You would be hard pressed to find many farmers who make impulse buys. Instead, farmers spend a great deal of time and energy making sure that any purchase they make will have a positive, long-term impact on their operation. Whether you are selling farm implements or seed, your target audience-farmers-is likely to be tougher to […]
Agritourism is on the rise. It’s no secret that people will pay big money for a weekend farm experience. Farm weddings also are a huge trend these days. Engaged couples will pay a premium to say their “I dos” in a rustic barn or rural setting. Many farmers are doing an impressive side business catering […]
By now, we all know that farmers are on social media. In fact, today’s farmers are as tech savvy as any other demographic. That’s why if you are looking to connect with farmers for the purpose of generating leads, social media is a great way to do just that. Nine out of 10 people, including […]
If you are marketing to young farmers, it is important that you understand their struggles and concerns. After all, you can’t provide the solutions young farmers are looking for if you don’t know what solutions they need.
So what do young farmers view as their biggest challenges? Read on to learn what these farmers list as obstacles to their success.
- Land availability: If a young farmer is not inheriting land, it can be difficult to secure land to rent. This is especially true when they can’t pay the amount of rent others are offering. It is important for young farms to understand that landowners care about more than just money. Young farmers, therefore, need to accentuate their strengths, including things like trustworthiness, desire to improve the land and a commitment to keeping fields and soil healthy.
- No access to capital: Many young farmers lament the fact that they do not have the access to the capital that they need. The solution? Young farmers need to develop the type of business plan that will allow them to merit financing.
- Difficulty speaking with landowners: Dealing with landowners and being able to hold their own in negotiations is a learned skill that takes time to develop. Young farmers need to practice their communication tactics so that they are able to get a fair deal when they sit at the bargaining table.
- Lack of resources: There was a time when young farmers would get significant assistance from government agencies such as the USDA. Budget cuts and other factors mean this type of assistance is no longer available. Today, young farmers need to reach out to other farmers or join agricultural networks that may provide a mentor. Social media also is a good way to reach out to those who can help them.
- Lack of financial know-how: There is nothing wrong with outsourcing some of the business and marketing tasks related to a farm. Many young farmers will need time to figure out how to take care of the business end of their operation. There is no shame in hiring help until you get some experience under your belt.
- Burn out: In an effort to make a go of it in farming, many young farmers work day and night. While being a hard worker is admirable, a balance must be struck. If not, burnout will occur and a farmer’s health and personal relationships may suffer.
- Tension within the family: Many young farmers are taking over the family farm. And while his or her parents are all for passing the farm down, many times it can get sticky when they have a hard time letting go.
If there is one thing farmers value above all else, it is the knowledge that the people they do business with are trustworthy and understand the challenges they face. If a farmer believes that he or she is not valued and appreciated by a business, chances are great that they will find another business that will.
Savvy Ag business owners understand the importance of connecting with their clients and do all they can to keep lines of communication open. Unfortunately, this can be difficult with so many demands on their time, including marketing their business so they can secure new customers.
So what’s a business to do? If you want to sustain and grow your client relationships but feel as if there is never enough time to do it all, we have some suggestions that may help to make things a little easier on you. In other words, some steps you can take to strengthen your client relationships while acknowledging the ever-increasing demands on your time.
- Know thy customers. While it may take a little more time at the beginning of a relationship, getting to know your customers well will allow you to interact with them in a more meaningful way down the road. It also will ensure that you aren’t wasting your time guessing what they need all of the time. You will already know.
- Spend more time connecting. While this may seem like the wrong way to save time, the opposite is true. When you check in on a regular basis—even if only for a few minutes—you will be aware of any issues that may come up. This prevents a minor issue from ballooning into a major one that takes a great deal of time to manage.
- Focus on trust. Good customer service always involves doing what you say you will do. This also builds trust. Customers that don’t trust you will inevitably call you more often to make sure you are on top of their order, for example. When they trust you, however, they won’t feel the need to micromanage and you won’t have to spend time reassuring them that everything is on track.
All customers, especially farmers, need to know that they are a priority. Making sure they do will allow you to do the best job possible without wasting time.