There isn't much attention paid to how decision-making transitions from one generation to the next on family farms. The problem? As the roles of each on-farm generation evolve, it affects more than just the farm families. It affects the businesses who work with them.
Marketers talk a lot about differentiation. The problem is that their processes can be a little self-centered rather than customer-focused.
Effective sales discovery is a conversation. Making it useful to both sides requires plenty of planning on the part of the salesperson. It means giving thought to how the conversation benefits the customer, not just the seller.
Each company is different, of course. But in every case, understanding the strategy of a customer company and the beliefs, goals and needs of the people in it, is at the heart of managing key customer accounts. That's where the process of discovery can have exceptional payoffs.
Large-scale family-owned farms face unique business challenges because of the way different generations approach decision making.
Comparing sales performance solely on the basis of production or revenue doesn't cut it.
The need for efficiency is driving consolidation in both livestock and crop operations. Understanding and serving these customers is critical for agribusiness.
Back when I worked in banking, there were a lot of mergers. One year, in September, our bank was bought by another, larger organization. Everything was fine until Thanksgiving. In our original company, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, the company would bring each employee a big, frozen turkey.