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Hunters and Farmers

by Randall Craig on April 3, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

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Sales managers use an interesting description for their salespeople: they are either farmers or hunters. Farmers sell more by cultivating existing relationships, while hunters sell more by developing completely new relationships.

Most people don’t think of themselves as salespeople, but in truth, everyone has at least one thing to sell: themselves. Whether you are pitching a new concept to your boss, or pitching yourself for a new job, you are definitely in the profession of sales, and you are either a hunter or a farmer.

Farmers build their network by asking their network for introductions; hunters add to their network themselves at association meetings, social events, and trade shows.

Think how you manage your career: are you more one than the other?

  • Farmer: Do you go deeper into your area of expertise, developing a depth of knowledge and valuable experience? Do you look for new tasks closely related to your existing ones? Or with people that you currently have a great relationship with?
  • Hunter: Are you always looking for the next challenge, to develop breadth of knowledge? Do you look for completely new experiences? Do you throw yourself into networking activities, excited about meeting new people?

Not surprisingly, each person really is a bit of both; sometimes we farm, and sometimes we hunt. But unfortunately, we are also creatures of habit, and we gravitate to the mode that is most comfortable.

This week’s action item: Determine whether your comfort zone is more a hunter or a farmer; then look for an activity to strengthen the other skill.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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www.RandallCraig.com

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About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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