The demise of the “hunter”

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“Hunters” who chose to hang on to their old outdated ways of bringing in new business are going to go mighty hungry.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.

Suzanne Burgess

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.

3 thoughts on “The demise of the “hunter”

  1. Pingback: The Demise of the “Hunter” – SalesBytes | B2B Marketing, Sales, & Research Solutions

  2. Jurgen

    I too hate the HUNTER term. I do love the FARMER one as that makes more sense. Planting and nurturing seeds and going back to existing relationships built on trust and respect – that makes sense ans makes selling much easier. Then something wonderful starts to ahppen as well. If you give, without wanting to get, part of establishing trust and respect, yopu get more business from sources you have not even thought possible. THANKS for this one.

    1. Suzanne Burgess, SalesBytes Post author

      Hi Jurgen

      Thanks for your comment – yes, I do like the “Farmer” term however I am thinking that there is a farming aspect to finding brand new business these days too i.e. it’s not just about straightforward cold calling or incoming leads, many salespeople need to create a lead generation strategy (crossover into marketing) – they have to nurture (plant and tend) those leads through a wide variety of “touches” to fruition i.e. becoming a qualified prospect, then align their sales cycle to their buying cycle and ultimately gain a client.

      I haven’t settled on new terms to re-define either role in the new “Sales 2.0” world as yet.


Have a sales point of view?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s