Let's face it, Ag Sales just doesn't come easy to most of us. I surely didn't for me until I started getting involved in the contest. Now I realize that we interact with the sales process every time we purchase something, we just don't appreciate the skills the sales staff are using. Review the steps below and you'll quickly see how to incorporate a day or two of Ag Sales into any Ag Ed class and absolutely blow your student's minds.
1. As you go around town or your region start collecting commonly used sales phrases for up sells, trial close, features and benefits, building rapport, and inquiry. Here are some examples but find ones that your students here every time they go to their favorite restaurant, clothing store, and farm supply store.
- "Would you like fries with that?" Up sell
- "Will this complete your order?" Trial close
- "What type of work do you plan to use this tool for?" Inquiry
- "Oh you are from Charlotte? So is my mother." Building rapport
- "This string trimmer contains a quick release head, and holds 100 yards worth of trimmer string." Features and Benefits
2. You can sit and have a discussion about each of these. Or you could place all the quotes you come up with in a hat and have students come in and recite them in their best "McDonald's voice" or "Old Navy voice" to see if the other students can guess two things. The store where it came from and which of the categories the quote belongs to.
3. Discuss why these quotes influence our behavior. Are the sales staff trying to trick us? Are they doing us a favor because we always forget to order fries or purchase a large drink?
4. Now present a bag of mixed candy. Mini Snickers, 3 Musketeers, or whatever you like. Now have a series of students come up and try to sell you on their favorite.
- Do they use inquiry to figure out what kind of candy you like?
- Do they try to build rapport as they understand more about you and your taste in candy?
- Can they provide any features and benefits for the candy? Are they convincing?
- Do they find creative ways to up sell the purchase? 2 for 1? Kingsize for 20 cents more?
- Do they ask for the sale? The hardest part of sales for most folks is say "So are you interested in buying this item?"
- Do they attempt a trial close? Do they keep selling after you agreed to buy? Do they keep building rapport when they
don't have to?
5. Now tie this back to the subject area of the class. Apply this directly to landscape plants , bull semen, food products, duck calls, or machinery. Ag Sales is about communicating the product to the consumer so that they have enough information to make a buying decision.
Go and really have some fun with this. Your students will really be astounded how often sales tactics are used to influence human behavior. We'd love to see your results. Send me some feedback and follow us on Pinterest and Twitter.
Good luck and have a great week at school!