In the data center industry there are many people who enjoy game hunting.
And a dominant method to find customers follows a hunting methodology as opposed to a harvester/farmer approach.
Here is an article that talks about the Hunter vs. Harvester approach.
In working with business owners and entrepreneurs over the years, I’ve noticed that when it comes to acquiring new customers, most of them are hunters. They pounce on new leads, chase the prospects, make themselves readily available to the prospect and then bend over backwards to land the new customer.
On the other hand, I’ve noticed that the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs take a different approach to customer acquisition: they are harvesters. They gather in all their leads, work hard to prevent any from slipping through the cracks, cultivate those leads and then harvest them when the time is right for the customer.
The most interesting thing about these two styles is that the hunter usually gets tired, a bit humiliated and ends up getting small margins. On the other hand, the harvester stays fresh, confident and usually earns higher margins.
I just saw this post on DataCenterKnowledge post on Data Center planning, and got me thinking about hunting vs. harvesting.
How to Avoid Data Center Planning MistakesSeptember 8th, 2010 : Kevin Normandeau
Why do so many data center build outs and expansion projects fail? This white paperfrom Lee Technologies addresses this question by revealing the top nine mistakes organizations make when designing and building new data center space. It also examines an effective way to achieve success through the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach.
One person may think this is harvesting, but I think it is more like hunting.
Here is an example of what of what I think as a harvesting/farmer approach.
I've been watching my top 5 data center construction companies post. I get about 50 hits a week - every week for the past 8 months. I am amazed there are 470 keywords that point to my post.
And here is an example of this last week.
Looking at the ISPs the list shows the following companies - Capital One, GM, global crossing, JP Morgan Chase, Network Appliances, and Yahoo besides a long list of ISPs.
Here are the top 10 cities for this week. Note, the ability to look at ranges of time to see what cities the customers are in. If I looked for 8 months, I would get the every major city.
A group of people in Cleveland are looking for a data center. Who? This is obvious one.
Capital One Partners
1300 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114-1506
Pretty cool I can do this research from a blog post and Google Analytics!
Here are the top google keywords used to find my post.
If you were thinking like a Farmer/Harvester you would be figuring out how to reach the customers who are looking for these keywords in the cities I listed.
It is common for data center vendors to pay over $10K for a booth at a conference and maybe buy a speaking spot in front of as few as 2 dozen people. But few people think like a harvester and prefer hunting.
Not only that, but hunting for business is tough stuff, even for those who manage to make a living at it. When you’re in “hunting” mode, you’re dialing for dollars; you feel resistance at every turn; rejection is common; you get “price shopped” against competitors so margins are thin; and you waste tons of time working with prospects who simply aren’t ready to buy.
Seems more efficient to be a Harvester.
On the other hand, when you’re in “harvesting” mode, you’re working smart and scooping up sales left and right. You’re like the fisherman with the irresistible bait, drawing your prospects to you. You can spend your time closing deals on the phone with hot leads or go out on the golf course because you know your prospects will call you when they’re ready to move forward.
And, now that I think about it, the data center people I enjoy talking are Harvesters, and funny enough many of them enjoy game hunting.
Lead warming is about communicating with your prospects from the moment they express interest and then if they don’t buy right away, that’s OK because you then don’t let them slip away and instead breadcrumb them with information they’ll find valuable about your product, service or company
If you think you want to be a Harvester and want to leverage my post you can drop me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The easiest thing to do is to drop an inline advertisement in my post, and you'll have 50 eyeballs a week. :-) But, there are many more interesting things to try to be a data center harvester/farmer.