Not all farmers are created equal. And by that we mean that not all farmers have equal needs – and therefore aren’t equally suited to each of your business’ product offers.
So when you’re having a sales conversation, tailor your sales offer to the farmer.
Identifying and responding to pain points is a part of a good sales conversation. But with access to high quality farm data, you can go a step further.
Not only can you respond to pain points in an effort to guide them toward your generic sales pitch, but you can make sure that each farmer is getting a unique pitch and product offer that can help them improve their operation.
Here are some key steps toward tailoring your sales offer to the farmer.
Understand the farm operation
Every sale you make comes down to one thing: what value does it offer to the overall farm operation? If that benefit isn’t crystal clear to the farmer, then you won’t be able to make the sale.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to understand the farm operation before you start the conversation with the farmer. Ag data can tell you the following:
- What crops have they been growing in the past – and what are they growing this year?
- How many acres does the farmer operate?
- How connected are the land acres – are the polygons spread out over a large geographic area?
- Is the owner the same person as the operator, or are they different?
These are just a start.
Once you understand the operation, find out the holes that your agribusiness is able to fill.
Look at relationships
No farmer operates in a vacuum. Whether there’s a shared owner/operator status, a family that manages a wide array of farmers, or subsidy payments split among various farmers, any given farm could be connected to other farms in your territory in a variety of ways.
That means that when you start a conversation with a farmer, remember that you’re not just talking to that one farmer. You’re talking to the first in an entire network of farmers. And it’s a good idea to know who’s in that network.
You may have an offer that doesn’t just affect the farmer you’re talking to, but the brother who manages the farm down the road as well. While you’re having the conversation, maybe listen for opportunities to ask for a referral.
Predict where the operation is going
When you visit a farm or talk to a farmer, you’re glimpsing just a snapshot of the whole farm operation. And farms are continually evolving and growing.
If you offer the farmer only what they need in the present moment, then eventually that offer will lose its relevance. That’s why you not only need to know what the farm is doing in the present, but the direction the operation is going in the future – and you can use past historic data to help you figure that out.
Here’s what we mean:
- If a farm rotates corn/soy, then next year they’ll plant the opposite of what they planted this year
- If a farm has been seeing a steady decline in income, it’s likely that trend is going to continue, barring a major market shift (the same could work in reverse)
- If a given owner has made a purchase or sold land, you can predict a change in the decision maker for some of the land
Use data to see where the operation is going over the long haul. And be prepared to respond with an offer that fits the long-term plan.
Take price point into account
At the end of the day, you want to provide an offer that farmers will purchase. That means you need to take price point into account when making offers.
If you go to a farmer with a price that’s too high, not only will you not close the deal, you may burn the bridge. Don’t wait until the end of the conversation to know whether the farmer can afford your product.
Instead, use data to determine the Gross Farm Income of the operation so you know whether they’re a good fit for your company. And then, go deeper to figure out which product most closely aligns with their price point.