strategies that can hook you a whale:

  1. Fish in a small pond. This means you would be using a direct hit list to search them out individually.
  2. Use a wide net. This is “place” strategy; you look for them where they hang out.
  3. Attract them to your bait. This is lead generation.

Before you cast off, you first need to define what a whale is for you. Who, specifically, is the type of client that would make a significant positive impact on your business’s bottom line and put more profit in your pocket?

As you define your whale, think of all the characteristics that type of person or company would have. Create an intelligence report about your target customer — a picture of your whale: how she thinks, where she hangs out, who she associates with, and why what vocabulary she uses. In more formal terms, her demographics, psychographics, emotional background, current state of mind, opinions, etc.

I hear you saying, “You’ve got to be kidding, do all that work?” My answer is an emphatic “YES!” If you want to catch a whale, you cannot just take off in a rowboat with a jar of tartar sauce and expect one to just jump into your boat. It does take work. I learned this from Dan Kennedy. Dan is known for his exceptional copywriting. His copywriting is so effective that his sales letters consistently attract and land whales for his clients.

He says the key to writing those successful letters is to get into your target customer’s head and see what he sees, hear what he hears, and feel like he feels. One way to think about this is by using the acronym FORM to consider your customer’s key characteristics: Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Money.

Remember, too, that whales do not want to know how to do what you sell; they want to understand what it is and know for certain that you know how to do it.

Select one of the whale-catching strategies above that should work best for you and your type of business. Then, implement and refine it to get you closer to catching your whale.