• Agriculture Technology
  • Jan 10, 2019

5 Ways to Leverage Your Ag Tech Capabilities

Three men discussing their ag tech strategy around a table
Farmers are seeing the benefits of ag technology on their operations through optimized ROI and yield potential. As a result, they are anxious to see the latest tools and services your retail location has to offer. Make sure they’re ready to hit the field running in 2019 by having those critical conversations about ag tech and how it can continue to help them reach their goals.
Here are five tips to sell through ag tech at your retail location.
1. Explain what farmers are investing in.
Talk with farmers about investing in their operations through the use of technology. Shift the conversation from focusing on a specific tool and how much it will cost to how it will help farmers solve a problem or satisfy a need. Take seed selection, for example. A farmer is probably not going to say, “Show me the best hybrid and let’s put it on all my fields.” Instead, the farmer will probably say, “I have 10 cornfields and I know each one performs differently.” That’s your cue to say, “Let’s use the data we have on those fields to determine what the optimal hybrid choice would be for each.”
2. Offer personalized information.
A number of WinField United retailers are enrolled in our ATLAS® portal, which allows them to build their online presence through a consistent and easy-to-navigate process with the help of Land O’Lakes marketing and information system specialists. This means that we perform the backroom setup as well as supply materials such as expert articles to these retailers. This helps position them as tech-savvy, with online capabilities to serve farmers’ specific needs and easy access to their personalized field information. If your location doesn’t participate in ATLAS, talk with your WinField United representative to find out more.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
Just because farmers are older doesn’t mean they’re not interested in technology. I recently met with a farmer who looked to be in his 60s. He was extremely interested in technology and very impressed with his retailer. And even though he and his agronomist hadn’t figured out every piece of the ag tech puzzle, he was willing to say that he didn’t need every answer now. He didn’t expect everything to work perfectly at first. But he was excited that his retailer was willing to help him use technology to be more sustainable — and enjoy a positive ROI.
4. Demonstrate your value.
Build on the trust you’ve established with your farmers and follow through on your recommendations. Now’s a great time to meet with them to review 2018. Here’s how that could go:
  • This is what we did this year on your farm.
  • This is what worked well.
  • This is what didn’t work out the way we anticipated and here’s why.
Discuss how you can turn these issues into learnings, and then formulate recommendations for 2019.  
5. Be confident in what your retail location has to offer.
You’re not just selling farmers seed or nutrients or crop protection products. You’re selling them different synergistic components of a whole-farm plan. Foster relationships that are lasting and not transactional to create an experience for farmers and build trust. They won’t look to you as the cheapest retailer; they’ll look to you as the best retailer. One they regard as a partner who brings value to the relationship. One they don’t want to be without.