Monday, November 2, 2009

The "Hunters vs. Farmers" Sales Metephor - It's Dead: Let's Break Out of The Box


Within the MPS Ecosystem, the struggle is moving between back-room infrastructure and field level acumen.

Just like everything else the "experts" attempt to do, we selling professionals, are being classified; boxed in and commoditized.

The questions now are, "What type of person do I need to employ as a MPS Sales Executive?"

"How many appointments should my team generate to reach a close?"

"What is a good monthly revenue/sales/profit number a MPS rep should hit?"

It is apparent that the "copier mentality" is only a fraction of what is needed to bring home MPS Engagements. That is of course, unless you simply start defining your CPC agreements as MPS Engagements. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

And by the way, if your manager/owner/principal is plugging MPS Assessments into your "normal" copier funnel, you know, "15 face to face meetings per week, 5 Demo's, 3 MPS Assessments, 1.5 closes per week", you are far, far removed from a MPS Practice.

Managed Print Services is not a bolt-on marketing scheme.

So, does MPS need Hunters or does MPS need Farmers?

The answer is Both - The answer is Neither.

We need Professionals who can do both; who can do it all.

"Hunter" - Find it, Kill it, move on.

"Farmer" - Move in after the kill, bury it, water it, reap.

It may be just me but I tend to think of selling "farmers" akin to vegetarians.
And as you know, another name for a vegetarian is a "hunter with bad aim..."

Hunter? Farmer? Hello, the 1950's called, they want their sales cliches back...keep this up and the ditto-machine will make a come back.

I don't care what anybody says, real MPS is different - it is a Hybrid process, Hybrid product, Hybrid service, Hybrid business model. How can we expect the same old selling models and formulas to prevail?

How can anyone presume to tell Selling Professionals how to go about selling MPS(Hybrid), if those selling professionals are not Hybrid themselves?

What? Huh? Am I saying that there is MORE to selling than PROCESS?

Am I?

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! Should I feel a slight agitation around my neck? Like John had when Herod came by, ready to fulfill Solome's wish?(don't get it? Go here)

Yeah - sure, sales is more then process, tell that to HP/Xerox - I often wonder how the enterprise clients feel, knowing they are part of a "process". Perhaps they feel like Velveeta?

There are, without fail, little flecks of hope, sparkling in the distance whenever I hear somebody say they are looking to hire folks from outside the industry. People with Insurance or market/advertising sales experience - not a bad start, I understand the premise. But there are challenges here as well.

Any ex-AFLAC agent is going to absolutely Laugh Out Loud when his MPS compensation plan doesn't have monthly residuals for life. The insurance industry invented that model for cryin out loud.

And you are going to tell them that after developing an relationship he gets a one-time hit, a pat on the back and a kick in the buttocks? Really? And this fresh, new, vibrant talent is going to break down your door, demanding a MPS selling position because why?

HA! But encouraging...

This is my thought; don't let "them" define you. Try, endovour, toil against the meat grinder. And the best way to do this is to improve yourself, for yourself not your boss.

Does this mean attending company paid, useless, painful, Death-by-Powerpoint, speeds and feeds sales training classes?


Does this mean picking up a book, if they still print them, about the latest, rehashed from the 80's, business strategies?


Does this mean making every, single plant tour or walk-thru a field trip, learning not only how many output devices exist, but also how they run their business?


Does this mean that everything you see and experience is yours, not your bosses, and improves you as a Selling Professional?


Does this mean that one, tiny atom in my fingernail could be one little...tiny universe?


Disruptive Marketing? Let's try Disruptive Defining.

Here's a message for all of us in the trenches, trying to sell MPS against ALL COMPETITION, including internal competition: The MPS Ecosystem is wide open for excited, daring, bold Selling Professionals - we work for the person in the mirror, not the one scrolling though the Monday morning sales meeting slide deck.

Don't think of yourself as either a "Farmer" or a "Hunter". Be both, Be better, be More.

Copier Sales People Destroy Managed Print Services Opportunities: Daily The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"

Thoughts from the CDA Meeting: Adapt or Die!

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