Bag the Elephant! | Steve Kaplan

Summary of: Bag the Elephant!: How to Win and Keep Big Customers
By: Steve Kaplan


In ‘Bag the Elephant!: How to Win and Keep Big Customers’, author Steve Kaplan shares essential advice for businesses seeking growth, success, and longevity by capturing and maintaining big clients. As you delve into this summary, expect to learn how to identify potential ‘elephant’ customers, provide unbeatable service, and build strong partnerships. Additionally, the summary offers insights into developing your sales force, understanding bureaucracy, and avoiding costly mistakes. Kaplan’s strategies and real-world advice make this an essential read for anyone looking to capitalize on the many benefits that big customers can bring to their business.

Bagging the Big Ones

Many businesses fail because they struggle with growth, money and results, or build staff and budgets based on permanent growth. Instead of following the snail or rocket path, become an “Elephant” hunter and target big corporations as clients. This can provide cash, scale, reputation, contacts, and attract higher-quality professionals to your staff. Bringing home an elephant can help businesses realize their dreams.

Bagging Big Clients

Bagging big clients requires self-belief and preparation. This book teaches that securing an elephant client takes one shot and the ability to meet their high expectations. One must be willing to be flexible, creative, and think long term. Successfully bagging a big client is not about getting everything but pricing intelligently while valuing the importance of the relationship.

Capturing the Elephant

The key to winning over big clients is by having fun and establishing a strong partnership with your elephant. Focus your team to work together towards the goal of capturing your target. Learn as much as you can about the company, its processes, and its people. Adapt your processes to facilitate the logistics of your elephant. Recognize and reward individuals and teams who contribute to the achievement of the goal. Remember that you are negotiating with people who have the power to make decisions, so negotiate accordingly. By doing these things, you can distinguish yourself from your competitors and establish a long-term partnership with your elephant.

Mastering the Art of Landing Big Clients

To land a big client, start by understanding your own business, identifying the elephants closest to you, and synthesizing information to pick potential targets based on their ability to spend on your product or service. Consider the alignment of corporate cultures, purchase goals, and incentive programs with your market space before pursuing the target. Maintain a database of contacts and prospects within the company, and do a short, focused introductory mailing. Follow up with a call and determine their expectations for your product. Provide a price quote, set up a meeting, and make the most of it. Don’t abandon unresponsive contacts, but continue periodic inexpensive mailings until you land a meeting. Remember, even if they are unresponsive at first, the company’s situation might change, and you might get a call after all.

Salespeople 101

Salespeople come in three types: The Sage, The Pal, and The Pit Bull. To build strong alliances and close more deals, know your team and assign them wisely. The Chameleon, who can switch selling styles, is the triple threat of sales. Provide clear product information for The Pal, additional support for The Pit Bull, and data and storytelling for The Sage. Make sure to consider your options to be equipped to ride your elephant to success.

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