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Hunt, Farm, Or Scavenge, Which Best Sums Up Your Approach To Sales?

Written by: Corey Harris & Julie Traxler, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


When you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner with ten or fewer employees, you’re involved in sales. Whether you’re the person building the sales strategy, making the cold calls, or spending your time prospecting on social media, sales are in your lane. And if you’re like over half of the participants from a Harvard Business Review study, you regret not engaging with customers sooner.

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to have a fear of selling. Bottom line, rejection sucks. Nobody likes hearing “NO”, or even worse a “maybe” and then being ghosted by the prospect, but you’re also not going to die from rejection. The upside? The more you hear no, the less of an impact it has on you.

When it comes to sales, there’s a saying that “you eat what you kill” meaning that the only way you’re going to put food on the table (literally and figuratively) is by bringing it home yourself. And when it comes to small businesses, nothing can be more true. As you know, customers rarely just magically show up in your store, eager to buy whatever you’re selling. They show up because you’ve spent time working on branding and marketing. Products don’t get shipped unless you have processes in place. Customers don’t return unless your product and/or service is worth it and your customer service is good.

Assuming you have all the proper people and processes in place, sales is one of the most critical areas where business owners should be focusing. Unfortunately, sales isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most people. But if you want to be successful in business, it’s a skill that you must learn, and it’s one that works much better if it fits your personality.

For anyone who is thinking that sales isn’t in their blood, you’re probably wrong because there are many different ways to sell. But at SB PACE we keep things simple, so we group sales into three types: Hunters, Farmers, and Scavengers.


The Stereotype

Hunters are your Wall Street movers and shakers from television and movies. They’re the ones wearing expensive suits with slicked-back hair. “No” is not an answer they accept, and they’re glued to their phone keeping up with their leads. They’re never afraid to talk to anyone about anything, and they always have a funny anecdote ready for any situation. They call everybody “champ.”

In Reality

Stereotypes exist for a reason, so there’s some truth to this. Hunters have confidence that allows them to sell and do it well. They aren’t afraid of rejection, and they will talk to everybody. To be a successful hunter, you need to have thick skin, and you need a drive to constantly push your pitch on anyone who will listen. Sales is a skill. Some people are born with it, and some have to learn it. It’s all about consistency in message, and constantly fine tuning your messaging whether it’s in person or online. Hunters find their targets and go after them, relentlessly, and they probably call everybody “champ.”


The Stereotype

Good things come to those who wait, and the farmer is the nice guy in a romantic comedy who’s patiently waiting for the popular girl to notice him. There may be some ups and downs, but everything always seems to work out in the end.

In Reality

Farming is a hard job whether you’re plowing fields or working on sales. In farming, you have to work on many different leads or potential customers at the same time. You have to tend to each one, checking in from time to time to make sure everything is still in order. Just like plants, your potential sales need to be cared for but not smothered. They need room to breathe in order to make their own decisions. In order to be a success, you need to have a strong message and foundation that will keep your potential sales interested, and you need patience for the relationship to grow which means there may be long periods between sales. It may take many weeks or months for something to come out of all of your hard work. And just like real farmers, it’s possible that you can lose part or all of your work to any number of factors. It’s possible you’ll harvest nothing at all.


The Stereotype

Scavengers are your sleazy car salesman or ambulance chasing attorney. Unlike Hunters, they wear cheap suits, call their car their “office,” and cover up their pungent scent with too much cologne. They are desperate for any sale, and they will often take on work that’s not within their wheelhouse or that’s way below them just to make a dollar. Everything they do is for sale.

In Reality

While it’s not an attractive title to have, there’s nothing wrong with being a scavenger when it comes to sales if you do it right. Scavengers are all about taking advantage of any opportunity that comes their way. That doesn’t mean they’re doing work they shouldn’t, but they’re doing work that might not make any sense when viewed together. Scavengers often have many hustles happening at the same time, and they are well-diversified if one business goes under. There isn’t much pre-work needed, and there aren’t many relationships being built. Anything that puts money in the bank account is good enough for them.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of the three types of sales techniques or personalities. If you aren’t great at sales or it’s not something you’ve done before, take some time to think about what your goals and personality are. People can see right through fake sales pitches if you aren’t a true or trained hunter. Farming takes time and patience which isn’t a virtue we all have. Scavenging is a true hustle (or three), and it may seem a little chaotic to the outside observer. The important part is to understand where you fit and to get out there and sell.

As entrepreneurs, we should all be able to sell. Even if we never have to make a cold call or close a deal. Understanding why your customers want to do business with you will help you improve every area of your business, but most importantly it will help you and your team become better at serving customers. And that’s the reason we should be in business, to serve the customers.

So, are you a hunter, a farmer, or a scavenger?

Connect with Julie Traxler and Corey Harris on their LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter or visit their website.


Julie Traxler and Corey Harris, Executive Contributors Brainz Magazine Julie and Corey started their company, SB PACE, due to the 2020 pandemic to assist small businesses. Since then, they have expanded into helping start-ups, companies looking to improve, and small business mergers and acquisitions. They wrote the book on small business disaster preparedness and continued to help small businesses by leveraging their knowledge and experience working for Fortune 500 companies and Big Four consulting firms. Julie and Corey are the experts small business owners turn to when looking for sustainable, long-term success.



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