I started in the biologicals business as a salesperson in 1977. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for other agricultural stakeholders to refer to biological products as snake oils, or what I call fufu dust. We had our work cut out for us building the credibility of our sector and our businesses.
Now, some four decades later, I’m the head of a successful biologicals company in an ever-expanding marketplace where our products are taken seriously because of the crop health, quality and yield benefits they provide. But we didn’t get here overnight.
When I began as a salesperson, there was no social media or even an Internet. We used slides and overhead projectors to make sales presentations to prospective customers. A company depended on its sales managers and advertising and marketing teams to do their homework and to help its salespeople, like me, to attract and retain customers. And the sales call was the driving force behind the company.
It’s really no different today — we’ve just got different tools. However, what hasn’t changed is the importance of building your company’s credibility and reputation. I’ve spent many years figuring out how to do just that. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Integrity is essential
Your salesforce is your frontline when building your credibility in the industry…