I’ve heard a lot about Hunting vs. Farming in sales over the years.
As salespeople, it seems we need to label ourselves. Or someone else needs to label us.
“Are you a Farmer or a Hunter?” “Do you go after the quick win, or do you like building relationships?” You have to pick one, be one. Really? Why? I hate labels. Let’s challenge those labels.
My theory is, in senior living sales, you need to be, a little bit of both a hunter and a farmer. You have to find quick wins (hunting) occasionally for that feel good, slam dunk, I made my quota this quarter type of excitement, in order to sustain yourself as a sales person for the long game (farming). And in senior living, it can really be a LONG game.
Hunting for Quick Wins
As a sales counselor, you need to be able to balance quick wins with the long-term relationships to maintain high occupancy and achieve sales quotas consistently each quarter.
Lengthy sales cycles in the senior living industry drive the necessity to get quick wins once in a while. It’s going to happen. Prospects that are more need-driven, and in crisis mode, need to find a place quickly. Yay hunters!
Farming for Long Term Success
Sales cycles get lengthy when the prospect is making a decision from a position of choice, pleasure, and desire, not need or pain.
Those prospects demand nurturing. They have nothing driving them to make a decision, except maybe, you, and your ability to nurture them over time to move to your community. Go farmers!
Hunting, Farming, and CRM
The average sales counselor in senior living has over 1000 leads in their database. You cannot just hunt; you also have to farm. Success depends on the ability to plant seeds, nurture the relationship, and help it grow in order to sustain the “farm”, aka, your community.
Your CRM should help you do that. If your CRM doesn’t have a lead scoring system; the ability to clearly separate the growing seeds from the ones that are languishing in the dirt; and a well-defined process to improve your efficiency, then you need to rethink your system.
There are too many other CRM options out there today that help sales counselors be effective at time management, efficient at knowing who is raising their hand and who isn’t, and define the process to help you know the difference.
An End to Labels
Maybe it’s time to start acknowledging that in sales, there aren’t just “Hunters” or “Farmers”, but that the farmer IS the hunter. And the hunter works a farm.
At some point, when you’re finished picking off the low-hanging fruit, you’ll have to farm your database for new opportunities. Find new seeds to plant and nurture.
When you do, you should have the necessary tools in your shed to do the job in order to, dare I say “hunt” for the new prospect opportunity out of the dozens you’ve received this month.