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Bag the Elephant!: How to Win and Keep Big Customers Hardcover – July 25, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Bag an Elephant—and Begin the Most Profitable Adventure of Your Life

It's the strategy, it's the nuts and bolts, it's everything smart businesspeople need to win and keep those all-important Elephants‚ the big make-or-break customers that can dramatically increase your revenue, profits, and success. Packed with dynamic advice for all sales professionals, small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives:
  • How to map and use a big company's red tape to your advantage
  • Why the Elephant needs you as much as you need it
  • Six keys for successful big-customer focus
  • How to negotiate with an Elephant without giving away your profit margins
  • How to avoid the five killer mistakes, from mismanaging client expectations to losing sight of the numbers
--This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.

About the Author

Steve Kaplan is a serial entrepreneur and author of the national bestsellers Bag the Elephant! and Be the Elephant. He currently spends his time helping businesses and sales professionals grow. He is a highly sought-after public speaker and business consultant who has appeared on a variety of national media. His website is www.stevekaplanlive.com. --This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bard Press (July 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885167628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885167620
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ben Mack on September 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have no financial interest in the success of Bag The Elephant by Steve Kaplan. I have never met Steve nor John E. Peppers, the former P&G Chairman and CEO who wrote the forward.

Few books allow for the techniques of big business to be translated into scaleable tools and tactics, equally applicable to big and small businesses. When I come across books that transcend scale, I tell as many people as will listen or read my ideas.

I am a former Senior Vice President, Brand Strategy Director for BBDO Atlanta, working on Cingular with a half-billion-dollar advertising budget. Many people mistakenly think that this experience naturally lends itself to helping a local small business--few business skills transcend such disparity in scale.

What's applicable to a business of any size? Strategy and attitude. Bag The Elephant is about strategic thinking and a successful business attitude, elements Steve Kaplan points out are inseparable. Most books on attitude lack the strategic thinking to fortify a sustainable positive attitude. If you're the captain of the Titanic and you're on the deck as it's sinking, I guess the best thing is to keep your humor and smile. However, it is a whole lot easier to laugh that afternoon if the previous night you had decided to go slowly and avoid the icebergs. But, avoiding icebergs isn't enough to run a successful business; you need passengers for your financial journey.

When I share what I've learned from Bag The Elephant with friends, some explain that they don't need a book on sales techniques to win big clients. These folks explain that they're too busy with making this quarter's nut to change their overall sales strategy right now. But, maybe they'll read this book next quarter.
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Format: Hardcover
As a business owner for nearly two decades, I am always on the hunt for a great new business book. Many hit narrow points, but few encompass a concept and wrap it with sound writing skills communicating the concept clearly and succinctly. In BAG THE ELEPHANT, Steve Kaplan has quite successfully captured the latter.

For those not oriented toward this type of jargon, an "Elephant" has, for many years, been the synonym for a large client/customer. In my field, consulting, obtaining an elephant client is daunting, difficult, exciting, and more than anything else, a helluva challenge. However, the potential rewards are incredible. (NOTE: I am not a major proponent of a business built around a couple of elephants or a handful of smaller elephants. The simple reason is attrition; it happens to everyone and if your clientele numbers are few, the departure of one elephant can cause extreme hardship on the basic operations of one's business. My advice is to build a client base with many small-to-medium size clients and sprinkle in an elephant or two once your foundation is established. Attrition is much more palatable under these circumstances.)

As noted, Kaplan has effectively and succinctly described his concept of bagging an elephant. His basic premise outlines various strategies for business owners seeking to enter the realm of the larger client/customer (i.e. the elephants). Kaplan divides the book into five parts, which effectively and humorously, describes the process of bagging the elephant:

Part I - "Your Elephant is Waiting" - Kaplan describes various strategies for aligning your business with elephants, and how to gauge success in obtaining an elephant.
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Format: Hardcover
Steve Kaplan has successfully intertwined his vast experiences with a set of sensible protocols, giving business tools to companies on a long term vision for success -- real success -- big success -- well planned success.

He has tried to eliminate the intimidation factor, opening the way to aggressive but cautious solicitation of larger companies for more substantial orders. He goes explaining in detail, how to approach contacts despite the bureaucratic red tape, using business psychology, as well as knowledge in procuring deals. He advises learning to live with established obstacles and work around them -- by mail, telephone calls, visits, etc., and repeating the steps as necessary but judicously.

He outlines the art of being confident in indentifing targets, knocking doors, and getting access to the "elephant dealer", and all the time focusing on coming face to face with the REAL ELEPHANT. The description of the different personalaties of salesmen (The sage, the pal, the pit bull) are appropriately analyzed in dealing with them.

And what happens after negotiating with the "elephant" and even making the big deals? The process in the aftermath of success...and how to avoid problems? The book describes, step by step, issues that could derail a successful operation, as he considers the following measures:

>Biting more than you can chew.

>Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

>Remember your champions(people who have helped)

>Calculate profit margins accurately (its what you keep and not what you sell that counts)

>Partnership is a two-way street.

>The budget (Review, objectives, strategy, tactics, implimentation)

>Killer mistakes and fumbling a client crises.
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