How do you build relationships in order to sell to farmers and those in the agricultural sector?
Successful selling is about building relationships. Whether that’s over the phone, in person or online, it’s about communicating with your audience.
Thankfully, the rise of social media makes it so much easier to communicate with the agriculture farming and food industry. And the sector’s willingness to embrace online communications means it is now much easier to build relationships within the sector.
The important thing to remember is you are not directly selling online – you are building relationships. If you have goods or services to sell to the farming community, developing a social media strategy will help to build an online community. At Social Jungle we have seen businesses make huge inroads when they use their social media effectively.
This means understanding how to be social online, being aware of all the tools and techniques that are available to you and having a strategy to build a community on the different platforms. Once people have got to know and trust you they’ll be much more willing to do business with you.
Our top tips for building relationships:
1. Don't leave your social media to one person:
Make sure that everyone who is responsible for having conversations with customers is also able to hold those conversations on your social media platforms.
2. Up-skill your teams:
Whether that’s your sales team, management or retail staff, make sure they are equipped with the necessary skills so that they can contribute to your social media. Invest in training your team to use social media effectively.
3. Produce content that can really make a difference:
This is what really grabs an audience’s attention. If you have experts within your organisation, use them to deliver expert information through your social media. Audiences want to see real people and real experts talking about solving problems within the industry.
4. Use video to show your story:
People are interested in the real people behind your business so tell your real stories using video. Start by pre-recording video and moving to live video when you feel a little more confident. Don’t be afraid of raw video – it’s authentic and allows people to identify with you better than some heavily polished and edited promotional video which can often be seen as nothing more than a sales pitch.
5. Keep your content to a minimum:
This means not over-posting or over-sharing. Plan in advance and create content that provides information and conversation. Post consistently and regularly as audiences will come to expect your insights on certain days. Facebook especially is looking for ‘episodic’ content; for example, this could be a Q&A session each Wednesday or meet the team sessions once a month.
6. Use case studies:
Nothing tells a story like a real-life example. Post case studies on your social media to demonstrate your relationships with clients. Show the problems that you have solved and the value you have given to your customers.
7. Plan your social media in advance of events:
Build community and conversation prior to attending shows and event. Tell you audience where you are going to be and invite them to join you using videos to create conversation. Make them feel welcome, engage with them on social media before, during and after the event. Encourage your audience to come and meet your team in person. Nothing beats real relationships, especially if they have already been fostered online.
8. Consider using Groups:
Facebook Groups are a fantastic way to connect with clients. These closed groups are where your most valuable content is provided, it is where your industry experts provide their knowledge in the form of video and live video. It is also where you publish the latest information and invitations to events. It’s a bit like a membership club where members feel truly valued by your organisation.
9. Showcase your technical products:
If your business sells new or highly technical products, social media gives you the opportunity to really demonstrate your knowledge in this area. You can use social media to create a buzz about a product even before it’s launched. This means you stay one step ahead of the competition by building relationships in an online space before converting them into real world relationships.
Who are Social Jungle?
Industry experts Alison Teare and Simon Haley formed Social Jungle in 2016 to provide social media masterclasses, advice, strategy and training to the agriculture, food and rural business sectors.
We believe the positive power of social media offers massive opportunities for those who are willing to learn to use the social platforms to form strong relationships with existing and perspective customers, to build their brand and to market their businesses.
We are here to help! Get in touch …