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Hunters and Farmers

by Randall Craig on April 3, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

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.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)