Awesome Ways to Think About Your Sales Mindset in the Digital Era



Sales Mindset Tips: Why Sales Success is Not Like Hunting – it’s Gardening

There’s an old saying in sales, that “you eat what you kill.” This line of thinking is typical in the traditional sales mindset — the job of being a salesperson is supposed to be like being a hunter — you’re supposed to be aggressive, proactive and competitive.

You’re supposed to get out there and make things happen and win people over and triumph. This mentality has served sales people well for many generations — but what if there is another way of doing sales? What if the new rules of sales are slightly different, and requiring a new approach?



The truth is, in B2B sales, in the new era of digital marketing and social media lead generation and content marketing, when customers are more informed than ever before, the role of the sales person has changed. Successful sales people now are less like “hunters,” and more like “gardeners.”

Sales Mindset Tips

Here are a few reasons why your sales approach might require a change in mindset — and why the best sales people are more like gardeners than hunters.

Sales in the New Digital Era of Marketing

Sales is a Long-Term Effort

B2B sales success requires steady, incremental effort — like planting and tending a garden, instead of a one-time “kill” from a successful hunt. Just like a good gardener knows how to be patient and stay in it for the long haul, good sales people today need to conduct long-term lead nurturing of their sales prospects.


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You can’t just expect to go out and make a big sale immediately; these things take time. Especially for major account B2B sales, it might take 12-18 months (or longer) to close a sale, start to finish.

Sales is Collaborative, Not Adversarial

Too many companies seem to think that they are at war with their customers. “You eat what you kill” sounds strange when you really think about it — after all, you shouldn’t want to “kill” your customers, you should want to help them!

Ultimately, your job as a sales person or small business owner talking with customers should be to approach the conversation as a collaborative effort. “How can I help you and your business? How can I make your life better? We are on the same team here!” Look for opportunities for your customers’ interests to align with your own.

Ideally, what you are selling should improve your customer’s condition. You’re selling something to the customer, it’s true – but what you’re selling should add so much value to your customer’s life that it is worth more than it costs: in terms of time savings, efficiency gains, productivity boosts, cost reductions, and intangible emotional benefits.



Just like gardeners often exchange gardening tips with their friends and neighbors — in a spirit of collaboration — you as a sales person need to be generous and helpful, not aggressive and overbearing.

Sales in the New Digital Era of Marketing

Sales is About Mutually Beneficial Relationships, Not Zero-Sum “Wins”

Another problem with the traditional “hunter” mentality in sales is that it tends to treat sales as a zero-sum game: “I win, you lose.” If you treat your customers as just points on a scoreboard, they will start to feel that you don’t really care about them.

Don’t treat your customers as means to an end. You’re not just there to rack up sales and run up the score; you should be there to create a mutually beneficial sales relationship.



This is not just “the right thing to do,” it’s also smart business. Because in today’s highly networked economy, customers’ word of mouth spreads faster than ever. If customers feel well treated and respected by you, they’ll be likely to tell their friends and give you referrals.

If customers feel disrespected or shortchanged or deceived by you, they will shout it from the rooftops on social media and beyond. It can be hard to recover from a damaged reputation and today’s sales business is all about trust.

Make sure you are sincerely, earnestly adding value and bringing a spirit of care and connectedness to your sales conversations. Customers aren’t there to give you a sale — you are there to help the customer.

Think about it in terms of gardening: do most gardeners hoard their vegetables and brag about how great their tomatoes are? No! They tend to share the bounty at harvest time. At its best, gardening has a sense of abundance.



People don’t garden because they want glory and trophies, they do it because they want to learn and share and grow. Successful sales people today should have this same attitude — it’s about growing relationships and having a rich bounty of sales opportunities over time.

You are not fighting your customers, you’re trying to help them. You’re not enemies, you’re on the same team. If you can bring a spirit of generosity and cooperation to your sales process — thinking less like a “trophy hunter” and more like a “gardener” — your sales success is likely to blossom.

Sales in the New Digital Era of Marketing

The Principles of Gardener-Like Sales Success

As businesses evolve in the digital age, sales strategies are undergoing a profound transformation. The outdated hunter mentality, where salespeople aggressively pursued leads for quick wins, is being replaced by a more nurturing and collaborative approach inspired by gardeners.



This shift is driven by the recognition that lasting success requires cultivating relationships, fostering trust, and tending to prospects over time. Here are key principles that define the gardener-like sales success of today:

1. Cultivate Long-Term Growth

  • Hunter Mindset: Focuses on immediate gains through one-time deals.
  • Gardener Approach: Prioritizes steady, incremental growth by nurturing prospects.

2. Planting Seeds of Value

  • Hunter Mindset: Views customers as targets to conquer.
  • Gardener Approach: Regards customers as partners, seeking to deliver value and mutual benefit.

3. Nurturing Relationships



  • Hunter Mindset: Seeks quick transactions, often overlooking relationship-building.
  • Gardener Approach: Values cultivating genuine connections and building rapport.

4. Tending to Growth

  • Hunter Mindset: Celebrates individual victories and trophies.
  • Gardener Approach: Recognizes the importance of nurturing relationships for collective success.

5. Fostering Trust

  • Hunter Mindset: May overlook customer concerns for the sake of closing deals.
  • Gardener Approach: Builds trust through transparent communication and genuine care.

6. Providing Value Over Time

  • Hunter Mindset: Emphasizes closing the sale regardless of customer readiness.
  • Gardener Approach: Prioritizes understanding customer needs and providing tailored solutions.

7. Collaborative Partnerships



  • Hunter Mindset: May consider customer interests secondary to sales goals.
  • Gardener Approach: Seeks to align customer interests with business offerings, fostering collaboration.

8. Patience and Persistence

  • Hunter Mindset: Expects quick results and may lose interest if not achieved.
  • Gardener Approach: Understands that nurturing leads takes time and continuous effort.

9. Harvesting Mutual Success

  • Hunter Mindset: Celebrates individual victories and trophies.
  • Gardener Approach: Recognizes the importance of nurturing relationships for collective success.

10. Positive Reputation and Referrals

  • Hunter Mindset: May disregard the potential impact of customer sentiment.
  • Gardener Approach: Prioritizes customer satisfaction and values referrals from happy customers.

11. Adapting to Changing Seasons



  • Hunter Mindset: May resist adapting strategies based on market changes.
  • Gardener Approach: Recognizes the need to evolve strategies to meet shifting market dynamics.

12. Continuous Learning and Growth

  • Hunter Mindset: May prioritize immediate results over personal development.
  • Gardener Approach: Embraces learning, adapting, and growing along with the industry.
PrincipleHunter MindsetGardener Approach
Cultivate Long-Term GrowthFocuses on immediate gains through one-time deals.Prioritizes steady, incremental growth by nurturing prospects.
Planting Seeds of ValueViews customers as targets to conquer.Regards customers as partners, seeking to deliver value and mutual benefit.
Nurturing RelationshipsSeeks quick transactions, often overlooking relationships.Values cultivating genuine connections and building rapport.
Tending to GrowthCelebrates individual victories and trophies.Recognizes the importance of nurturing relationships for collective success.
Fostering TrustMay overlook customer concerns for the sake of closing.Builds trust through transparent communication and genuine care.
Providing Value Over TimeEmphasizes closing the sale regardless of readiness.Prioritizes understanding customer needs and providing tailored solutions.
Collaborative PartnershipsConsiders customer interests secondary to goals.Seeks to align customer interests with business offerings, fostering collaboration.
Patience and PersistenceExpects quick results, may lose interest if not achieved.Understands that nurturing leads takes time and continuous effort.
Harvesting Mutual SuccessCelebrates individual victories and trophies.Recognizes the importance of nurturing relationships for collective success.
Positive Reputation & ReferralsMay disregard customer sentiment's impact.Prioritizes customer satisfaction and values referrals from happy customers.
Adapting to Changing SeasonsMay resist adapting strategies to market changes.Recognizes the need to evolve strategies to meet shifting market dynamics.
Continuous Learning & GrowthPrioritizes immediate results over personal development.Embraces learning, adapting, and growing along with the industry.

In the realm of modern sales, the gardener-like approach emphasizes collaboration, value creation, and cultivating relationships that stand the test of time.

By embracing these principles, salespeople can sow the seeds of lasting success, nurturing an abundant harvest of satisfied customers and sustainable growth. Just as gardeners tend to their plots with care and dedication, successful salespeople tend to their prospects with a commitment to value and mutual benefit.

Sales in the New Digital Era of Marketing



More Ways to Think About Sales in the Digital Era

Embracing Digital Tools and Analytics

In the digital age, sales strategies are enriched by the integration of advanced tools and data analytics. Utilizing CRM software and leveraging the insights from data analytics can guide sales efforts more effectively. This approach aligns with the gardener mentality by systematically nurturing leads with precision, based on their interactions and preferences.

Fostering Personalized Customer Experiences

Today’s digital era allows for unprecedented personalization in sales. Tailoring interactions and recommendations based on individual customer data transforms the sales process into a more personal journey. This personalized approach echoes the gardener’s method of tending to individual plants, ensuring each customer’s unique needs and preferences are met.

Integrating Content Marketing into Sales

The inclusion of content marketing in sales strategies mirrors the nurturing aspect of gardening. By providing valuable, informative content, sales professionals can educate and engage potential customers, slowly cultivating a relationship built on trust and expertise. This method is less about the aggressive pursuit of sales and more about growing a loyal customer base organically through helpful, relevant content.

Leveraging Social Media Engagement

Much like a gardener engages with fellow gardeners, salespeople in the digital era can utilize social media to connect with and understand their customers. Engaging with customers on social media platforms helps in building relationships, understanding customer needs, and creating a community around the brand.

Adopting a Consultative Sales Approach

In the digital age, salespeople can position themselves more as consultants rather than traditional sellers. This approach involves understanding the customer’s specific context and offering solutions that genuinely meet their needs, similar to how a gardener would assess the needs of different plants and provide the appropriate care for each.

Focusing on Customer Experience and Service

Prioritizing customer experience and service in the sales process is akin to a gardener’s continuous care for their garden. Ensuring that each customer interaction is positive, helpful, and satisfying builds a lasting relationship that goes beyond a single sale, fostering long-term loyalty.

Creating Community Around the Brand

Just as gardeners often form communities to share tips and experiences, businesses can create brand communities where customers can interact, share experiences, and become brand advocates. This strategy aligns with the gardener-like approach of nurturing a thriving, interconnected community.

Emphasizing Sustainability and Ethical Practices

Incorporating sustainability and ethical practices into sales aligns with the gardener’s respect for the environment. Customers are increasingly drawn to brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, mirroring the gardener’s mindful approach to nurturing their environment responsibly.

In conclusion, the new digital era of marketing calls for a paradigm shift in sales strategies, from the traditional hunter mentality to a more nurturing, gardener-like approach. This change involves embracing digital tools, personalizing customer experiences, integrating content marketing, focusing on community building, and emphasizing sustainability and ethical practices.

Adopting these strategies allows sales professionals to cultivate long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with their customers, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous growth like a well-tended garden.

The evolution of sales in the digital age brings forth a fundamental shift from the traditional hunter mentality to a more nurturing and collaborative approach inspired by gardeners. While the hunter mindset of aggressive pursuit and quick victories has its merits, the changing dynamics of B2B sales demand a new perspective.

In the contemporary landscape, the principles of gardener-like sales success shine brightly:

  • Cultivating Long-Term Growth: Just as a garden thrives over time, sales success is rooted in patient and persistent effort, nurturing prospects for incremental growth.
  • Planting Seeds of Value: Rather than viewing customers as targets, salespeople embrace a partnership approach, aiming to deliver value and foster mutual benefits.
  • Nurturing Relationships: True success lies in the cultivation of genuine connections and rapport, valuing the bonds that extend beyond mere transactions.
  • Tending to Growth: Recognizing that collective success is paramount, successful salespeople prioritize nurturing relationships over individual victories.
  • Fostering Trust: The gardener-like approach builds trust through transparent communication and genuine care, fostering a foundation of lasting relationships.
  • Providing Value Over Time: Understanding customer needs and providing tailored solutions over time takes precedence over immediate closure.
  • Collaborative Partnerships: Seeking alignment of customer interests with business offerings cultivates a spirit of collaboration and shared objectives.
  • Patience and Persistence: Just as gardens require time to flourish, successful salespeople understand the patience and continuous effort required for nurturing leads.
  • Harvesting Mutual Success: Collective achievements are celebrated, highlighting the role of mutually beneficial relationships in sales growth.
  • Positive Reputation and Referrals: Prioritizing customer satisfaction and valuing referrals underscore the interconnectedness of modern sales.
  • Adapting to Changing Seasons: Acknowledging the need for flexibility and adaptability, sales strategies evolve to meet the shifting dynamics of the market.
  • Continuous Learning and Growth: Embracing ongoing learning and growth parallels the iterative nature of successful gardening.

As salespeople transition from being mere hunters to becoming adept gardeners, they sow the seeds of sustainable success. Just as gardeners cultivate their plots with dedication, successful salespeople tend to their prospects with unwavering commitment to value and partnership.

The garden of sales success flourishes not through aggressive pursuit but through collaborative nurturing, resulting in an abundant harvest of satisfied customers, enduring relationships, and a thriving business ecosystem.

Photo via Shutterstock


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Al Davidson Al Davidson founded Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. in 1989, where he helps deliver B2B lead generation and appointment setting solutions for clients around the world. Under his leadership, the company has generated over 7 million sales leads, resulting in millions of dollars to his clients.

One Reaction
  1. Sales is more than just making money. It is about meeting the need of your customers as well.

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