Hunter or Farmer?

Hunter or Farmer from McQuaig Psychometric System from HolstHunter or Farmer?

Two common terms in the sales world but are they really different?

We expect the Hunter to be out there energetically chasing new business and helping the business grow. We expect the Farmer to carefully nurture existing business, expand opportunities in more mature accounts and make sure they stay with us.

Needless to say it is important that we understand what is right for our business.

  • Are we new and growing rapidly?
  • Are we mature & selling into a mature market?
  • Are we mature but expanding into new markets with new products?
  • Is our sales cycle long or short?

Whichever it is, we have to get the right sales people to perform the sales role that is most suited to our business.

The ‘Hunter’ and the ‘Farmer’ share common traits such as drive, determination and a clear idea of what their goals are and how to achieve them. However, there are subtle differences, e.g. around tolerance and patience and the degree of drive and determination needed.

As Managers, we need to establish these both in the people we already have and those we recruit. We can do this by setting behavioural benchmarks using the McQuaig Job Survey for the sales roles our business needs.

A personality profile, such as the McQuaig Word Survey, carried out against these agreed benchmarks will uncover the subtle differences between the ‘Hunter’ and ‘Farmer’ to make sure the right people are placed in the right sales roles.

Get this right and you will have highly motivated people in the right roles and a greater chance of achieving commercial success.

About the Author: Richard Yelland is an Associate of the McQuaig Psychometric System (brought to you by Holst). Contact Richard via email at

To find more about the McQuaig Psychometric System click here Call 0203 111 9292 and email



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