By Justin Taylor, Sales Manager
The ag retail industry gets more competitive every year as technology allows farmers to shop around to compare products and prices. If you’ve been looking to get a leg up, you’re in luck.
The key to setting yourself up for success is to establish effective habits and stick to them. Also, setting your business apart will maximize the value of your offerings and develop solid relationships with your customers.
Read to learn in more detail about the 6 habits of highly successful ag retailers.
Habits for Ag Retail Success
By April, ag retailers are usually delivering emergency seed for planting or chemicals for spraying. And ensuring field operations are running smoothly. Additionally, they’re assisting with any test plots planted for on-farm research.
As you prepare to visit with your customers this spring, you can set yourself up for success with the following habits.
1. Ride along in the field with your farmers.
Spending time in the field with your customers is essential for several reasons. It promotes engagement and allows you to see their operation up close. Being in their fields puts them in a position to think and talk about issues when the issue is staring them right in the face.
Regular facetime allows you to offer practical, workable solutions and will often lead to some of the best conversations with your farmers.
2. Know your products.
Boost your farmer’s confidence by knowing all aspects of your company’s products. They should see you’re knowledgeable and able to collaborate on the best plan for their specific needs. Be prepared to offer different products for various issues at several price points. When they succeed and are profitable, you will be too.
3. Show your farmer their return on investment.
Show your farmer their potential return on investment (ROI) on products or recommendations to help them feel more comfortable about making buying decisions.
Your expertise will help the farmer trust you and your company. The farmer should clearly see how your recommendations will add value to her operations, which strengthens your partnership.
4. Offer a solution, not just a product.
When you diagnose problems on your customer’s farm, don’t just focus on selling the product. Recommend a total solution to that problem. Take into account the entire farm and not just the one issue, which shows the farmer you understand his whole operation and his specific needs. They need to trust you have their best interests in mind at all times.
5. Keep the sales process simple.
Farmers are very busy and have multiple issues to worry about at any given time. When you can make the sales process easy, you’re helping them check something off their to-do list and move on to the next issue at hand.
6. Provide exceptional service and be responsive.
It’s much cheaper to retain a current customer than to acquire a new one, so be proactive and work with your existing customers to anticipate and meet their needs.
Respond quickly and continue to provide excellent customer service to keep your customers happy and loyal. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most powerful sales tools but must be earned.
Ag retailers offer similar products at comparable prices, so they must work hard to win and keep every single customer. When low commodity prices and extremely tight margins are an issue on every farm, your ability to add value is key. Build strong relationships to keep your farmers loyal to your business.
In addition to creating habits for success, ag retailers can rely on partnerships to bring more value to their products and services.
Growers helps ag retailers improve their sales and boost business with the Growers Sales Tool. Model your recommended products and services in the tool to demonstrate potential ROI and show added value. Show your farmers you understand and can evaluate their entire operation with just a few clicks to increase customer trust and loyalty.