Bag The Elephant: How to Get BIG Customers and Keep Them

by Micheal Burt

elephant

I remember the first big customer I got, and truth be told, I wasn’t remotely ready for it. Everybody wakes up and wants to “bag the elephant,” and many would say it takes roughly the same amount of energy to land a big client as it does a small client. This is probably very true. For me, bagging elephants starts in one place: your own mind. Dennis Waitley, the great sports psychologist, once said, “If you go there in the mind, you’ll go there in the body.”

Until you have the internal confidence to win big customers, you’ll continue to swim in comfort ponds and most likely have the same amount of checks you’ve been getting. When you get into a “multiplier mindset” you start to see everything in multiples, and that includes the size of the checks your clients are willing to write.

If you find a big enough problem and be the solution to the problem, there’s no telling what the world will pay you to solve it. Here’s the key: Find bigger problems, add more value and be the solution. Then the big checks will follow.

Here are five ways I believe you can “bag elephants.”

  1. Elephants can sniff out pretenders fast. Does your brand portray that you can handle big clients with what you project? Perception is reality here, and if you look like a one-trick pony, then the big boys or girls won’t believe you can tackle their challenges. Nido Qubein once said, “Never skimp on what you send out to the world.” Always project bigger than you are because people make assessments quick. This includes the “packaging” of your intellectual property.
  2. You never sell to big companies, you sell to people who work for big companies. Start with a division. Show results and word will spread about the value you can deliver. Slowly but surely your influence will grow and you’ll be seen as a “must have” vs. a “nice to have.”
  3. It all starts with your hit list and advocates. Your hit list includes the suspects who fit inside the box of the ideal demographic and psychographic of those you “aspire” to land. Like gravitates toward like. Association breeds assimilation. Your best clients will send you qualified referrals if you love on them enough. Start by multiplying the value you add to your best clients, and watch referrals go up. Go after 10 to 20 per week on your hit list. Some will buy, some won’t buy — so what. Keep on moving.
  4. Attack the gaps. Every organization has needs and “trigger events.” Find out what they are, and be the solution. Dan Sullivan says to be in the “transformation business.” People feel isolated, insecure and powerless. Offer them focus, clarity and confidence about their future, and they will always need what you have to offer. Constantly have your antenna up, as people will not know directly how you can help them; they just know they need something. You have to sniff out the challenges and offer perspective and leadership. You will only know when “trigger events” happen if you are in the “flow” with your people. Don’t ever be redundant or repeatable. Keep it fresh.
  5. Content rules. The day people start to see you as a commodity, you’re done. Don’t allow any part of any contract to get stagnant. Create new and accelerated content. Leave them knowing you prepared well and are moving them toward their potential in an upward spiral. The opposite of interesting is boring. If they think they’ve heard your song and dance before, or too many times, you’re toast. I’ve retained a good percentage of my clients for years because I constantly create new ways to make them money and add value. This takes careful attention to their needs and creativity on creating revenue so they continue to rely on you for your expertise.

These five tips will do one thing: slow you down long enough to look at your strategy and see if you’re on track. It will also put you in the mindset to get ready to bag elephants if you’re not there already. Remember this: The more value you can add, or the bigger the problem you can solve, you’re on your way to going hunting and attracting an elephant to you.


Micheal Burt is a coach to some of the top-performing people and organizations in the country. His unique background of winning has led many to refer to him as a “coachepreneur” with a deep-focused coaching acumen and a business and entrepreneurial mindset. He is the author of seven books, including “This Ain’t No Practice Life” and the upcoming “Zebras and Cheetahs –  Look Different, Run Faster, and Be Agile” with Dr. Colby Jubenville. He is also the host of “The Coach Micheal Burt Radio Show” on WLAC, the FoxNews Affiliate in Nashville, Tenn., and can be heard globally on iHeartRadio.
Contact: Coach Micheal Burt, CEO of Micheal Burt Enterprises, LLC, at coach@coachburt.com or 615.225.8380. Twitter: @michealburt