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How You Can Be More of a Hunter in Sales

I spend time with salespeople and sales organizations. I live with them. So I am a bit of a sales anthropologist. By watching and participating in the culture, you get to understand the culture. Here are a couple ideas about how you can be more of a hunter.

Spend Your Time Prospecting

Hunters develop new opportunities. They aren’t content farming opportunities in their existing client accounts, even if that is part of their job duties. Because they enjoy creating new opportunities, they spend their time prospecting and developing those opportunities.

Hunters are fearless when it comes to prospecting. They have the confidence to pick up the phone and call the contacts up and down their dream client’s organizational chart. They don’t need an introduction, an opening, or a referral. They have no fear whatsoever of picking up the phone and making cold calls.

Hunters, as the name suggests, spend their time hunting. They spend their time prospecting, opening new relationships, and creating new opportunities.

If you want to move along the continuum in the direction of hunter, you have to make the decision to spend more of your time prospecting, and you have to make the decision to make your calls.

But this alone won’t a hunter make. There’s more.

Ask for the Commitments that You Need

Hunters are fearless when it comes to asking for and obtaining the commitments that they need to open an opportunity and to move it forward. They know the outcome that they need from every engagement with their dream client, and they ask for that commitment, whether it’s access to other stakeholders, information, or a commitment to advance the opportunity.

This ability to ask for commitments allows the hunter to move from commitment to commitment, steadily moving an opportunity forward. This is why they tend to have fewer stalled opportunities clogging up their pipeline; they know what they need and they make the ask.

If you want to be more of a hunter, you have to ask for the commitments you need.


You never have to remind a hunter to ask for the business. They ask.

Hunters make sure that their dream client knows that they want the business. I believe that one of the reasons that hunters are so successful is that their dream client really wants to give the business to someone that really wants the business. By continually asking for an order or asking for the business, the hunter makes it clear that they are confident, that they care, that the business is important to them, and that they want it.

Softer salespeople believe that asking for the business directly would make them “too salesy” and believe instead that they should give their dream client the space to make the decision on their own. They are often disappointed when the sale goes to a competitor. The hunter sells until the whistle blows.

If you want to be more of a hunter, you have to keep asking for the business.

These ideas (and those that will follow) will help you be more of a hunter.


What makes a hunter a hunter?

Why makes hunters more successful at acquiring new opportunities and new clients?

What do hunters do that other people could learn to do that would improve their results?

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  • Jim Duster

    I like your first 3 ideas about Hunters = prospect, ask for commitments and always be closing.  One other trait I find in hunters if focus on zebras (and your safari picture at the top of your post reminds of it.  Hunters don’t waste time and focus on any potential prospect in any potential business with any potential title.  They research who will buy what they sell, down to industries, titles of the buyer roles, and then they use a sniper attitude to go after those particular prospects.  Zebra hunting saves time and gets you to quota quicker.

  • Mefabry

    To me hunters are highly motivated people who understand that selling is a science, not an art. Hunters are those who are driven by compensation plans that reward hunting for new business. They are people who understand or are taught that selling is a numbers game and to be successful and make money, a good part of their job is to set aside hours of their day making calls. They are people who get help in developing a value proposition that quickly gets the attention of the person they are calling and is continuosly tailored to the businesses that they are calling into. They are what in the old days they we’re referred to as “A” players. Additionally they are in sales envionments that works with them and coaches them on how to optimize their hunting activity.

  • James ‘HUNTER’ sloan

    I think hunters  are the best sales people , hunt, hunt, hunt, grrr, grr,grr, go get your prey, sell hard, play hard ,hunt HARD. Go get them tiger with the hunter aproach. Grrrrhhh!

  • Rubin Goff

    I appreciate the article because I am a hunter. There is one thing the article did not mention that I will. A hunter needs ammunition. The only way to get it is from the prospect. Ask the questions that will lead to them explaining what their needs are. Their needs are your bullets.
    If you listen to their needs you gain their trust and then your recommendations for what they will be purchasing will be appreciated. Now that you have the bullets you can fire back the problems, the understanding of ther problem and why your companys solution is the best solution for their problem.
    As a “salesperson” I don’t like the average salesperson. Too quick in assuming what my needs are and won’t be quiet long enough for me to explain. Be a consultant.
    Embrace my input and collect trophies.
    Go Tigers!