30 May 5 Reasons You Should REALLY Consider a Career in Ag Sales
“Sales? I don’t really want to be a Salesman.” I can remember using these words in a conversation with a trusted adviser my senior year of college. For some reason the notion of being a Salesman carried this persona of someone that nobody wants around and someone who has to trick their customers into buying from them. But this could not be further from the truth! Turns out I had no idea what agricultural sales was all about and how important this role is to farmers and agribusiness as an industry. Now that I have spent eight years working with customers as a grain & feed merchandiser and manager, I now know that good sales associates serve as brand managers for the companies they represent and trusted advisers for their customers. With heavy demands on the time of farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness managers, these individuals rely heavily on the sales representatives that call upon them. A successful long term bond often ends up becoming more of a business partnership than the “cold calling” salesman image I once had in college. Hopefully that helps put the profession into perspective for you.
Here are 5 reasons you should REALLY consider pursuing a career in Ag Sales:
- You will be in demand EVERYWHERE. When you consider that Ag Sales could mean selling anything from seed to fertilizer to equipment to technology to feed to pharmaceuticals to various services, you quickly realize that these positions are in huge demand. These sales jobs consistently show up in the top ranks for most available openings, and conversations with agribusiness managers often cite these sales positions as the hardest to fill with qualified talent.
- Work independently. A lot of us, especially millennials, like the idea of being given a challenge and the freedom to figure out how to be successful. Sales by nature is very results driven, leaving some flexibility to the employee to find their best methods of achieving those results. This is not to say that you will not receive support, but if you are the type of person that wants to get out into the work world and make an impact in your own way, sales is likely to be the perfect role for you!
- Enjoy perks you won’t get in other positions or other industries. Many Ag Sales jobs involve getting out face to face with the customer on a regular basis. For this reason, it is very common for these types of jobs to include a company vehicle even for new hires. This is a huge financial perk when you consider the cost of owning a vehicle (purchase price, insurance, gas, maintenance & repair, etc.). Ag sales professionals get to skip these costs and pocket that money. Granted, not ALL Ag Sales positions include this perk, but there are other possible perks as well such as a home office, company cell phone, company lap top, 401k, health benefits, etc.
- Build relationships that will last your entire career. This has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career so far. Working “in the trenches” with customers year in and year out has built a level of trust and mutual respect that has lead not only to an increase in my business, but a relationship that extends much deeper than just the transaction. Zig Ziglar has a famous quote that has been a central part of my life that says “You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people get what they want”. To me that’s what sales is all about.
- Financial benefits that grow with performance. There is no question that the financial benefits of a career in Ag Sales can be very rewarding. There is often a structure that includes both a base salary and some sort of commission and/or bonus. What’s even more exciting is as you build the long term trust-based relationships with your clients you will likely continually increase your year-on-year sales volume thus increasing your take home pay annually without necessarily relying on a raise (although raises will likely come as well!).
So these are 5 reasons I think you should consider a career in Ag Sales. If this is something that gets you excited please join our mailing list or leave us a message in the comments and we’ll reach out to you. We also plan on developing an online Ag Sales Training Program in the future. More to come on this later but let us know if this is something you would like to get in on!