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Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company Hardcover – January 2, 2008

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Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company + How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett: Lessons from the World's Greatest Dealmaker + RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470182695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470182697
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Its content is logical, innovative and really interesting.' (Professional Marketing, May 2012)

From the Inside Flap

For thousands of years, the Inuit people of thefrozen North have risked life and limb to hunt thebiggest game on earth—the mighty whale. They endure treacherous seas, frigid temperatures, and deadly ice floes for days at a time in order to catch these elusive and massive mammals. Why risk so much when they could have fish and caribou so much more easily?Because a single whale can provide a village with food and oil to last an entire year.

Would you hunt small game day-in and day-out, when you could hunt the biggest prize of them all every year?

It's the same in the sales business; small fish will keep you fed, but landing each whale-size account can fill your corporate belly for years. Hunting the biggest, most profitable deals is no easy task, and if your targetescapes, you'll lose time and resources. But the payoff is almost always worth your risk and effort.

Whale Hunting provides a clear, step-based model for successfully finding, landing, and harvesting whale-size accounts—the kinds of accounts that transform your business. For small and mid-market companies especially, whale hunting can mean the differencebetween merely surviving and thriving spectacularly. But you have to be smart, and you have to be prepared. This revolutionary, one-of-a-kind sales guide will show you how to:

  • Scout your best prospects, learn all you can about them, and get their attention

  • Hunt your whale using a cross-functional team ofexperts throughout the process of selling and closing the deal

  • Harvest new accounts by delivering superior service and setting the stage for future long-term business

Whale Hunting isn't a theoretical or experimental take on sales, but a proven, practical system that has earned $2 billion in new sales for the authors and their clients. The secret to success in today's fast-moving corporate environment is to find and land the biggest creatures in the sea. Why spend all your time reeling in smallaccounts, when you could land big accounts regularly and predictably?

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
This book will keep you from making many costly mistakes.
H. Buchanan
Whale Hunting provides a clear, concise strategy for success in this area and, perhaps most notably, provides the tools necessary to implement immediately.
A. Murtlow
If you are looking for understanding of how to attract large companies AND how to clsoe the sale this book is it.
Gina M. Danner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Diamond on January 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First the cons...
I don't like the title, Whale Hunting. The book has this title because the authors translate the hunting methods of the Inuit people of northwest Alaska into methods and systems for gaining large client sales. What do whale hunting and business growth have in common? A precise and successful methodology, as it turns out. However, as a surfer and general admirer of dolphins and whales, I find all the whale hunting analogies to be overwhelming for my easily disturbed psyche. That said, no whales die in the book.

The Pros...
Well written, clear, concise, exceptional methods, strong actionable advice. This book really walks you through the process of selling to large clients, and there is more to it, than you might initially think.

The Review...
In Whale Hunting: How To Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, authors Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith explain the nine phases that the Inuit people of northwest Alaska use to scout, hunt, and harvest their whales. The authors translate the Inuit methodology into processes and apply them to the business practice of landing large clients.

The book offers specific, actionable steps when it comes to making big sales. And it shows how to engage a cross-functional team of subject-matter experts throughout the process of selling and closing the deal. Once a company learns the process, it is easily repeatable from client to client.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard T. Vacca on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a professional educator most of my adult life and a president of a small business, the title of this timely and well-written book caught my attention immediately. The "whale hunting" metaphor aroused my curiosity and got me into the first chapter. The people-oriented concepts put forth by the authors --and the blueprint they provide for big sales success-- sustained my interest in the practical, often profound, ideas I encountered throughout the remainder of the book. I couldn't put this remarkable book down or refrain from writing marginal notes on almost every page. However, this is more than a book about landing big sales. It's a book about the power of collaboration, teamwork, and developing an "all for one, one for all" company attitude. Kudos to Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith for landing "the big one" in the world of popular business books!

Richard T. Vacca, Profesor Emeritus and President,
Vacca Authors and Consultants, Inc.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra C. Gibson on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book first from cover to cover and enjoyed the analogy.

It was not until our company really had to answer an RFP that this book showed its true merit. We used this book and Searcy's new book, RFPs Suck, almost exclusively to create a winning proposal. We not only beat out an incumbent but won the job without being the lowest price by showing how we would save the requesting company time and money.

As a small business, I always thought that our unique selling proposition was our nimbleness, our creativity, and our innovation. While these characteristics continue to be important to us internally and to other smaller clients, we learned through Whale Hunting that this is not what lands big companies.

I read the book, I used the teachings of the book, and we got the whale that we had never landed. Five stars obviously.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. C. Moore on September 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm fairly new to the genre of sales literature and I've always found it harder to be critical as a neophyte. Nonetheless, I sought to read this book as critically as possible and found it remarkably convincing and helpful.

Searcy and Smith argue that small companies (companies with less than $25 million in annual sales) are unlikely to see significant growth until they adopt a paradigm shift from business as usual to what he calls "whale hunting." Using an extended metaphor of the process Inuit hunters used to hunt an harvest a whale. They define a whale as "a very big deal, 10 to 20 times large than your average deal, typically with a company that is bigger than yours."

Whale hunting is carried out in 9 sequential phases that can be clustered into the three primary phases of scouting, hunting, and harvesting. The scouting phase includes: 1.) Know 2.) Seek 3.) Harpoon. The Hunting phase: 1.) Ride 2.) Capture 3.) Sew. The Harvest phase: 1.) Beach 2.) Honor 3.) Celebrate.

Whale Hunting is a no-nonsense realistic plan to help your company achieve whale-size sales. It is in this point that the book really shines. Though the authors are remarkably confident that their whale hunting techniques will be effective for any qualified company, their language is refreshingly devoid of overstatement and exaggeration. This is a welcome distinction from most of the business literature I've encountered.

The book filled with surprisingly helpful helpful examples from a variety of industries and will assist the reader in translating all this business speak into practical manageable steps. Though the book does have a heavy bent towards the sales process (scouting/hunting), many management techniques are addressed making the book applicable to other organizations.
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