Key Considerations When Communicating Across Generations

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Surveys and market research have shown that different generations have very distinct views about products, politics, religion, careers, and just about everything else.

Generation is one of the most important factors that shape people’s opinions and views. But where are the generational dividing lines, and what are some of the key considerations when communicating to each distinct generation? What follows is a brief primer designed to answer these questions and more.

Matures

40 Million born before 1945: Are now past the traditional retirement age of 65. Although most are retired, about a third will continue to work at least 5 years beyond retirement. Most Matures are now focused on retirement pursuits, health and aging issues, and their legacy to their children and grandchildren. 16 million Matures served in the armed forces during World War II. Almost one million of them were killed or wounded during the war. Matures have the highest household net worth of […]

3 Must-Haves for Salesperson On-boarding in the Agricultural Market

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When you hire a new salesperson, they naturally walk through your front door full of excitement and energy. Best-in-class on-boarding is one of the best ways to turn that energy into results.

Do you remember the first day at your company? Chances are you were excited, ready to dive in and get started. When you hire a new salesperson, that’s how they feel when they walk through your doors as an employee for the first time.

If you’ve made a good hire, that person has the potential to become an amazing ag-sales professional. However, it’s up to you to help them realize that potential—and your on-boarding process will play a large role in doing exactly that.

1. A Day-1 Action Plan
Before your new salesperson arrives for their first day, it’s important to check off a few important to-do items, including:

    • Ensure their computer, email, and phone are ready.
    • Let your receptionist know they’ll be coming in and what to do when […]

Best Practices for Customer Service in Agricultural Sales

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There is no doubt, growers can be some of the most discerning customers out there.  But once their loyalty is won, amazing customer service is the best way to keep it.  Here are some of the best ways to do just that.

After 27 years in agricultural sales, I’ve seen thousands of salespeople come and go. And I’ve noticed that the best learn early on in their careers that superior customer service after the sale is what truly creates customer loyalty. It is loyal customers that form the foundation of any great sales organization, because loyal customers come back to buy again and again, month after month.

But here’s the thing. Providing fantastic customer service is not hard, it’s just not something most sales training programs emphasize. If salespeople spent as much time thinking about customer service after the sale as they did closing the the next sale, monthly quotas would be easier to hit. With this in mind, I’ve put together some of the best practices in […]

The Key to Knowledge Retention in Sales Training

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It is no surprise that we forget what we learn almost instantly. Through formalized training reinforcement, learning doesn’t have to stop when class is adjourned.

Knowledge retention drops off steeply after formal training has ended. We have all seen some version of this statistic, and we have all felt this drop at different times throughout our learning ‘careers.’ But how bad is it really?

the-key-to-knowledge-retention-in-sales-training

As you can see above, Sales Performance International puts the average percentage […]

How Improving Customer Service Starts with Becoming a Better Listener

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Becoming a better listener is easy to say and hard to do. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow these quick tips on your next customer service call.

Improving customer service starts with being a better listener. If we can listen with the intent to understand, as Stephen Covey first articulated it, then we can avoid listening as most people do–with the intent to reply. Try these quick tips for better listening the next time you find yourself in conversation with a customer that has an issue, and I think you’ll be surprised by how positive the outcome of that conversation can be.

Listen without interrupting. Our understanding and enthusiasm for correcting a customer’s concern can sometimes lead us to interrupt them in mid-sentence. Keep in mind that no matter how quickly we think we can pick up on a customer’s concern, no one likes being rushed or having their sentences finished for them. Listen like you have no place to be but right there with that […]