As salespeople, as business owners we decide how we will source our prospective customers. We look to others in our industry for clues on what works, we try a variety of approaches, sometimes we just do as much activity as possible and cross our fingers. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t, in good times our strategy and marketing plan matters less, in tough times it matters even more.
Regardless of where you are in your business consider what you are doing from two perspectives…. hunting and farming.
As caveman can attest to, hunting is hard work – it is a daily activity where you are personally engaged in finding your next potential customer, and walking with them through the sales process. You are actively hunting each and every day making one on one contact. Things like cold calling, bold calling, most networking and direct mail are examples of hunting. The upside to hunting is that there is very little mystery between the person you meet and the sale.
The flip side to hunting is farming. Farming is more about leverage, about planting the seeds in the most productive of places and then nurturing them along the way. Farming often has a longer lead-time and can be more difficult but not impossible to link the activity to the specific sale. Things like speaking engagements, advertising, strategic alliances, or newsletters are a few examples.
There is no magic formula. It’s about employing multiple marketing strategies that work for your business, some long term, some short term, some highly leveraged and others less so.
Your challenge: Look at the lead generation activities in your business, are your lead generation activities hunting or farming, is the mix working for you or is it time to adjust the mix.