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When Small Fry Go After Big Fish

A new book offers advice on how small companies can avoid being sunk after they've landed a big contract

There was great celebration at my old company when we closed a deal to provide services to one of the nation's largest telecom companies. But our good fortune almost sank us. I remember feeling as if my team and I had harpooned a giant whale from a rowboat, and we were being dragged around the ocean hanging on for dear life.

A book was recently released based on that same whale-hunting metaphor, and I wish it had been around in the days when my company was struggling to land its catch. Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith's Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company (January, 2008; John Wiley & Sons) is a must-read for any small company trying to land big prey.