I’ve always been uncomfortable with the word “hunter” when referring to salespeople. The connotation of the word implies that there must be prey. Which again implies a win/lose situation i.e. the salesperson wins at the prospect’s expense – literally. This might have been true in the old world of selling when hardcore salesmen (no women allowed in those days) went out to track down unarmed customers. Customers who didn’t really need what they were selling but were bedazzled into buying it because of the relentless pressure and persuasive fast-talk salespeople had been trained into. But today, if you try to hunt a prospect down, you’re more likely to come up against someone with a more powerful weapon. That weapon is information.
Prospects are extremely well-informed about their needs and already know what options are out there and how your product or service stacks up. Many will have already googled your company and perhaps even your name before you arrive for that first appointment. (That’s why those er … interesting party photos on Facebook ain’t such a good idea).
Prospects are attending training about professional procurement in growing numbers. I sat in on one such programme a long time ago. It was quite an eye-opener in terms of just how knowledgeable buyers are about sales methodologies. “Closing techniques” got quite a laugh.
“Hunters” who chose to hang on to their old outdated ways of bringing in new business are going to go mighty hungry. Sincerity, authenticity and expert knowledge of your business sector and of course, up to date selling skills are what’s required.
Here’s to the final demise of the word ‘hunter” when it comes to describing us sales folks.
PS – I’ve tried to find the source of the lion pic attached that was forwarded by a friend but to no avail – for now I’ll credit it to “anon” and keep searching.