Before You Begin Hiring
you've probably unwittingly created Farmers. These Farmers don't break
new ground by getting new clients--they just till the same old soil
(already existing clients). And what's really bad about that is that
once someone becomes a Farmer they get so comfortable that it's
extremely difficult to change most of them back into the Hunters they
were meant to be.
You see, Farmers know all their clients well and are like old friends
with them. Farmers don't have to do the difficult work of convincing
total strangers to trust them enough to become clients and friends, but
even though they would make much more money for themselves--and you--if
they did, the money they get from Farming, which is like a salesperson's
"busy work", is just good enough in exchange for being allowed to stay
in the comfort zone. Indeed, Steel even acknowledges that there's a
place for Farmers in the sales force of most organizations: they keep
the existing clients very happy and that brings in a certain dependable
But that can't be permitted to be good ENOUGH for everyone or for your
It should be clear that in order to push the right salespeople to become
Hunters (and you need some of these, for sure), every new salesperson
you hire should be fully expected to: seek out new prospects; develop
new relationships; and maintain the status quo with existing clients at
the very same time that they are bringing in new business.
And--that's just about ALL that these salespeople should be doing, all
the time. And one of the best things to help free them from Farming
tasks or make them flow faster and easier is the tried and true friend
of business: technology. Your salespeople should be equipped with all
the latest and greatest tech that can contribute to their having more
time on their hands so that they can use it to do more selling. It's
"work smarter, not harder" put in motion.
And there's a side benefit to hiring and cultivating Hunters: they will
either inspire or guilt-trip everyone else into working harder through
their attitude. From out of the ashes of the Cain and Abel style
friction that will arise will come a phoenix of productivity. Give the
new Hunters old, underworked accounts; give them powerful titles when
they earn the rights to them; and most of all, deliver on every
incentive you promise and deliver it on time.
This is the beginning of how you let your sales force bring in more
business than you can handle.