Customers are an important part of any business, and the relationship between your produce and customers determines if your farm breaks even or not. More customers equal more profit, it is therefore pertinent to pay attention to customers as they drive sales. In this article, I will be highlighting ways to drive sales to your farm
Know your customers
It is damaging for your farm to be ignorant of who and where your customers are. Since customers are an important part of the business, it is pertinent to spend time deciding who will buy/who buys your produce and how to get/keep their attention. You need to ask questions like: who buys my product? Are they male or female? Which age group do they fall into, young, middle aged or old? What is their income level? Where do I get the most orders? and what day/season do I get the most patronage?
If your farm already has customers, think of your best ones. Who are they and how would you describe them? Knowing this would help you tailor your marketing message to their needs.
Create Your USP
This is your farm’s unique selling point, what sets you apart. There is enough competition for customers, it is important to determine what sets your farm apart and work with it. It is the difference between your farm and the others, it is what brings customers to your farm, and why they would refer you to others. A good USP should be able to answer these questions “Why should someone do business with me instead of my competition?” What unique benefits does my farm offer?
Take Advantage of the Internet
Social media platforms, email marketing, launching a website are ways you can put your farm in the public eye. Launch a website for your farm, connect with customers and other farmers on social media platforms, find sales platforms like agricmania.com.ng that advertises farm produce at a little fee and acquire knowledge to improve your farm and marketing plan. There are enough opportunities and materials available online to improve your business.
This is an efficient but often ignored way of communicating with your customers. It is an effective way of telling your customers about produce sales, new products, promotions & discounts as well as sending complimentary messages. It is a direct means of communicating with your customers as you can be sure they got your message.
This may sound redundant but it’s not, because most businesses under-advertise themselves. Get the word out there! A billboard, TV or radio advert might be too much for your budget, but signs around your farm, word of mouth advertising and social media isn’t. Tell friends and family about your business, don’t forget work and religious association too. They may not be a customer now, but their network may.
Network with Other farmers
Collaboration is the new competition, finding farmers that produce what you do can lead to referrals, and knowledge sharing which translates to profit for you. Join a farmers’ association if there one, make friends within your industry and ensure your farm is known for its quality produce and services.
Attend Farm related events
Conferences, Open sales, Farmers market, meetings or any gathering that involves your farming interest should be high on your events list. These gatherings don’t just constitute of farmers like yourselves but also potential customers. They offer you the opportunity to network with a wider audience and put your brand in the public eye.
Good customer relations
Nothing makes a loyal customer that excellent service, it is the cheapest of all the ways. Your attitude towards your customers determines their continued patronage and referrals. Be on your best behaviour, learn excellent customer relations, and relate with your customers as their needs demand. Either on the phone, at your farm or at a sale, be polite and remember while excellent service is great way to keep a customer, bad service is a sure way of keeping them away.
Evaluate Your Success
Knowing what worked, what didn’t and why, would lead to a clearer and more focused marketing strategy. Going over your success and asking questions like: Did I sell more? Did I make a larger profit? Did my farm products sell more quickly? Are there some potential customers that might turn into sales in the coming year because of this year’s marketing? Did I retain more customers? Did I get new customers? Were my existing customers more satisfied?
This would allow you to know what steps to take.
Driving sales takes time and effort, it is important to be focused on the goal and not get distracted by some frustrations along the way. Be open to innovative ideas on marketing your produce and driving sales to your farm. Walk along this path, you can be sure of a profitable enterprise.