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Pending Business: Hunters and Farmers

| June 28, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — “We are farmers!” Come on you can sing the jingle out loud.

Fun stuff. But the words may have a different meaning to sellers.

There is a trend I’m seeing with many radio sellers today and you may be falling into it. It’s a work pattern that caps your potential.

Have you attended a sales training seminar designed to help you identify the various personalities of buyers? All that may change with our current dependence on digital and online communications. Keep in mind that training seminar was developed when in-person sales calls were the way of the sales world. A major university-based seminar I attended during management training focused, however, on the seller. The concept was that there are two basic categories of sellers: “hunters” and “farmers.” Sound familiar?

The “hunter” personality enjoys the prospecting, contact, engagement, in essence the outright pursuit and negotiation of the deal. Sellers who fall into the “hunter” category are leaders in new business development, concept package sales, and closing. Paperwork, copy follow up, even collections are more tedious tasks that often need backup.

The “farmer” personality will be stronger at keeping current relationships fluid. Servicing current advertisers and easier legacy renewals are the farmer’s number one priority. Paperwork, copy, files are always up to speed. The “farmer” will go to the well, before venturing into the sales jungle. The “farmer” may lead your team on account retention.

So where does your style fall on this seller spectrum? Do you lean too heavily to one side? Is your approach properly balanced?

Current ad sales projections for the second half of 2021 are highly optimistic with 2022 forecasted to be even better. Do you need a style makeover? Let’s check:

  • New Business – How much time do you set aside for prospecting and development? Is new business development a targeted priority or is it a pushed to the side hurdle? Talk to your manager about how to turn this hurdle into a smoother work process.
  • Concept Package Sales – This will become more and more important to radio sales teams as lineups and CPM vary.
  • Renewals – Take nothing for granted. The most efficient sale starts with the business you have booked.
  • Relationships – Needs change, buyers move on, make sure you are plugged into your business base.

As a sales professional you owe it to yourself to keep asking “What can I do better today?”

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy.  Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

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Category: Sales