This article is based on the latest in a series of podcasts I’m doing with my go-to sales expert, Mark Allen Roberts of OTB Sales Solutions.
Last week, we told you about the fisherman, a new type of salesperson that’s important for success in digital sales. A new type of salesperson doesn’t mean you should restructure your entire sales team, however. Hunters and farmers still play a vital role in growing your business and sustaining that growth.
This week, we’ll put the focus on the hunters in your sales teams and talk about why you might need them now more than ever.
The Hunter – Your Quintessential Salesperson
When people outside of the business world image a salesperson, they usually picture a hunter. They’re the ones who make the job seem exciting.
They’re the type of salesperson you either love or love to hate. They’re witty, charismatic, and incredibly confident. They’re cold calling machines who crush quotas and make great business developers.
That’s why every salesperson you see in a movie is a hunter. It’s easy to make their work look dramatic and exciting.
They also tend to be the lone wolves of the office. They’re self-starters who like to pursue opportunities that interest them. That can make them difficult to manage, but they’re also extremely effective at what they do. It’s often hunters who can close on big contracts that other salespeople assume are unattainable.
What Makes a Great Hunter
Not every salesperson is cut out to be a hunter. Nor should they be – you still need farmers and fishermen.
To spot a hunter, look for the type of salesperson who can always see an upside when they’ve hit a setback, someone who sees every challenge as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.
Hunters are allergic to losing. When they hear “no” five times in a row, they see it as progress toward getting a “yes.” They’re addicted to self-improvement and know how to turn every failure into a learning opportunity.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll waste their time chasing dead-end leads. Hunters aren’t afraid to ask potential customers a lot of very direct and precise questions about everything from budgets to timeframes. As soon as they find out they’re not dealing with a decision-maker, they hand them off to the farmers on your sales team and go looking for a lead they can actually sell to.
If you have a salesperson who is naturally resilient and has a history of overcoming adversity, you have someone you can develop into a hunter.
And yes, you can develop those traits. If you’ve got the right salesperson, hunting is a teachable skill.
The Hunter’s New Secret Weapon
Even a highly skilled hunter won’t be able to get far without the right tools. Sure, they can probably land some customers with nothing but a call sheet and a phone. But they’re going to convert a lot more leads if they have access to the right kinds of data.
Digital marketing tools haven’t just given you new ways to reach customers. They’ve also given you a wealth of new information about potential leads. All that data is the hunter’s secret weapon.
It’s never been easier to learn what a customer needs and what kinds of problems you can help them solve. Give your hunters access to that information and watch them close quickly and close often.
Remember that their specialty is closing. If you’re handing them lots of unqualified leads to sift through, you’ll be wasting their time and costing yourself a lot of potential sales. Use your digital tools to funnel qualified leads to them so they can start working on turning them into new customers.
Now Is the Perfect Time to Hunt – Here’s Why
The building materials industry has been shaken from the ground up. Every company was forced to go digital a lot faster than they had planned. You might be one of the many companies that weren’t ready for that transformation and are now dealing with more orders than you can handle because of it.
It’s tempting to put sales on the back burner while you catch up. But that would be a mistake.
Growth doesn’t go on forever. The orders you’re struggling to fulfill now are going to slow down. When they do, you’ll need a healthy supply of prospects who are ready to buy.
That’s why your hunters are so important right now. They can line up new customers for the future, so you can keep growing and sustain your success.
Right now, there’s a large supply of customers who are all looking for help. Their businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, too. They need the right solution, even if they don’t know what that looks like yet.
Customers are normally reluctant to try new products or switch from their existing supplier. When the industry gets back to normal, many of them will be eager to try something different.
Your hunters are the perfect people to offer them the perfect solution to their new problems.
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