20 Feb Seed Sales with Tim Braun
Sales jobs have a tendency to get a negative persona by those looking for a career in the agriculture industry. The first mention of the word “sales” in a job description usually has candidates running away quickly. Despite the worldwide hesitation toward a career in agriculture sales, there are a few people who jump in only to be rewarded with numerous benefits.
Sales jobs available
Tim Braun, a District Sales Representative for Rob-See-Co, is one of the lucky ones who found his calling in the sales world. Rob-See-Co is a small seed company based in Omaha, Nebraska that distributes seed products from multiple suppliers, including Syngenta.
Tim’s role within Rob-See-Co is to promote and build the four-year-old company’s brand, recruit seed dealers and make on-farm sales. His focus is to promote the company’s corn and soybean products.
“My job is to go build up a dealer network of local support and local energy, and also to work with certain growers and help promote the brand myself,” Tim said. “We’re the fastest growing seed company in the country right now. It’s great!”
Tim studied agriculture education and agronomy in college because he was interested in the topics. After graduating, he decided his talents and passion would be more useful in a sales role than a career in teaching. This led him to a seven-year career with BASF before taking a position with Rob-See-Co. Tim has been able to combine his two passions in life through his career in sales.
“My dream wasn’t selling seed at all,” Tim said. “It can be a challenging type of thing for a lot of people to get into. I really enjoy growing crops and seeing what’s going on there. I also enjoy helping people — helping other farmers do a better job raising their crops.”
Sales myths debunked
Most people have a negative perception of a career in the sales industry due to several myths. Here are two myths Tim believes prevents individuals from pursing a career in sales and the truth to them.
- I have to force or beg people to buy my product — As a sales professional, you can not force anyone to purchase anything from you, especially on a farm level.
- I do not have to educate my customers on my product — When you walk on a farm, you should be thinking of ways to position your product to give the most success to that individual. Sales is all about education. How can you educate your customers about a product so that it will work properly on their farm?
- I do not have to build a relationship with my customers — People have to get to know you and trust you before they are going to make a purchase.
- Making cold calls is too hard and uncomfortable — Cold calls are challenging, especially when you’ve never met the person before, but once you get the hand of them they usually turn out to be fun.
Sales traits needed
When conducting the hiring process for a sales position, Tim looks for candidates to have some of the following traits.
- Be active — Be willing to get out, meet new people and work hard.
- Have connections in the community — Be able to develop new and old relationships with those around you.
- Have the drive to build a brand — Be enthusiastic about promoting the company and product you represent to everyone you meet.
If an individual is interested in pursuing sales as a career, Tim encourages them to network constantly.
“Network, network, network is my best piece of advice,” he said. “Get to know people in the industry, outside of the industry, your customers. Make as many connections as you can because they’ll come back to you time after time. Networking is key, but treat your customers like you’d like to be treated. Be fair with everybody and sales will come your way.”
To reach out to Tim, send him an email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter: @tbraun3 https://twitter.com/tbraun3.
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