Hunters and Farmers- two kinds of salespeople © 2008

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Hunters and Farmers- two kinds of salespeople © 2008

Category : Blog , The Right People

Sales people tend to fall in to one of two main categories that I have identified.
On the one hand are the Hunters.

Hunters are in it for the kill. They are always smelling fresh prey, they are always tracking, sniffing, looking, following their leads and finding prey. Their thrill comes from the kill. The real good ones want to dress their kill and preserve it to get the most meat (revenue) out of it and they work very hard to do that. They follow-up with their customers and stay connected to them. But the minute those customers stop buying don’t look for the Hunter to hang around too long. Always on the hunt, the scent of the next prey is always present or if heshe finds fresh tracks (leads) you can be sure the Hunter will be after it. Now I wrote a second ago that the good ones will close well, and take care of the customer, but most hunters aren’t very good at follow-through and the details of “after the sale service” are not something they care about generally. They don’t stay in one place too long either. They tend to burn out or move on to fresh territory. The Hunter has many customers and not all of them are high quality.

On the other hand are the Farmers

Farmers are careful to produce a harvest. They focus on the herd, and field, and are always looking for the best yield in their harvest. They invest a lot of care in the relationship part of selling and are beloved by their customers. They are trusted. Their customers want to give them all the business, but the buyers have strict policies against that. They nurture and cultivate their customers . They are close personally with their customers and really care about their businesses. The bad Farmers don’t close the sale well. They are mostly take orders. The really bad ones aren’t good at administration either. The great Farmers get high quality customers and become the “vendor of choice” with those customers. The great farmers really look for customers who match a specific profile and seek to develop “business intimacy” with those customers and long term mutually beneficial relationships with them. The bad Farmers think customer service is a subsititute for a closing. “They’ll come around, we just have to wait,” they’ll say. But if they say that normally, you have a problem. Good Farmers are intentional and they expect more business and will move on from a beloved customer who isn’t producing. The Farmer has a lot fewer customers, but all good Farmers are high producing.

I have a client with one of each. Their revenue is almost the same. Surprised?

Regardless of the type of sales person you select, you must still match them to the three key criteria:

Competence- they can do the job

Character- they think like you

Chemistry- you like them personally, and can relate to them.

For more on that click