Farmers or Hunters?

Farmers or Hunters?


The following article has been used before.  However, Len has updated it and still feels strongly about the comparisons drawn. It’s certainly black and white, but much of it is quite accurate. With a new year upon us and the hope for a successful one, maybe what it takes to be successful can’t be overlooked. No one is perfect and realizing one’s weaknesses and working to overcome them, or at least addressing them, improves the path to success.

For example, no one can disagree that a major step to success is building an inventory of solid listings. Whether you spend the money necessary to build a successful direct mail program or retain a good telephone marketing company, you have to do what it takes to get the listings. No one is perfect. The secret is to make sure what has to be done to be successful gets done.

Successful Business Broker Prospectors: Are They “Farmers” or “Hunters”?

A popular discussion among sales managers is whether their sales force should be “Farmers” or “Hunters.” I have run a successful “Main Street” business brokerage practice for nearly 13 years in Las Vegas, a dog-eat-dog market with 260 people who have the Nevada Business Brokerage Permit. If you want to survive and have a “full plate (i.e. have a full pipeline),” you only want “Hunters” in your office. When you recruit new business brokers, make sure that they can prospect aggressively, have the “Hunter attitude,” and like the taste of “blood (success).”

I have adapted the general “Farmer- Hunter” sales approaches to our industry. The descriptions below synthesizes the differences, as they relate to finding and signing new listings.


Basic Mode = Passive/Reactive

Mind Set =  No one is making money right now. The market will change someday.

Target =  Most any Business. Whatever is the easiest to find; the low hanging fruit.

Marketing Methods = Direct Mail or a Drop Note, Networking, Referrals, Answer Floor Duty Calls

Follow Up = They’ll call me if they want to sell. If they call, I’ll call them back “If I have the time, because you know I’m awful busy right now.”

Effort Expended = The minimum, after all it worked for me in the past.

Overall Objective = See if I can get some listings in this crappy market. Somehow, I’ll make it through. I’ll just cut my personal expenses and weather the storm out. The office expenses are paid for me, so no sweat.


Basic Mode =  Active/Proactive

Mind Set = I don’t care what other business brokers are doing, I’m going to succeed and leave them in the dust. I’m too proud to fail.

Target = Businesses that will sell and businesses that Buyers want. Businesses priced correctly and with Seller carry.

Marketing Methods = Direct Mail and Phone Call to the Owner, Cold Calling From SalesGenie list, Targeted “Sniper” Target Marketing Program, Cold Canvassing

Follow Up = “This is a priority; why else would I spend my time hunting… I smell blood. This is what I live for. I’m going to go out and get this business owner as a client.”

Effort Expended=  Whatever it takes. Where does that guy park? Where does he have lunch? Who do I know who knows him?

Overall Objective = I want to make as much commission as I can, I don’t whine because the market is changing. While others are crying in their beer, I’m out there getting listings. I want that Bonus, too!

Len Krick
Sunbelt Business Brokers
Las Vegas, Nevada