7 Immediate Quick Tips for the Ag Sales Professional

Get organized, stand out from the competition, and sell more!

  1.  Talk Less to Sell More:
    • Who’s talking more in the sales process?  You or the customer?  Most of the time, it should be the customer.  Observe yourself today.  If it’s you, Stop it!
    • Asking more open-ended questions is the best way to get the customer talking.  Another is to develop a natural curiosity about how things are accomplished on your customer’s farm.  How products are selected, how they are used, and what made your customer select them? Etc.
  2. Say Less with Pictures, Videos, and Demos:
    • The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” holds true.
    • So is my old saying “A video is worth a thousand pictures and a Demo is worth more than all of them”.  Put the product in their hands. Put them in the driver’s seat.
    • If you have a video, use it.  If not, use pictures.  If not, draw them a picture. 
  3. Never tell, what you can ask
    • I heard this quote the other day and think it’s a valuable quick tip.
    • It’s certainly quicker and easier to just tell your customer something.
    • However, by slowing down and drawing the conclusion from the customer in their words, it is much more impactful and memorable for them.
  4. Trust will make your job faster and easier:
    • People buy from people they trust.  They know that if you sell them something that turns out to be a bad deal, that you will do everything you can to make it right.  This means you don’t have to work as hard to prove your products or services to your customer.
    • Work on trust early and often with your prospect and customer relationships.  Here are some ways:
      • How can you remove risk (of your product) for the customer?  Could you offer a guarantee?  I once did a consigned inventory with a customer for his first semi-load of products to get him started as a customer.  This eliminated the risk of me loading him up on products that would just sit in his store and warehouse.
      • Use the Trust Formula to understand how.

5. Trust Formula

TRUST = CREDIBILITY X RELIABILITY / SELF INTEREST

6. When in doubt about what you should do next, go prospect!           

If you work from your home office as many salespeople in Agribusiness, then you know you have to be disciplined in setting appointments and staying productive.  However, there comes those moments in your daily or weekly routine when you are at a crossroads.  You are at a loss for what to do next.  While you are trying to figure it out, I recommend something a highly successful person once told me.  “When in doubt, go prospect”. 

7. Downtime:

Agribusiness can be very seasonal.  With this seasonality comes downtime for the salesperson.  Customers can’t or don’t want to see you.  What to do?

  • Fix your funnel – Your prospect funnel.  You can always go back through it and make adjustments as to who is closer to signing and who is further out or maybe who we need to drop off.
  • Think – During the busy times, you struggled.  Ever heard someone say, I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to think”?  Now that it’s slower, you have time to think about how you can get better at those struggles.
  • Evaluate your territory:
    • Do a SWOT analysis and an ABC customer ranking dashboard.  Write down the number of days you spend on you’re “A” accounts versus your B or C accounts.
    • Are you spending your time with the higher revenue customers (A accounts)? 
  • Network – It’s most likely slow for your network connections as well.  Catch up with them. 
  • Organize & Automate:  Now is the time to get your “act together”.  What administrative tasks burn up your time?  How can you automate them for ease and efficiency?
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