A Sales Training Course from a Farmer By Joe Miller and Matt Dahlstrom
Saturdays are great days. We get to spend time with our family, work on the yard, try to figure out exactly what we did the night before and my favorite, we get to go to the farmer’s market. An amazing display of vegetables, fruits, cheese and other homemade and homegrown goods are everywhere. It was at the farmer’s market that I watched in awe as a local farmer taught us a lesson on how to sell.
This farmer was selling shares in her farm called a CSA (community supported agriculture). This type of farming allows the customer to own a share in the farmer’s crop. All the customer has to do is pay for the produce at the beginning of the season and agree to work in the farm for six hours a month. Not a bad deal.
The farmer was explaining with passion (Lesson #1 Passion Sells) how being a member of the CSA has a benefit that the customer gets to know exactly where the food came from, how it was grown and how it was processed. Watching the customer, we could see the emotional connection (Lesson #2 People buy Emotionally) was being made between the farmer, the customer and the food.
Next we watched the farmer explaining that to buy a share the customer had to pay $500 up front before the full growing season. She described to the customer that this might become a bargain for the customer if the harvest was bountiful and it could become an expensive endeavor if the harvest was bad. In essence, the farmer and the customer were sharing the risk and the rewards. A true partnership (Lesson #3 Customers Want Partnerships)
Just as the emotions were at their peak, the customer was visibly leaning into the conversation, the farmer informed the customer that there is a limited number of shares for sale since there is only one acre of farm land that will be set up as a CSA. There were 20 shares available and 17 had been sold already! Once the 20th share was sold that was it. The amount of land was fixed (Lesson #4 Authenticity Works). With excitement and fulfillment the customer reached into her wallet, pulled out a check and wrote a check for $500 to the farmer. Now don’t tell the farmer this but you can learn a lot about SALES from watching this happen.
Here is a quick four part sales training course based on the lessons of a farmer:
Lesson #1 – Passion Sells
When you have passion about what you are selling it bleeds through to your customer. Passionate people are inspiring, exciting and engaging. Customers want to know that you are excited about what you sell and there is no way to fake it. If you don’t have passion about what you are selling then you should start looking for a new company to sell for. No passion, no sale.
Lesson #2 – People Buy Emotionally
People buy with their emotions. If a customer is emotionally connected to what you are selling then they will be closer to buying. Find the emotions that connect your customer to your service, your product, your company, your mission or you and bring those emotions to the surface. Talk about them. Share them. Embrace them. Emotions make people buy and if you cannot reach the emotions you will never sell.
Lessons #3 – Customers want partnerships
There is a lot of distrust in the world of sales. If you took a general survey and asked 100 Americans what they thought of sales people you would get some pretty amazing answers. We have heard things like cheap, loser, sneaky and our favorite “scum sucking bottom feeder”. Partnerships build trust. Show your customer how you are in a partnership with them for both the good and the bad. Build partnerships and build sales.
Lesson #4 – Authenticity works
The price goes up on Monday so buy today. Our manager has too much in stock so buy today. We only have 1000 of these copiers left so you need to buy now. YUCK. Customers have been hearing the “impending event” close for two decades and they have figured out that most of the time salespeople are lying to them. Be authentic. If there is a real scarcity of your product or service you can be honest and let the customer know about it and why it is happening. If not then don’t try to pretend there really is an impending event. Customers, and everyone else, can smell horse manure a mile away so be authentic and you will be trusted. Become trusted and you will make more sales.
Salespeople don’t farm and farmers don’t sell. Sort of. We are all selling all the time. There are sales lessons in front of us all. They are waiting to be plucked off the street, viewed and learned from. Everywhere goods are exchanged there is a sale happening. The challenge is to be able to see those sales situations and learn what to do and what not to do. Go be a salesperson, or a farmer, either way you should be passionate every day about learning how to sell and becoming the best you can be.
Joe Miller and Matt Dahlstrom have been training sales people in some of America’s largest and most successful companies for over ten years. They are dedicated to helping every salesperson learn how to make selling easy, make more sales and earn more money. Visit them at www.salesmonkeys.com or call at 1-866-966-1066.
-What was your biggest takeaway from the ideas above? Was there anything you learned that you plan to put to work for you in your selling career?
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