Doug McClure, CEO of Global Investment Strategies, and Ken Cook, VP of Global Investment Strategies, recently shared some of their thinking about client relationships, sales, and the success of Global Investment Strategies.

A question was posed – What are some descriptive words for the types of salespeople organizations look to hire?  Frequent answers include Hunters, Farmers, and Rainmakers.

Doug talked about Hunters.  These are the sales people perceived to be skilled in connecting with new opportunities and closing new business. He described Farmers as being skilled in keeping existing customers happy, and sometimes uncovering new revenue opportunities in the existing customer base.

It seems many organizations are able to find Farmers, the people who can take care of the existing customer base. What is difficult is finding the Hunter, the salesperson who can find the new opportunity.

Doug and Ken agreed that what’s behind this apparent dilemma is the belief that Hunters are a small subset within the salesperson universe. The belief is that a Hunter’s skills are advanced; they’re not afraid to reach out, and rejection does not slow them down.

In old school sales prospecting this was true. Hunters look to sow their presence as far and wide as possible. “The more people with whom I connect, the better the chance an opportunity will come my way.” The connections are always surface level in the beginning. The Hunter tries to assess opportunity as quickly as possible, and if there appears to be none, they move on.

Great Farmers are successful because they nurture relationships. They connect with the client, the client’s team, and they build relationships with all of them. It’s this building of trust that converts first-time clients into long-term clients. Great Farmers listen and generously provide help and solutions. The client feels safer with a great Farmer who takes care of them.

In today’s ultra-connected world though the ability to find and connect is unlimited. What is most important today is the ability to make a connection personal. It’s this blending of the connecting skills with the relationship building skills that personifies the best of the best in sales today. – the Rainmaker.

This is the approach we take at Global Investment Strategies.  As Doug explained:

We are a company that always focuses on the relationship first.  As we often say, we are just one degree of separation from our clients.  They are our friends, and friends of our friends.

Our web of relationships are strategically built. There is thought that goes into the connection making. There is a consideration of the ROI on time and effort. Our relationships span the marketplace at large. They include current clients, past clients, desired clients, and industry influencers. Each relationship has some depth and is at least “business personal”.

Ken elaborated further.  As he explained, when a Rainmaker prospects, they make the connection through people. They know who they want to reach, and they find a way to get with that person through a warm introduction. Instead of overtly selling, they pick up the phone, call someone they know, and arrange an independent validation of who they are. This independent validation or warm introduction pre-establishes at least a minimal level of trust. “He comes recommended, so I’ll at least take the call.”

The bottom line – At GIS we don’t designate between Hunters and Farmers. Rather, our team is focused on the person, the relationship, and what value we can bring, regardless whether the value comes from us or one of our friends.