Hunting Farmers and Farming Hunters

One of the common missteps in sales organizations is putting people in roles they aren’t well suited for and thus fail to meet their numbers. The most common mistake of all is not understanding that some people are “Hunters” while others are “Farmers”. Both personality types are needed to build a long-term healthy business, however placing Hunters in Farming roles and visa versa is a costly mistake. Here’s a few indicators of what type of individual you are dealing with

The following are signs that someone is a Hunter vs. a Farmer

  • It is all about The Sale vs. It is all about The Relationship
  • Consultative vs. Cultivate
  • Risk Taker vs. Risk Adverse
  • Obtaining vs. Growing
  • Independent vs. Collaborative
  • Individual Selling vs. Team Selling
  • Trusted vs. Trusted Advisor
  • Drive vs. Passion
  • Close vs. Build
  • Prospecting vs. Mining
  • Competitive vs. Loyal
  • Networking Animal vs. Customer advocate
  • Prefer no existing accounts vs. Prefer existing book of business
  • Money motivated vs. Recognition motivated
  • Wants a high variable comp vs. Wants a high base
  • Order maker vs. Order taker
  • Selling expertise vs. Domain or Product expertise
  • Gets to decision makers quickly vs. Creates champions
  • Effectively deals with rejection vs. Wants Praise
  • Acquisition vs. Development

When we help optimize a sales organization, we help existing organizations put the right people in the right positions. With emerging or growing organizations, we use a set of interview questions to ferret out where someone is best positioned to succeed. It’s just as hard to hunt with farming skills as it is to farm with hunting skills.


3 Responses to “Hunting Farmers and Farming Hunters”

  1. Networked Journalism Summit » Blog Archive » Five Fatal Flaws that are killing local Internet plays Says:

    […] Farming Hunters. I have blogged previously about Farming Hunters and Hunting Farmers which is a common mistake present in sales organizations. That is, people who are skilled at […]

  2. Tom Schaber Says:

    This is a great post! Let’s hear it for hunters! I am convinced that the reason why so many smaller companies fail is because they don’t know the difference between hunters and farmers. The two kinds of reps are wired differently, to say the least. I’ve also seen sales cultures go south because the two are mixed in the same sales force. The look on the hunter’s face is priceless when they listen to a farmer describe how they sell.

    I make it a habit to send my book to other bloggers who have a lot to offer the social media. I’d like to do that for you as well. The book is titled “The Road Warrior’s Guide to Sales Management: Taking the Stress out of Managing Salespeople.”

    Forward your address and I’ll get it in the mail before the end of the week.

    Tom Schaber

  3. My site. Says:

    Look at this….

    Sweet site dude, check out mine when you get a min……

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