“I wish I’d been better at Hunting and not just Farming for new clients”

What do I hear from almost every experienced agency owner as they reflect on the growth of their agency?


Author: Robert Craven

What they say is, “I wish I’d been better at hunting and not just farming for new clients.”

Farming for clients is all about developing long-term relationships, nurturing and building relationships.

This is relatively easy to do. You are working for people like you who know, like and trust you. It is a natural extension of service delivery and a natural and pleasurable extension of the role of agency founder, developing and fostering the win-win relationship.

It is relatively free of confrontation and all the downside of sales that so many people try to avoid.

Hunting for clients, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. It requires a different mindset where you go out selecting and looking for your prey. And you hunt them down.


You nail your target, make the sale, and then you move on to the next one.  I don’t wish to say which is better because, in truth, you need both. And, in truth, you will currently have a business development department/function that prefers one style or the other.

There are, however, reasons why so many agency owners wished they had been better at hunting.

Hunting is proactive; you are not waiting for the phone to ring. Hunting puts sales at the heart of the business and can be qualified and measured with a basic set of KPIs. The hunter and the hunter’s manager know exactly where they are in terms of performance. On the other hand, the farmer is all about ‘if’ and ‘when’ the client is ready. Of course, you can grow a business by farming. Most of us do. If you are delivering on your marketing promises then repeat work, as well as cross-sells and upsells, will land in your lap.

This type of organic growth will just happen; but it is so very reactive and out of your control.

To become more proactive, to become a hunter, is the challenge and most farmers are not equipped with the tools, the experience or the mindset to become hunters. And that is the problem!


Ask yourself:

  • Why do so many farmers wish they were better at hunting?
  • What does a hunter do differently from a farmer?
  • What would you need to do to become a hunter?
  • What would be the benefits of being more of a hunter?
  • What’s holding you back from being more of a hunter?

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