What does Michael Jordan have to do with prospecting?

Michael Jordan is arguably considered the best basketball player. Ever. 6 time NBA Champion. 5 time NBA MVP. 14 time NBA All-Star. I could go on and on about his accomplishments. But I won’t.

You may or may not know that Michael Jordan tried being a professional baseball player but was not successful at it.

Does that diminish Jordan’s basketball accomplishments? Absolutely not.

How does this apply to sales and prospecting?

Hopefully you’re familiar with the term “Sales Hunters” vs. “Sales Farmers”.

If not, here’s the difference:

Sales Hunters open doors with new prospects and accounts, convert them into clients, and moves on to new business.

Sales Farmers deepen the existing relationship with the client and may up-sell and cross-sell the client and do everything to make the client satisfied to maintain the account.

In sales you need both. For small companies, mine included, the sales rep may have to play both roles in the beginning. I’m okay with that.

When it comes to setting up sales appointments, some people are really good at getting into the door and setting up a meeting. They like to look for the needle in the haystack, prospect, and make the first connection. Nothing wrong with that.

Other sales reps don’t like to cold call or prospect. They are more comfortable with selling and presenting and closing the deal. Nothing wrong with that either.

If a rep is great at prospecting and setting up meetings but not closing deals, that person might be more ideally suited for an inside sales role.

If a rep is not good at opening doors, not effective when first approaching potential clients and struggles getting key meetings with decision makers but solid at converting prospects into clients, he or she might be best suited to be an outside sales rep.

Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball player in history.He was a good athlete. He wasn’t so successful at baseball. His gift set obviously was more suited for basketball. Was his legacy tainted? I doubt it. He excelled at basketball because his skills were more suited to that sport.

Evaluate your team. Are they hunters? Farmers? A combo of both? Are a few of your reps not excelling because their in the wrong “sport”?