May 2021


Know Your Customers’ Needs


Increase your sales by predicting your customers’ needs

We live in a world where, when you open your phone, no matter what app you choose, it’s working to sell you something. From your conversations to the places you visit and recent web searches, everything you do makes you a target for products or services based on that information — products you didn’t realize you wanted or needed (yet). How can you determine your customers’ needs before they do? Here are some tips.

  1. Active listening: In today’s world, it’s easy to get distracted. Listening — really listening — to your customers can help you decipher their goals and expectations for the growing season. While much of this should be done during your crop plan post-harvest, you’ll still receive cues from your customers as the growing season progresses.
  2. Curiosity: Listening is just part of understanding your customers’ needs. Ask thoughtful questions to gather more information and ensure what you’re hearing is what they are actually saying. Asking questions can also prompt a farmer to consider options they may not have thought about before.
  3. Scenario planning: The most important tip for in-season conversations is using scenario planning to demonstrate the value in your recommendations. Whether it’s adding fertility, adjusting a herbicide program or including a fungicide application into the mix, use scenarios to help build a story and insight into your recommendations.

Sales strategist and author Jill Konrath says, “Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.”

From your first interaction with a grower last fall until now, each conversation, moment and interaction matters. Make the most of a farmer’s growing season by helping them understand their product options and making recommendations before an issue arises. Help them know what they need before they know they need it.