Traits of a Hunter: Finding Your Next “Killer” Salesperson

By: Steve Schaffer, July 30, 2015

There are many salespeople out there, but not all have that “killer instinct” that business leaders often desire.

Some salespeople are naturally good at working with an existing client base, looking for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities within developed relationships.

Others may be better suited for long sales cycles that require patience, focus and structure. These people are careful not to let any details fall through the cracks.

And then you have those people who truly love “the hunt” for new clients. When looking at the makeup of a salesperson with a real ‘hunter’ mentality, there are some common traits that are critical to success…

  1. Killer instinctHunters have that natural “fire in their belly.” When these people wake up each day, they rekindle a natural, innate drive to succeed. Their ambition to be the best drives their results and is ever-present. They tend to set very strong personal goals, have confidence in their abilities, and bring a high level of energy to their daily performance.
  1. Hunters create value and demand. Successful hunters understand that they are not simply fulfilling demand but are creating a demand for a particular product or service. They possess the skills to communicate the value of their products/services and deliver solutions to ease the unique ‘pain’ of each prospect.
  1. Hunters take control of the sales process. This is a critical trait for successful hunters because it is easy to get caught up in the prospect’s process instead of their own. Taking control takes confidence, assertiveness and a healthy amount of influence. Quality hunters set appropriate expectations and make sure they and the prospects are on the same page every step of the way.
  1. Hunters take action. Simply put, the best hunters won’t sit on their hands waiting for someone else to make a move. They do not suffer from “analysis paralysis” or concoct reasons why they aren’t going on the sales call. They set their goals and intend to achieve them.
  1. Hunters take responsibility for their results. I’ve never met a great salesperson that didn’t accept responsibility for what was his to own. Too often people make excuses like, “I was given the worst territory” or “This economy is just too tough.” But not the hunters; they attack their goal no matter the obstacles.

The truth is, self-motivated and determined salespeople who love to find new business day in and day out are not growing on trees. When you discover people with these rare traits, hire them and compensate them appropriately. It will be one of the most profitable decisions you ever make.