There are an estimated 2.1 million farms in the United States but selling your solutions to one of those operations requires demonstrating the genuine difference you can make to the people who run it. And as any experienced salesperson knows, to effectively highlight your features and benefits, you must prepare your strategy and pitch specifically to your target customer — that’s especially true in the pragmatic agriculture market.
The success of your sales strategy depends on the depth of research in which you are willing and able to invest. With FarmMarket data, only from DTN®, getting the data you need for your agricultural sales and marketing efforts has never been easier. Because it is highly customizable, FarmMarket data takes considerable time and effort off your hands so you can successfully focus on converting your prospects into customers.
Before your first farm sales meeting, though, there are some things you need to know. Let’s review a few quick, essential ag marketing steps — from identifying a target customer to taking a data-based approach to a personalized sales.
1. Who is your target farmer?
If your first answer when you read that question was simply farmers, you need to get more specific. You must identify the key demographics of the potential ag customers you want to target.
So, who is your target customer, exactly? Narrow it down by answering these questions:
Each farmer and operation are unique with different needs; a one-size-fits-all solution will not work.
- What kind of farmer do you want to reach? One who is looking to scale their operations? Or one who is more established and looking to optimize existing systems?
- Does your ideal customer grow wheat? Corn? Soybeans? Or are they a rancher? If so, what kind of livestock do they raise?
- Are your solutions best adapted to small, mid-size, or large farms?
- What geographic area do you want to target?
Once you’ve precisely defined your target, you can focus on their specific needs and challenges.
2. What are your farmer’s challenges?
At this point, you need to put yourself in your target audience’s boots — what is their day-to-day reality? Are there specific pain points for which you alone can offer the best solution? For example, a hog farm may face challenges around accurately and efficiently monitoring sow heat and health. Wheat or corn farmers may face challenges around inadequate irrigation and unpredictable weather.
Once you know their specific friction points, you can best understand how to sell your product or service as the solution, thus providing greater value to their farm.
It’s important to note, too, no farm exists alone. The industry is not siloed but operates as a network within the agricultural community. Therefore, discovering the challenges that affect your entire territory can assist you in learning how to serve farmers in your region or connect with related growers.
3. What is your farmer’s buyer persona?
Let’s say you are targeting a Wisconsin family dairy farm. You’ve identified the likely challenges this farm faces and have a product or service ready to solve them. But before meeting, you need to get specific. Just who is this farmer? Your approach to the sales meeting won’t be the same from one farm to the next — or it shouldn’t be if you want to be successful.
To help, DTN developed six farmer buyer persona examples using our statistical, predictive data. From most to least common are:
- The Frugal Farmer: looks for deals and ways to cut unnecessary costs.
- The Sustainable Farmer: is driven by the desire to reduce environmental damage.
- The AgTech Leader: innovates and adapts to new technologies.
- The ROI Farmer: makes decisions based on what will make the most profit.
- The Brand Loyalist: believes the personal relationship is as important as the product.
- The Expansionist: looks towards the farm’s future and wants to expand operations.
So, who is your farmer? As you can see, the approach to each persona should be different.
Is your farmer most interested in seeing how your solution produces additional revenue? Are they excited to implement new technologies, or are they interested in partnerships that could grow their business? Knowing what speaks to them means you will know which things to highlight about your offering and organization.
Access an expansive farmer database
What if you could harness powerful data covering more than 900 million acres of farmland, over two million active farm owners and operators, and 95% of U.S. growers? With that data at your fingertips, you and your team can create precisely targeted, highly reliable, and accurate agriculture marketing and sales campaigns focused on your territory.
Only DTN can connect you to this comprehensive agricultural database. With FarmMarket data, you gain access to more than 150 demographics, depending on your target customer, allowing you to home in on your key audience. Learn more today.