The 12 Sales People that a farmer does business with


  1. A salesperson they like – work on this first. Before going after the sale. Start by getting to know them as a person and then know them as a business. Key = Be genuine
  2. A salesperson who also likes them – You certainly can sell to someone you don’t like and I’m sure you will over the span of your sales career. But life is much easier selling to someone you like. Key = Get to know them. The initial impression might just be a tough guy cover that your customer uses to block sales people. Be patient in getting past it and you might actually like them more than you think. There’s a popular adage about – Everyone is fighting an internal battle that we know nothing about
  3. A salesperson that Listens & Pays Attention – Are you getting the concept here? The first three sales people involve the concept of – Seek first to understand. Key = Ask open ended questions
  4. A salesperson who cares – You have to care about your customer. This one is normally not tough for a sales person to convey. However, it has to be perceived by the customer as real & authentic caring. Not just caring till I get the sale and then I’m out of here.
  5. A salesperson that keeps her word – “I’ll get that to you tomorrow” you tell a customer. Do it. Consider that comment a promise or an oath. If you can’t deliver on it, get back to the customer on why you can’t and when you can. This is critical as you will expect and want them to do the same for you. When the farmer tells you “I need to talk it over with my son and I’ll let you know our decision to do business with you” – you fully expect and want them to actually get back to you. This is a two-way street and you need to live up to what you tell them.
  6. A salesperson who is an expert in his field – Great news if you are already an expert. If you aren’t, show your customer how you are working towards becoming the expert. See future blog on how to go from novice to expert in the ag sales profession.
  7. A salesperson who is Honest, Ethical and Above Board – nothing to add here except that you just have to be all three of these. No matter how much your customer has these traits or not, you have to have them at all times. If one of your company’s past sales people was not the most honest and ethical person with customers, there are a couple steps to follow. First apologize for the customer’s bad experience with your company. Acknowledge that this person is no longer in the company (hopefully they aren’t). Show that you consistently possess the right qualities and over time the farmer will build trust in you. See future blog on building trust
  8. A salesperson who is “Real” – don’t try to be anything other than who you truly are. This doesn’t mean you don’t change or try new things. But your overall style needs to come from you.
  9. A salesperson who is humble – no matter how important you become internally in the company or how good you are doing with sales, be humble and treat them with respect
  10. A salesperson who is busy – not too busy to keep their word and follow up on their concerns, but farmers want to know that you have a viable and active business and other farmers are working with you.
  11. A salesperson who is helpful – This doesn’t mean you have to become their personal Wikipedia source of information or assistance, but a farmer will take flexible & accommodating over rigid & difficult any day. Warning: There’s a balance to the two concepts of “My way or the highway” versus “We’re everything to every customer”. Too much of the first way and you will chase customers off. Too much of the second way and you can fail miserably or go broke trying to serve everyone. See future blog on how to win or not lose at balancing these two concepts with the Ag Producer.
  12. You – If you work on the above 11 factors –

Good luck and let me know how it goes


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