Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Whenever I have been to seminars, business schools, companies…I have been told the distinct difference between being a Hunter or a Farmer. For those of you who may not be familiar with the terms, I will begin with a brief description of their meaning:
- Hunter: The type of salesperson focused on getting new customers and business development
- Farmer: A salesperson whose main task is to retain or increase business with known clients (also Key Accounts)
I have always believed that a salesperson in the age of 2.0 has to be both. At the moment, businesses cannot afford to have both profiles. I have worked in companies that had both teams differentiated from one another and they were duplicating costs. Salespeople need to have been well-trained and accustomed to learning from their colleagues everyday and not feel like different species among themselves. A salesperson and “2.0 expert” should be even more accustomed. Using the tools we have around us as well as the new communication strategies that allow us to maintain a direct relationship with our clients, people within the sales department should be just as concerned about getting new customers as they are to maintain the existing ones.
I firmly believe that now is the time to educate future sales people on the two skill sets:
Those who combine the two aspects will be successful,
whereas those who do not will fail.
In a competitive market in a crisis and at a time like this, only the best and those who work hardest will survive. Lluís Font always tells me that “you need to work harder at a time of crisis, those who work the hardest will triumph.” For this reason, we need combine the two competencies and improve them. In order to do this, we must use all of the available tools starting with technology: technology should be our most powerful weapon in order to beat competition. Social networks are a strategy, not just a means to obtain results.
The goal of a salesperson is to achieve results for their company, as well as to give an excellent customer service, because this is the only way to survive. Therefore, when looking for salespeople, businesses, constantly looking at just the profile, should in fact base their search on people, people with competencies, attitudes, qualities and knowledge.
A person’s CV will always be valid but it should outline specific abilities, qualities and now also contacts. Whenever I meet someone and they say, “I know such and such a customer” but then I ask myself, does the customer know them? Not only must you know the customer, they must also know you. It is not enough to just channel orders and not give a personalized service and putting a familiar voice and a face to the names of each customer… The customer will remain loyal when treated well upon receipt of a good service. And in a 2.0 world, this is completely possible.
A customer will always ask to speak with someone who listens; this is very important. The salesperson needs to know how to listen and say what the customer wants to hear. A few years ago, I would hear about how how we should only look after customer who bring us business or those who are not problematic. I have always thought that this was a mistake and the reason behind why things are how they are now. All customers are clients as long as they are paying and they can help the business expand as well as with further sales. These days, customers are scarce and they must be looked after.
At Zyncro, we try to look after our clients to the maximum, offering them a 360º service. We contact them by their own business model (B2B model) via LinkedIn, Twitter…when the sales relationship begins. We recommend they read our blog and find out if the client has their own blog. All that is needed is to search for names and then click the “follow” or “connect” button. From that moment, you form part of their network. You see and learn what that client conveys and the customer usually does the same with your product or business because reciprocity is common in 2.0. Zyncro as a social intranet is a basic tool for sharing information with the different departments dealing with the customer, their needs and the financial position. This way, the strategy is made worthwhile.
The “hunter or farmer” dilemma is a utopia for 2.0 salespeople. We should all be all of the above. Now the dilemma is will we know how to be one? Or will we want to?