When you think of traditional types of sales people, generally there are two categories that come to mind; a Farmer or a Hunter. The Farmer works with accounts that are current users and attempts to grow the business over time. A Hunters job, is to seek out and find those non-user / new accounts and slay the unsuspecting prey.
Both are honorable sales roles and both play a very important role in growing sales revenues. However, with technology, both of these roles have become more and more challenging. Recent surveys have indicated that most buyers today have anywhere from 70-80% of the information required to make an informed decision before a sales person is even contacted. It seems that, at least in the initial stages of the sales process, the salesperson has been replaced by technology. Search engines have become the new normal and it many cases salespeople are not warranted, needed, or even wanted.
Companies can, with a few clicks of the mouse, find what they are hunting for. So if as sales professional you want to compete, if you want to be invited to the party, you must become the HUNTED! You may find this hard to believe, but there are people and companies looking for you. Maybe their not looking for you specifically, but their looking for people who know what you know.
Pretend for a moment that you are a prospective client for the product that, you as a sales person, sell. Now, do a google search as if you are interested in acquiring information about who to contact. Does your name appear on the first page? How about on the second page? Does it show up at all? Ok, not so easy is it. Let’s try something simpler. Lets assume that someone referenced your name, and you are the same client, now do a search on your name. When the results come back, is it actually you or just someone else with the exact same name? Chances are that unless you have a totally unique name or you are way ahead of the game, you didn’t appear on the first two pages of your search.
Time to face reality, it’s be found or be gone!
Dismiss it if you will, but business/social media sites will determine your success in the future. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter; even Personal Websites and Blogs need to be incorporated into your strategy as they leave “digital footprints” that allow the hunter to find you. The dynamics of sales have changed. In today’s new world order, business and social media sites should be thought of and considered new “tools of the trade” for today’s sales professionals. These tools will complement and even enhance, traditional sales approaches. Although they won’t totally eliminate the sales process, they must play an increasingly larger part in your sales efforts if you are to become the hunted.
What is your strategy for becoming the hunted and not the hunter? When prospective clients go hunting, will they find YOU? Are you willing to invest the time to learn how to effectively use these new technology tools?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.