In the Case of Hunter vs Farmer, the Farmer Gets a Bad Rap
By: Gary Miller
In decades of recruiting Sales Professionals, I’ve never been asked to find a farmer. “I need a Hunter”, the client demands. “I want someone who opens new doors, get’s new business, closes deals.”, they exclaim. They say they don’t want a farmer who nurses existing accounts…they need growth and gosh darn, a Hunter is going to do it.
Consider the variety of hunters. Some will track big game for days, sometimes they are successful, sometimes not. When they do get the big kill, the take pictures, mount trophies and go home. Some hunters wait in tree stands for something to come by. Some hunt fowl. They wait in the weeds, shoot birds as they fly by, then the dogs go fetch. In some cases, the dogs do the rustling and the hunter just shoots. In prehistoric days, when hunters hunted for sustenance, they’d shoot anything that moved. I don’t knock hunters or hunting, but none of these are effective sales behaviors.
Now consider the farmers. They want to feed many. They will carefully analyze and prepare the soil. (research) They will systematically plant hundred or thousands of seeds, in nice, neat rows. (prospecting) They’ll go back many times to each sprout and nourish, (ask questions), pull weeds, (investigate concerns), fertilize, (sell benefits), and then harvest. (we know what that means). Then they immediately start planning for next years crop.
It’s the systematic and orderly planning, planting and touching of many opportunities that yield an abundant crop.
I’ll take a good farmer on my sales team any day.