Let’s be honest, a career in sales is generally unplanned. We didn’t stand up in front of our Grade 1 class and announce our intentions to be salespeople. We all wanted to be astronauts, doctors, scientists, policeman or veterinarians.
A profession in sales often kind of just happens. We graduate school, don’t know what we want to do or be and get a job selling something. Next thing we know, 30 years has passed.
Now that you are in sales, the question becomes what kind of salesperson are you? Are you born for Business Development/Hunting or Account Management/Farming?
If I were to invite 100 salespeople into a room and I were to say:
- Stand on the left if you like to approach people cold and create relationships from scratch!
- Stand on the right if you prefer to work with people, you already know &/or those that come to you
How many people would move to the left side? Maybe 5 to 10%?
The reality is that most people are born more so for Account Management/Farming & reactive customer service … preferring jobs where interested people approach, call or email them and/or where they can work existing relationships. These roles are often in customer service, account management, project management and retail. This is not a bad thing. It just demonstrates a preferred style of human interaction.
Account Managers/Responders tend to:
- See their primary role as responding to & supporting their customer’s needs.
- Take pride in being well-liked.
- Feel uncomfortable being perceived as too aggressive or pushy
- Wait for people to come to them (phone call, email, etc…)
- Believe that the customer is always correct and their job is to fulfil their needs as the customer sees them.
- Derive job satisfaction and pleasure from providing good customer service.
For the small percentage of the population who are Hunters (like me), they tend to march to a different drum.
- Initiate conversation with anyone and everyone … cold
- Take control of all next steps (“I’ll call you”; I’ll come to you”; I will email you”)
- Love the “hunt” and chase.
- Born self-starters
- View being assertive as an appropriate approach to lead relationships.
- Derive job satisfaction from “making something from nothing”
- Embrace the unknown & are comfortable being uncomfortable.
Why is this distinction important to know?
While both roles are critical for a company, being a Creator is key for the prospecting and new business development function.
All the training in the world, coupled with great tools, an excellent presentation, a motivating compensation package and a supportive manager will still not likely make a Fulfiller comfortable to prospect for new business.
So, before you take on a new business development role, ask yourself … what do you feel more comfortable doing … Hunting for brand new customers or Farming to further grow existing customers (or both)?