Sales can be tricky for business. Do you ever wonder how many sales opportunities never see the light of day because of a business miscommunication?  Somehow, part of a message in the sales process gets translated incorrectly. Because something was not clarified or the right follow-up question was not asked, the sales process stops and opportunities get lost in translation. How many times have you thought something just didn’t add up and you say “We should look into what happened with that sales opportunity”, but never do?

If you are like some of the best companies operating today, you will have a “hunter” on your sales team.  Just like a junk-yard dog, they will not let any mistake in communications get by them. They instinctively know if something in the sales process doesn’t make sense.   If someone says something that doesn’t make sense, they confront it head on and question everyone’s action that was involved in the  miscommunication until there is clarity.  Unfortunately, this is not the norm.

These focused and extremely hungry pedigrees are true salespeople. They are hungry for the sale and go in for the kill.

If you don’t understand the hunter sales mentality, you may want to start looking for a Head of Sales.  Many companies hire excellent employees but when it comes to sales it can be tricky.  You have to understand the “hunter” and “farmer” sales personalities. If you are a company that gets a lot of repeat business, you may be able to get away with a salesperson who can continue to nourish a relationship that generates new business year after year. However, like most businesses, you are looking for new sales opportunities for which no previous relationship is in place.  This requires sales people that posses a “hunter” mentality. The hunter is out there constantly chasing new prey. They size up their target to determine when to go in for the kill-the sale. New ideas are being planned in their head as they set up the first approach as they are ready for follow-up should the initial plan fail. This can happen again and again so deals can be won.

The hunter will have ideas on how to resize, re-position, and re-approach their sales targets over and over again. They are persistent. They can be annoying to those around them who may not understand their personality or their hunter process. Getting others, who don’t understand sales, to understand their sales strategy can be challenging.

How can you assess if you have a hunter on your team?   Here are a few observations to make:

They don’t like to follow the rules
They are change agents
They are always working on something new
They ask the  operations  staff a lot of questions
They understand the industry
They are leaders not followers
You don’t have to chase them down for answers

If you are responsible to ensure your company has a proper sales team, you will hopefully have a hunter mentality yourself.  If not, then consider some of the personality traits mentioned above.  Prepare questions and see if the responses you get during an sales candidate interview lead you to identify these characteristics in a candidate.  Interview candidates who have the business skills you don’t have so that they compliment you rather than duplicate you.  Two farmers are great if there is a lot of tilling to do. If not you will need to hire that hunter!    Happy Hunting. Have a great week!

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