Craig M Dick

My slanted perspective on agricultural marketing

Category: Thinking (page 1 of 2)

Ideal Sale Rep


No matter what you do in life, selling is an important skill. Want a better table at restaurant or an upgrade on a rental car. How about making a return without a receipt or maybe you need to get your new marketing strategy approved by management, well you better know how to sell.

 

Incorporate these top traits of an ideal sales rep into your day to day to start improving your performance.

 

Think abundantly – Not everyone gets to be your customer, not everyone needs your service find the ones that would love to work with you and afford to pay your price.

Dress for success – Appearance matters, your customer’s will judge how successful you can make them by your appearance, dress a level above your customer.

Make appointments – Your time is limited, so is your customer’s, make appointments.

Be on time – Show your customer you respect them and you can be trusted by honoring the first thing you said you would do.

Keep meetings short but effective – You are there to help them be successful, not to spend time with them.

Know your Customer – You customer’s business is your business, anything that could affect your customers business you should know about.

Know your Market – Who buys your products and why, everyone is not your customer.

Know your product – You are the expert, know every detail of your product.

Know your competition – How does your product compare in all aspects.

Be intentionally helpful – Your job is to make your customer successful, in some cases you should recommend they use the competition, if it truly is better for them.

Ask lots of questions – How do you know what is best for your customer without really knowing what they need.

Take good notes – How else can you make sure you are serving your customer if you don’t write down what you discussed.

Put action items on your calendar – As soon as you are done with your meeting, set action item due dates in your calendar.

Don’t wait, make things happen, do it anyway – Get your action items done as soon as possible, not for your customer, not for your boss, for you.

 

The post Ideal Sales Rep first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Plants Have Feelings Too!

plants have feelings too!

Via https://www.reddit.com/user/Randyotter

Is eating plants less cruel than eating meat? I am not so sure.

After all science shows us that the simple act of mowing your lawn, a past-time many Americans take pride in, is downright barbaric dismemberment. That lovely fresh cut grass smell is your lawn, aromatically shrieking to its brethren that it’s being attacked and needs first aid.

You are causing plants serious anguish and they are changing their behavior because of it.

Yes plant behavior is now a thing

Plants can make decisions based on the perceived level of risk

They communicate with each other in 5 ways:

Plants call for help, they eavesdrop, they defend their territory, they recognize siblings, and can communicate with mammals.

Plants care for offspring

Orchids are downright liars

Since plants have the ability to suffer, they feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.

Let’s face it, eating fruits and vegetables supports cruelty to plants. Those idyllic verdant fields are really concentration camps crammed with flora that will never know what it’s like to care for its offspring. Eating vegetarian supports the killing of billions and billions of plants each year.

Ok, yes I am kidding, I don’t care what you eat (provided you are properly and humanly caring for your food source, animal and now vegetable). This was really just an exercise on taking a unique perspective on a topic to allow a shift in mindset.

Is your current product, idea or message not taking root with your customer? Perhaps looking at your problem from a different mindset can provide the innovative answer you need for growth.

 

The post Plants Have Feelings Too! first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Venn Marketing

No I am not talking about Zen, the Buddhist act of mediation. Though a little more reflection and considered thoughts on a subject would help a lot of marketers out.

I am talking about Venn, or specially, Venn diagrams. A Venn diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of different sets. Typically overlapping shapes, usually circles, are used.

venn marketing

Venn Marketing is then only talking about the logical relations between what you do and what your customer cares about. Everything else is a distraction.

Your customer is self-absorbed with their own set of problems.  They don’t want to, need to or deserve to know everything you know.

Until you have built trust, found out what their problems are, only talk about what you can do to solve those problems. If you can’t help them, tell them. Then refer them to someone who can.

Too many rookie marketing and sales people verbally vomit the whole load all over a prospect at the first meeting. DO NOT DO THIS.

Working with a client is just like meeting a new friend. Take it slow, find commonality, decide if you like each other, find out what they care about. Only talk about that.

Once you have proven you have their best interest in mind, they will ask you what else you can do for them. They will solicit you to know how else you can improve their business. It so much easier to sell somebody when they are compelled to know more about you.

 

The post Venn Marketing first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Stop knee-jerking after targets

What is your purpose as a business?knee-jerking after targets like you are a professional stank-leg dancer

To make money? No, that is an outcome. An important one for sure. You won’t be in business long without profit.

But that is not why your business exists.

You started your business to solve a problem, to fill a need. In solving that problem, you made money.

At some point, the money got better, you focused more on the money then solving the problem. Caring more about hitting the next financial target than helping your customers.

Now you knee-jerk after targets like a professional “Stanky-leg” dancer, chasing after the money. Which is always elusive since you are trying to solve a problem that you can’t remember.

This money chasing, knee-jerking mentality is borne from a fear of loss. This fear is keeping you from a relationship with your customer. It’s only through a trusting relationship with the customer that they believe you can solve their problem and happily give you their money.

Without this trust, your business success (or lack of) is based on a purely transactional basis. The customer isn’t sure if you are the right solution, you just happen to show up at the right time. Have a price that isn’t too risky if your solution doesn’t work. The problem is, someone will always be faster or cheaper, or both. So you scurry around trying to be “Mister Right Now” while doing the financial “Stanky-Leg” to close the deal and hit your numbers.

Why is this easier than building trust and working to compel customers to work with you?

To get back on track, remember what your purpose was and work with that in mind. Work to develop a relationship of trust with your customer. Be very clear with your customers about why you are in business and what problems you help with.

If it is a big enough problem to solve and you are clear enough on how to solve it, the money will flow.

The post What is your purpose as a buisness? first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Trust is Reciprocal

I have talked about the importance for developing trust. From Jeff Beals’ 5 steps  to Margie Warrell’s 3 core domains of Trust .

Trust

In one of those article I mentioned that trust is reciprocal. What I mean by that is, you have to trust others first for them to trust you.

Or another way of looking at it is, if you don’t trust me, I won’t trust you.

We have all met at least one person that says “I never trust anyone”. Maybe they are risk averse or maybe they have been really burned trusting the wrong person. People are selfish, they don’t care about your reasons, what they think is, “this person really just wants the best deal for themselves and wouldn’t think twice about taking advantage of me”.

So If you don’t trust me, I defiantly wont trust you. Since there is no trust, everything we both say will be misinterpreted. Once that starts, then everything we both say is guarded to reduce what is used against us. Every word is hedged to make sure we don’t get caught. We can’t be open.  With lots of unclear communication, we don’t really know what each other wants. And that’s what we each end up with, something we don’t really want.

By trusting someone from the start, you are saying, I approve of you, I like you. People love approval, to know they are ok, to know they are understood, to be liked. When people know you like them, they like you in return. This reciprocal approval is the foundation for all successful relationships. You cannot build trust without a relationship. You cannot do good deals without trust.

Robert Chen shares the benefits of trust:

  • More influential
  • Clients share more valuable information
  • You avoid big problems, people will share problems earlier
  • You are more effective at solving problems with good information
  • More effective in negotiations.

I have found these to be spot on. In that article, Robert also gives 101 practical ways to build trust these which I highly recommend. I see some on the list I need to work on.

But Craig, it’s risky to trust others. I might get burned!

Yes you might.  And if the first impression you give someone is, “I don’t trust people”, then they won’t trust you and you have just increased the likelihood that you will get burned.

Trust is so hard to establish, why wouldn’t you start there? Why hold people at arm’s length? Why make things harder on yourself? Why make it harder to do business, to reach your goals?

Trust is essential for social and economic transactions. You need people to trust you if you want to sell your products or service. Building that trust starts by first trusting others. You can’t harvest without first planting. Sow trust with every interaction.

 

The post Trust is Reciprocal first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Emerge  –  Expand  –  Evolve

This is the rhythm of agriculture, the cycle of innovation, the journey of a great brand.

 

EmergeEmerge

Like plants, ideas emerge

Every great product starts as idea, a seed

Like a seed, much unseen work is done for ideas to reach the light of day

 

ExpandExpand

You must expand to survive

New ideas, like freshly emerged plants are fragile

You must grow

 

EvolveEvolve

Through growth you evolve your thinking

New thinking leads to innovation

New ideas emerge

 

The cycle starts again.

 

The post Emerge  –  Expand  –  Evolve first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Perfection is For Losers

Yes, if you are a perfectionist you are a loser!Perfection is For Losers

You are the very thing you are trying to avoid: loss.

Perfectionism is rooted in fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of appearing incompetent. Fear that everything will be lost.

In the back of their minds, perfectionists believe that the only way to make sure they don’t lose it all is to control everything: to make sure it’s perfect.

Thus, perfection is only an illusion. It’s a facade that perfectionists set up to keep people at arms lengths so others can’t find out that they really are. Insecure, self-loathing and afraid of loss.

When we do discover what perfectionists really are, trust is shattered, and they can no longer be a part of our evolution. At that point, all is lost.

Nature evolves and so must we. Thus, what seems perfect today, but does not evolve is a dead shitty mess tomorrow.

Be like nature, be yourself, good enough for today and evolve as needed.

 

The post Perfection is For Losers first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

More thoughts on Trust

Last week I had the honor of speaking to Titan Pro’s dealer network on soil health. One of my fellow speakers was Jeff Beals.  WheTrustn Jeff is not speaking or consulting, he serves as executive vice president at NAI NP Dodge Commercial Real Estate Company and is co-host/producer of an award-winning business talk-show on 1110 KFAB Radio.

When I lived in the Omaha area I enjoyed listening to his radio program on the weekends, so it was a real highlight of the conference to share a stage with Jeff and then listen to his talk.

The topic Jeff spoke was How to Sell in Brutally Competitive Environments. The key to sales in a brutal environment, trust. You must develop trust to be effective.

Jeff’s 5 steps to develop trust are:

  1. Clear communication
  2. Pass a moment of truth (when you have the opportunity to be truthful, you had better be)
  3. Consistent performance
  4. Behave as a fiduciary
  5. Be responsive

These all are in alignment with Margie Warrell’s 3 core domains of Trust, which you know I am a fan of.

I couple of other tips I really liked from Jeff’s talk were:

Customer before commission

This aligns with my definition of trust, I have faith that you will do what is in my best interest. Once you truly server your customer, you will be in demand and you won’t need to worry about commissions. Worry about yourself first, then you will always be worried about your commissions.

Jeff’s deadly sin of sales – is to assume

I think many people in sales and marketing think they know what the customer wants and are fearful to ask too many questions out of fear. Fear they will look dumb. If you want to build trust, and ultimately a sale, you must know what the customer wants. The only way to do that is Jeff’s rule #1 (see above).

Over the past couple weeks though I have realized one thing is missing from Maggie, Jeff and my keys to building trust.

Trust is reciprocal. What I mean by that is, you have to trust to be trusted.  More on that in a future post.

Make sure you check out Jeff’s work, and if your group is looking for a speaker, I would recommend him for any event you are planning.

 

The post  More Thoughts on Trust first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Do You Compel or Convince Cattle?

Have you ever tried bringing cattle in from the pasture to a corral? Which do you prefer: driving them in or grabbing a bucket of grain and calling them in?Do You Compel or Convince Cattle?

For the bucket of grain to work, you must consistently spend a few minutes each day in contact with the herd. This brings the cattle to trust you and become familiar with your bucket of grain. When you walk into the pasture, they come running and will follow you into the corral because they want what you have, and in a few minutes, the entire herd is corralled.

The corralling is quick and easy; the hardest part of the work is that short, consistent, daily interaction with the herd.

If you don’t have consistent contact with the cattle, or show up looking different on corral day, the bucket of grain doesn’t work. Your only option is to get a few people on four wheelers or horses and over-power, wear-down, and chase the herd, into the corral.

It’s usually not quick and generally not easy. It takes a plan and effort. Many cows in the herd will object to the idea of being corralled. Some will change their minds once they’re in the corral and try to get out. And while you may be able to overcome all these objections and finally corral them all, it’s very hard work at the time. Some of the cattle are going to be dissatisfied with the results.

The selling game is a lot like corralling cattle.

You can get up and put your on selling boots, overcome objections and always be closing. Lots of effort and hard work at the time.

Or you can do a little work every day to build trust with the herd. Once the offer is made, the herd comes running.

Nothing is better than having people lined up who can’t wait to give you their money for your product or service. Isn’t that the dream of every business owner?

A customer that is compelled – or even driven – to purchase your product doesn’t get buyer’s remorse. They become a champion for you. They tell their friends. Their enthusiasm for the product can compel more people to join your cause. More people line up to give you their money.

So, why is being an “order-taker” considered a slur on sales people?

Why is it that most sales people think they need to go belly-to-belly and convince the prospect they must have their solution?

Marketing to build customer acceptance and desire for the product should be the number one tool for every sales person. It is more work than pulling on the sales boots and chasing down and over powering the customer.  But it creates satisfied customers who come back time and time again for your product or services, resulting long-term relationships that benefit you and your customer.

 

The post Do You Compel or Convince Cattle? first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:

Three Reasons You Are an Agtivist

Three Reasons You Are an Agtivist

Yes, Agriculture needs to tell its story.

Yes, we need to feed a hungry world.

Yes, there is a lot of science that backs up conventional farming practices.

Trouble is, most  consumers do not care about any of that.

Ignoring the interests of the consumer makes you Agtivists not an AgVocate.

If you do these three things your are an Agtivist.

#1 You are part of “The Agricultural Echo Chamber”

Most Agtivist talk about agriculture from their view point and/or via sound bites from large corporate ag interests that consumers don’t trust. Consumers who “don’t get the science” are often shouted down. This further closes off the discussion, until it is only the hard core Agtivist talking to each other about how great they are. That doesn’t influence anyone.

#2 You are too “self absorbed”

Agriculture is doing great things, but so is the Automotive industry, and so are other industries. Outside of ag, I couldn’t name one of those things. Why? I am busy and so are consumers. They don’t care about what you are doing, and they are not going to care about it. Consumers don’t care about farming’s “adoption of technology,” efficiency, or production problems.  All they care about is their own interest.

#3 You are a “Data Gun Slinger”

If you whip out data factoids faster than Doc Holiday whips out his six shooter, stop. Just stop. Stop confusing people with data. More discussion of the science behind modern agriculture is not the answer. Agriculture has this backwards. For most people, decisions are made emotionally, then rationalized. When you lead with the cold, hard facts and science, you ignore the heart. Great marketers know you have to win the heart first. Food is very emotional for people, so we need to lead with emotion to win.

How do you stop being an Agtivits?

To effectively engage consumers, connect with them first. Start by by asking more questions about what is really important to them in regards to their food, rather than pushing your agenda. They need to know you get them, that you care. Once you have connected emotionally and have earned their trust, then you have earned the right to have a conversation about agriculture. Then you can AgVocate.

By ignoring the hearts of the consumers, they will grow to despise us.

 

The post Three Reasons You Are an Agtivist first appeared on CraigMDick.com

Please follow and like us:
Older posts

© 2017 Craig M Dick

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

RSS
Follow by Email
LinkedIn
Twitter