Think of the people you do business with and chances are all of these people have a lot in common. When farmers choose who they will do business with, these people also are likely to have many of the same traits in common.
Understanding what traits farmers are looking for in a salesperson will allow you to better connect with your target market of farmers. If you aren’t sure what farmers are looking for in a salesperson, here are some ideas:
1. Likeability. This may seem vague but what it really means is that you let a farmer get to know you before you try to sell him or her something. By the same token, farmers also want the people they work with to like them, as well. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to really get to know them.
2. Attentiveness. Farmers have a lot of irons in the fire so it is important for them to know that the person trying to sell them something understand exactly what they need. What they really don’t want is someone who only thinks they know what they need. The lesson here is to pay attention when a farmer speaks and don’t pretend to know what they need before they tell you.
3. Straightforwardness. If you tell a farmer you can deliver something by the end of the week, it better be there by the end of the week. In the event there is a problem, don’t try to pass the buck or make excuses. Further, never overpromise just to land a sale.
4. Dependability. Don’t be so accommodating that it appears as if you have nothing else to do and no other customers. As far as possible, however, be there for the farmers you work with so they know they can depend on you.
5. An expert in their field. If you are in Ag sales you better know what you are talking about. If there is something you don’t know, however, don’t try to fake it. Farmers would rather have you admit you are unsure about something and that you plan to do your research and get back to them. Farmers don’t expect you to know everything but they do want to know you are working toward that goal!
Finally, never try to be someone you aren’t. If a particular farmer really doesn’t want to work with you, you are probably better off without that farmer.