Consider the difference between the two terms: sales hunter and sales farmer. A sales hunter is one who opens new markets and finds new customers. A sales farmer spends their time cultivating existing customers to allow for even more sales.
Although there is nothing wrong with being a sales farmer, in this current economy, I’d like to suggest that focusing your efforts on farming can be a road to failure. Many people believe that when times get tough, they should focus on maximizing business from existing customers because it’s far cheaper. I do agree, but if you concentrate your efforts on existing customers, you become totally reliant on their success for your success. When you factor in the current state of the economy, if you’ve spent your time only cultivating your sales with existing customers, you’ll find yourself at risk if one of them goes out of business. This is why I’m so committed to the need to be the sales hunter, especially in economic times like this.
To make the shift, your main objective is to determine how much of your time should be divided between being a sales hunter and a sales farmer. Although there aren’t any firm rules, I believe that the average sales person spends far less time than they should being a hunter, if for no other reason than being a farmer is easier. Schedule some quality hunting time in and see what works for you.