Are your sales numbers coming up short? It's possible that your strategies for selling directly to farmers are to blame.
Direct sales to farmers are different than direct sales in other industries. Depending on your product or service, your sales strategies for reaching farmers through direct sales may require some changes.
For better results, try adopting some of these strategies for making connections with the farmers in your territory.
1. Check Your Sources
Before you make connections, make sure that you’re up to date on the latest information relevant to your field.
In order to have the most meaningful sales conversations with farmers, you need an intimate awareness of their pain points. Know what they are, where they feel the pain most acutely and how your product can solve them.
Use data to take relevant information about your farmers and turn them into your talking points. Working with relevant, up-to-date data will keep you ahead of the curve when it comes to reaching your farmers with pointed sales strategies.
2. Focus on Relationships
Direct sales to farmers relies much less on mass marketing than it does on one-on-one conversations. Relationships are at the heart of every sales transaction you make, so it’s essential to invest your time and resources into building relationships with the farmers you want to serve.
If you engage with farmers at both an individual and community level, you’ll end up learning quite a bit about the interconnected-ness of farmers you’re currently working with - and those you may someday add to your client lineup. While you can organically learn about farming networks and develop connections on your own, there is data that can help you to learn more about related farms and how they work together.
This way, you can make connections and get to know a community even more quickly than through the traditional routes.
3. Use Technology
Farmers are increasing their online presence in a big way. Most farmers, like most Americans, have email addresses, and many are also present on the major social media platforms.
As a salesperson, you need to reach clients where they are - and that means accessing them through technology. In addition to brainstorming direct mail campaigns and on-the-ground meetings, consider ways that you can use email marketing and other channels for building and maintaining relationships.
Up-to-date email lists save you time and frustration, so you can get your message out without encountering a multitude of undeliverable messages and failed connections. With people updating their email addresses much more quickly than their physical addresses and other demographic data, it pays to have a reliable list on hand.
4. Adopt Strategies You Admire in Other Industries
Agribusiness is certainly not the first industry that comes to mind when someone mentions edgy advertising. However, this doesn’t mean that a one-size-fits all image of a forty-something farmer standing in a cornfield with a Golden Retriever at his side and baseball cap on his head is the only advertising image your company should be sending.
Consider sales strategies that you admire in other industries and analyze the steps they take to reach consumers and make sales. Chances are, there are some bits and pieces you can adopt and implement in your own business. Maybe this means changing your visual advertisements, updating your website or tweaking what your salespeople wear in the field.
5. Test Your Theories
Of course, when you’re working with new sales strategies, it’s important to test them for compatibility with your market segments. Use smaller campaigns to test new ideas and take note of what works, as well as what doesn’t.
As you gather data on your successful strategies, you can translate these to bigger campaigns that have greater earning potential. A successful marriage of your best sales techniques and relevant data on the farmers that you serve will help you to establish solid sales strategies for increasing your sales numbers going forward.