What I’ve Learned After 27 years of Training Agricultural Sales Professionals

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What do agricultural sales professionals really need most to be successful?

When I ask industry leaders this question, I get a variety of answers, many of which are quite good, including things like “a solid manager,” “proper motivation,” and “deep industry knowledge.”

But truthfully, there is one factor that outweighs all of these: Confidence.

Confidence in their ability as a salesperson, confidence in their ag industry knowledge, and confidence in their company’s products and solutions. The best agricultural sales professionals have this one trait more than any other.

Where Does Confidence Come From?

This year marks 27 years that I’ve spent training agricultural sales professionals and what I’ve learned in that time is that confidence is not, as many might have you believe, an inborn trait.
Confidence comes from quality, sustained training.

Unfortunately, I’ve also learned that too few ag sales teams receive that […]

Learning That Never Stops™

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One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Michelangelo….“I am still learning.” Rumor has it he said it at the ripe age of 87! I can only hope that I am still learning in 35 years.

Today, learning is at our fingertips. Technology allows society to research, “google”, or look up anything, any time. Whether you are a student in elementary school or a participant in a corporate training event, learners have “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) assignments. They take quizzes, share google docs, gather data using surveys, etc… Technology allows learning to never stop.

Though a recent survey by Training Magazine, We Walk the Walk, But Do We Talk the Talk, shows strategic companies rank instructor-led classrooms as the most effective, reinforcement and review of learning after training is ranked not far behind. While classroom training is still king, we believe using technology […]

I Know the Look

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I know the look. Eyes glazed over; forced smiles. The look that says, “Why am I here? I don’t need to know this! I’m not an accountant”. I can count on one hand how many people have actually been excited to sit down and start talking about budgets and cash flow forecasts!

Years ago, it was true that only accountants and finance managers needed to understand business acumen. But in today’s world, everyone benefits from understanding basic financial statements. Companies see how important it is for employees to understand the fundamentals of bottom line impact initiatives and “why we are doing what we are doing”.

Our family loves to play games! That is why I love training our business acumen classes. We use a game –simulation approach. All simulations offer a 3D visual representation of your company’s current financial position. This transitions the learning from the classroom to the real world. The tie-backs and discussions relate the simulation experience […]

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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A day doesn’t go by that you don’t hear about Millennials in the workforce.  Millennials, Millennials, Millennials.  It is as if Millennials are taking over the world!  What about the rest of us!!??!!

I am a Baby Boomer, born in the early 60’s.  My kids are Millennials.  I watch them interact with their friends taking selfies and snapchatting.  Does that make them stereotypical narcissistic Millennials? Or are they just having fun? There is a lot of negative press about Millennials these days, but I am amazed at their ability to truly multi-task and be productive.  True, they are on their phones all the time, but in between selfies, maybe they are taking an on line class!

In addition to Millennials, I work with Baby Boomers, Gen Xer’s, and even a few Matures, either in our home office at NuVue or in our daily training sessions.  According to statistics from […]