If you cold call… you hunt.
If you cold email… you hunt.
If you lead sales meetings and close deals… you hunt.
If you do prospecting… you gather.
If you follow-up with interested leads… you gather.
You’ve heard sales likened to hunting before. That’s nothing new. But you’ve probably never heard that salespeople are like hunter-gatherers.
So today I’m going to share about the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and how it plays perfectly into the day-to-day of B2B sales.
Understanding this key concept is absolutely vital to sales success. And the salesperson who adapts accordingly will reap the greatest rewards. This is your chance to become the pride of your tribe.
What’s Hunting-gathering Have to Do With Sales?
The hunter has to find prey, track it down, and bring in the kill. In a similar way, the B2B salesperson has to find a target, track it down, and close the deal.
A great hunter has mastered the element of surprise and is willing to spend hours — even days — in the backcountry going after big game that will feed not only them, but their whole family.
Similarly, a great salesperson is willing to get up early and start making calls while most of the world thinks it’s OK to loaf around, sip their coffee, and watch Good Morning America. (By the way, this is never OK.)
The “gatherer” mentality enters the equation because sales isn’t all about hunting with a sharpened spear. Sometimes we have to gather the low-hanging fruit around us.
At times we’ll have to forage around camp to pick berries and find other ways to fill in the gaps. This foraging in B2B sales often looks like following-up with prospects, replying to emails, and performing other sales activities that aren’t cold outreach.
Hunting and gathering are equally important. And they really are two-sides of the same coin.
Below I’ve outlined some important ways B2B salespeople are like hunter-gatherers. You can start by adopting this mindset today and start moving in the right direction for ultimate sales success.
Finding and qualifying leads: The hunter-gatherer must constantly be on the lookout for food and water. They know how to identify game that’s worth going after (because there’s opportunity cost!). Salespeople must also be selective and identify their ideal buyer to call. Tracking down suitable prey for the hunter-gatherer — or “prospecting” for the B2B salesperson — is both an art and a science. The better you understand your industry, your market, and your buyer, the more successful you’ll become.
Building relationships: The hunter-gatherer, while fiercely independent in some ways, also relied heavily on their family and tribe to survive. In the same way, your close-knit relationships in sales are with your customers, prospects, and a select few colleagues. Building healthy and authentic relationships will serve you for life. Contrary to popular belief, the “lone wolf” will never fulfill his potential. That’s why hunter-gatherers traveled in small packs with people they trusted.
Closing deals: The precise moment the arrow leaves the bow is the moment of truth. It’s the moment the hunter-gatherer learns whether or not he’s eating tonight. He must first close the deal before he can bring back the deer or elk and celebrate with his people. The better prepared he is for this moment of truth (that is, the more practice he has shooting arrows), the better he’ll perform. In the same way, you must work on perfecting your closing techniques. Otherwise, your efforts will have been for nought.
The Better the Hunter, the Bigger the Game
The best hunter-gatherers used different tools and techniques to acquire food. They used spears and arrows, they trapped, deployed nets, you name it. So must YOU have an arsenal to work with!
You can’t afford to be a one-trick pony in sales these days. It’s crucial to round-out your selling skills and keep your weapons sharp. This could mean learning cold-emailing strategies to supplement your outbound calling. It could mean honing your social media chops to attract your audience. It could mean learning better list-building and prospecting methods. It could also mean putting in the reps and working on your tonality so that prospects hang on your every word (and ultimately buy from you!).
The point is, you have to work daily to improve your skills. Sure, you could be a mediocre hunter, only capable of bringing back rabbit and other small game to camp. But you and I both know you were made for more. Why not set your sights on the trophy elk and the buffaloes of the plains? The good news is — there are fewer people in the world with the courage to go after big game like that. But a select handful of hunters will take them down and eat like KINGS. I’m sure you’re tracking with me here.
Not Subsistence, but SUCCESS!
This is where the similarities diverge. Hunter-gatherers were more or less all about “subsistence.” The definition of subsistence is “the action or fact of maintaining or supporting oneself at a minimum level.” And it made sense for them; after all, they didn’t have banks (or even refrigerators!) to store away their bounty. But we do. So we don’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck like the hunter-gatherers did. Nor should we! “Maintaining or supporting oneself at a minimum level” shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary. If it is, you’re lost in life. But thankfully there’s hope.
And this is where mindset plays a pivotal role in your B2B sales life… and your life in general. Tony Robbins famously said, “You don’t always get your goals, but you always get your standards.” And I truly believe this. If your standards are low, your sales numbers and commissions will be lacking. Change this poverty mindset to an abundance mindset, raise your standards, and you’ll raise not only your lifestyle but also your impact on the world. And that’s not even to mention the legacy you’ll leave behind.
So with that — I hope I’ve convinced you to become a better hunter-gatherer in this thrilling world of sales.
Until next time…