This morning I read an article by Clate Mask about Hunting vs. Harvesting. In the article, Mask talks about businesses often going hunting for new business rather than harvesting what they have grown. Â The idea is you choose what you want to grow, where you should grow it, and then you tend it until it bears fruit. Â A long term strategy for sure but at some point it pays off more consistently than hunting. Â That isn’t to say hunting isn’t a good idea as well, but you get the metaphor.
When I began my business, I embraced this philosophy whole-heartedly. Â I am not a good hunter. Â I don’t like the uncertainty, the failure/misses, or the need to put myself out there like that. Â Coincidentally, my clients aren’t either. Â They don’t like the hunt. Â So we build programs that are more about the harvest. Â Being a gatherer has its advantages – people remember you longer and with more warm feelings if you are a gatherer. Â I know this is true because in the last two weeks I have run into people I have been cultivating for 6 months who are now ready to do business. Â They’ve gotten my newsletters, phone calls, emails and blog articles and now are ready to go. Hooray!
So when I say to be a gatherer – here’s what I recommend:
Know what kind of fruit you want – what kind of business would be best or second best?
Know where the fruit is – know which prospects could give you the type of business you want.
Provide the water and sunlight to the fruit trees – Give them vital information for their business.
Check on the plants – Contact your prospects to see how things are going. Â Have a good reason to be checking though!
Be ready to harvest when the fruit is ripe – There is nothing worse than being ready to buy and not being able to for some reason. So when the prospect is ready, be available. Â Answer the email or phone call, schedule the meeting, whatever it takes.
The tasks involved in cultivating plants is the same as managing prospects. Â Be sure you have the tools you need and backups to help if the market conditions don’t provide what is needed. Â After all, slow and steady often wins the race!
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