Like most people, sales people, for good or bad, come in all shapes and sizes. They come to the party with their own individual personality traits, personal characteristics, and professional abilities. Some are independent, aggressive, and persistence with a very competitive nature. Others or more patient, caring people that value relationships and do not become easily discouraged.
For as long as I can remember, sales talent has been labeled metaphorically, as either a “hunter” or a “farmer”. Not all sales reps are created equally and not every sales person is suitable for every role, but generally speaking, sales reps tend to naturally fall into one style or the other.
Motivated by the trill of the hunt, “hunters” live to uncover and seize new opportunities. They focus on aggressively closing the deal and moving on to capture their next “prey”. Being transactional in nature, sales “hunters” often concentrate their efforts on meeting the lowest common denominator with their prospects. It’s all or nothing, right now, close and move on.
“Farmers” on the other hand, cultivate and nurture customer relationships. With a mindset that is committed to customer satisfaction, “farmers” deploy a more consultative sales process. They focus on understanding the customer’s business, developing in-depth strategic value propositions that effectively fit with the customer’s strategy.
While both sales roles have long played an important part of the success of most sales organizations, as the song goes, times they are a changin’. The buyer seller relationship has changed and no matter what your industry, buyers want more than just great products and workable solutions. They want you to see the situation from their perspective. They want you to understand where they are, how their business works, and the challenges that they face.
Yes, just like the vehicle, combining two different elements of mixed character. The best of the best of both worlds, the “Hybrid” sales professional excels at both hunting and farming.
The “hybrid” sales professional is an independent thinker that employ a customer-centric method of selling, very focused on the needs and wants of both prospects and customers. Even while pursuing new business opportunities, the “hybrid” is a strategic partner that brings value to each transaction. The “hybrid “ can anticipate and adapt quickly to market and customer changes, and he positions his company for both short term and repeat business.
Selling is not passive, but active and increasing sales and profitability is the job of every sales professional. The complexities of selling in today’s environment, requires leveraging the qualities of both the farmer and the hunter. To be the best of the best, the modern day sales professional needs to be an efficient, well-structured, organized, and a disciplined professional.
If you want to contribute value, to your company, customers, and prospects, be a “Hybrid”
Do you agree? Are you a hunter, farmer, or a hybrid?
Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.