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Monday, 3 January 2011

Hunters and Farmers 2013

One of the most popular misconceptions in selling is:
that there are two kinds of Salespeople,
Hunters and Farmers, there are not.


If you believe that there are, and if you put this misconception into practice,
then you are losing much of your Revenue Opportunity and all of your Profits.



e.g.  “New Business Development Executive”
“Hunters both prospecting and
qualifying sales opportunities.”



e.g.  “Account Manager”
“Farmers servicing existing customers, identifying and closing NEW sales opportunities”

This has been used for about 35 years (maybe more).

Anyone that researches Hunters and Farmers Model finds that:

By definition Sales “Hunters” take Business from Sales “Farmers”,

I would like you to think
of the whole idea differently.

It is NOT salespeople who are ‘Hunters’ or ‘Farmers’ with 'Buyers' as “food”.

In fact the TRUE MODEL is that:
BUYERS who are either “Hunters” or “Farmers”
and it is Salespeople who are their ‘meals’!


Do not confuse my use of the word ‘BUYER’ as a “Professional  Buyer” in the Purchasing Department,
I use the word ‘Buyer’ here in the context of ANYONE who a seller may sell to. 
ANYONE. Technical, Financial or User. 

Anyone in the Buying/Decision Making Model whatever their role,
could be either a Hunter or Farmer.

I have researched “Effective” Buyers, in Retail, High Tech, Financial Services and Government.
Using the model of “success” as the best outcome including Product Application, Cost of Acquisition and Ownership, and successful on-going relationship (for the buyer). 

These three criteria determine Buyer Success

  • Cost, Application and Relationship.

Using the terms “HUNTER” Buyer and “FARMER” Buyer is not pejorative it is descriptive,

BOTH of these Buyer Types are doing a great job for their Company (and themselves!).


“Hunter Buyers” are predators; they are always looking for new ‘victims’. 

Their staple diet is inexperienced sales people, who think they have “found” a sale. 

The Buyer commences to eat the ‘Seller’ for breakfast!




“Farmer Buyers” have found their
meal ticket’ and nurture their
Account ‘Manager' with small gifts
(small orders). 
Meanwhile, ‘training’ the Seller to bring
best offer best pricing, special deals and
all in costs’ to “Keep the Relationship”.

When you run a Customer Profitability Analysis across your Customer base,
then some of the poorest performers are:

Long term Customers with a ‘Farmer’ (long tenure Account Manager)

or the new accounts brought in by your ‘Hunter’ sales people on a “Loss leader sale”!

Profitability ‘Pereto’ usually shows that 20% of your Customers are delivering 80% of your profits.  These Top Performing Profit Accounts have a newly appointed “Account Managers”,
or a Margin incentivised Hunter-Gatherer Sales people!

I have carried out extensive Behavioural Analysis on Buyers (3,000) sales calls.

Their Behaviour, verbal behaviour that is, follows clear patterns.

I have devised 4 categories over the years Hunter, Farmer, Poacher and Skinner.

The real question is:
how do I match my Sellers
to these Buyer profiles?

I will continue to Blog on this.

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