If there was ever a year when dealerships would be tested it was this past season.
With the amount of variable product performance across the country, a great deal of additional pressure was put on anyone with a part-time seed business. People who have dealerships most often divide their time between selling seed and other income-generating businesses.
A wide range of product performance can equate to indecision and lack of planning by producers. They’re not sure what they want to do for next year.
Take the survey and see how well-prepared you were for a season of variable performance. This checklist may give you some insight as to why you are having the kind of sales year you are currently experiencing.
After you have finished, take a look at the number of check marks you have and see how your dealership is preparing itself for meeting its 21st century needs.
Check the ones that you did before this incredibly variable harvest hit:
- I refused to sell new customers less than 1/3 of their needs the first time they bought my products.
- I refused to continue to sell any growers after 3 years of their buying less than 1/3 of their seeds needs from me.
- I decided to follow planters for every customer this past spring when they were using my products.
- I decided to ride combines/harvesters with every customer and every non-customer I could get to this fall.
- I decided to change to cash-on-delivery to make sure my dealership has a means of sorting those who can pay from those who cannot pay before I sell them one year too long.
- I decided to make sure my customers speak highly of technology providers by talking positively about them myself.
- I asked all of my customers to start their cropping plans before harvest and then reconfirm these plans after harvest.
- I decided to change from “proof selling” to “faith selling.” I don’t need proof that my products are good before I sell them; I take the company’s word for it.
- I decided to stop looking like every other farmer dealer and dress up when I make sales calls to demonstrate leadership and to make a good first impression.
- I sent personal, hand-signed thank you notes to all of my customers.
- I contacted all of my customers about the performance of my products this year and gave everyone the right story on this year’s results.
- I am planning to have a meeting with all of my customers, now that harvest is over, to get them in the same room, so I can give them the right performance story and address any negative issues they may have all at once.
The final check box about having a meeting with all of your customers is the single, best way to extinguish any performance issue fires in your territory and keep one from spreading in your area.
A meeting like this is also the best time to layout the plan for next year by telling your best customers what you will be doing differently this year to help ensure the success of their farming operations.
Let them know what to expect from you and when you will be stopping by to visit them.
If you are a RSM, TSM or DSM, be sure to sit down with your dealers and go through this checklist and help them with any areas they are unsure about.
Getting your dealer force on the same page as your full-time sales force is essential for success.
After all, your part-time dealer force is asked to do the exact same job as your full-time employees, but with less time to do so!
Time-management is an important issue with all sales reps, but especially dealers. Register yourself and your dealers for our Public CAMP this Summer!
It will develop a concrete plan on how you can manage your valuable time and execute more sales!