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Are You a Hunter? Farmer? Trapper?

by Bill Cates
3 Sales Strategies: Hunter, Farmer or Trapper?

During a coaching session, Daniel and I were talking sales strategies and he asked me, “Bill, when it comes to looking for new clients, are you hunter or a farmer? Do you constantly hunt (prospect) for new business or do you just farm the clients you currently have?”


I thought about this for a minute and replied, “Actually, I’m more of a trapper. I like to apply the principles of value-centered marketing so people see me as a resource and come to me for further assistance.”


So which of these sales strategies are best for you? Perhaps some combination of all three?


When It Comes to Sales Strategies, Are You a Hunter, Farmer or Trapper?


Speaking of sales strategies, one of my early mentors in business told me, “All sales and no marketing leads to burn out. All marketing and no sales leads to a failed business.”


The Hunter is constantly on the lookout for new prospects. He/she probably goes to a lot of networking events, joins other types of organizations, uses LinkedIn and other appropriate social media to reach out to people, and probably asks for referrals on a regular basis.


An effective Hunter will track down every lead to its logical conclusion. A less effective hunter will often give up with any sign of the trail getting cold. They sometimes miss opportunities that just take more time and more application of the next two concepts to bring to fruition.


The Farmer is most comfortable fertilizing and watering existing relationships. He/she may have built a successful business with clients gained when another rep leaves the firm or clients that are the result of internal referrals from another part of their company.

An effective Farmer is very client service oriented and won’t run away from problems. A less effective farmer often misses the low hanging fruit of referrals and introductions and other ways to go deeper with a client for more problems to solve and, therefore, more revenue opportunities.


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The Trapper is all about client attraction through better marketing. He/she has developed a number of value-added tools to send to prospects, to push out on social media, and often works to establish a high-profile reputation in a target market. He/she has also developed a finely tuned way to communicate his/her value – in both concise and longer-form methods. For example, The Trapper has a client-centric LinkedIn profile that tells a good story and pulls people in to their message.


The effective Trapper has probably embraced the power of SEO (search engine optimization), YouTube videos, creating great content, and is adapt at generating various forms of social proof (such as testimonials and case studies). The less effective trapper may be weak with expressing their value and is often lacking a way to compel (move) people along in the “sales process.”


Your Most Effective Sales Strategies – The Magic is in the Mix

As you have probably already guessed, every industry, business model, and personal style will ultimately dictate the right blend of these three personas.


I recommend these three Action Steps:

  1. Get clear on your current blend of the above sales strategies.
  2. How might shifting the percentages result in more high-level activity and, ultimately, more new ideal clients?
  3. Get to work on it! Ideas are worthless without action.

Referral Coach