Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Discuss the history and development of the agribusiness sales industry including its scope, variety, historical perspective, relationship to other industries, and current and future role in the U.S. economy.
2. Recognize and summarize the characteristics of a successful agribusiness salesperson.
3. Analyze and apply the component parts and dynamics of the sales process in agribusiness.
4. Identify the major sources for agricultural sales prospects and the methods used to secure sales commitments from potential buyers.
5. Explain the benefits of providing post-sales customer service for agricultural customers.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of approaches and strategies for selling in agribusiness.
7. Discuss the use of technology based sale tools and techniques.
8. Demonstrate interpersonal and organizational communication skills, with particular emphasis on the uniqueness of the agribusiness sector.
9. Describe principles of good listening, overcoming barriers in communication, and effective verbal and non-verbal communication.
10. Discuss the importance of teamwork in organizations.
11. Discuss the critical components of effective sales management.
12. Examine social responsibility and ethics as they relate to factors affecting ethical choices, criteria for ethical decision making, and managing company ethics.
13. Examine self-management options and formulate a personal strategic plan.
I. Introduction to the Scope and Variety of the Sales Industry
A. Agribusiness selling: Why is it difficult?
B. A comparison of agribusiness selling and the total sales profession
C. The knowledge base of agribusiness sales
1. Agricultural background and experiences
2. Product and technical knowledge
3. Understanding selling
II. Sales Leadership
A. Styles of leadership
B. Characteristics of successful leadership
C. Teamwork in organizations
1. Understanding teams
2. Becoming a team
3. Team leadership
4. Team performance
D. Relationship between sales and marketing
1. Function of sales team
2. Function of marketing team
III. Understand Customer of Food and Agricultural Products
A. Why and how people and businesses buy
1. Hierarchy of human needs
2. The dominant buying urge
3. Agriculture's decision model
B. Non-manipulative, consultative selling
C. Importance of long-term relationships and consumer retention
IV. Communication Skills
A. Behavioral styles and communication techniques
B. Overcoming barriers in communication
C. Effective listening skills
D. Non-verbal communication
2. Body language
V. Agricultural Sales Process
A. Finding potential customers (prospecting)
1. What is prospecting?
2. Process of prospecting
B. Sales Call
1. Sales call strategy
2. Opening a sales call
3. Creating a positive impression and building rapport
4. Transitioning to business
1. Understanding your customer
2. Personal beliefs, goals and needs
D. Communicating Value
1. Commuicating product attributes
2. Total value proposition
E. Dealing with resistance
1. What is customer resistance?
2. Planning for resistance
3. Causes of objections and strategies for handling objections
F. Closing the sale (Confirmation)
1. What is the close?
2. When do you close?
3. Trial close
4. Closing strategies
VI. The Nature of Management
A. Understanding the nature of management
1. Managerial activities, skills, roles
2. Management as anticipation
B. Sales Management
1. Time management
2. Territory management
3. Credit management
4. Financial compensation plans
VII. Marketing and sales in agribusiness
A. What is marketing?
B. Relationship between marketing and sales in agribusiness
C. Market analysis
D. Marketing objectives
E. Marketing mix
VIII. Professional Sales Plan
A. Components of a sales plan
B. Mission and vision statement
C. Strategic sales plan
D. Sales budget and projections
IX. Sales Ethics
A. Social responsibility and ethics
B. Factors affecting ethical choices
C. Criteria for ethical decision making
D. Managing company ethics and sales
X. The Agribusiness Selling Experience and Tools
A. Planning and making sales professional food and agricultural sales presentations
1. Personal and group presentations
2. Identify appropriate media tools for agribusiness sales
B. Advertising and sales promotion in agribusiness
C. Strategies and techniques for digital and multi-media sales
D. Use of social media tools in agribusiness selling
XI. Additional issues in professional agribusiness sales
A. Customer satisfaction
1. Defining customer satisfaction
2. Managing and measuring customer satisfaction
B. Tools and tips for effective sales professional
1. Traits of exceptional sales professional professionals
2. Activities and techniques
3. Elevator speeches
4. Forecasting sales
XII. Careers in Agricultural Sales and Individual Career Planning
A. Exploration and understanding of careers in agricultural sales
1. Job opportunities and demands
2. Future trends in agribusiness sales
B. Job search strategies - an application of sales
2. Cover letter
3. Job interview skills
Proselling: A Professional Approach to Selling in Agriculture and Other Industries. Downey, W. Scott, Downey, W. David. Jackson, Michael A., and Downey, Laura A. Agri Marketing, 2011.
Selling Today: Creating Customer Value: Using Technology to Add Value. Manning, Gerald L. and Reece L. Prentice Hall, 2013
Instructor prepared materials