Successful Seed Reps Use the Couch

- Rod Osthus

Ever hear of couch selling? It’s the only method top field sellers use to sell 21st century farmers. Couch selling is a metaphor I coined years ago to describe the act of putting farmers’ brains into a so-called relaxed, reclined position before getting down to business. The term is somewhat analogous to the way psychologists used couches over the years to ultimately quiet patients’ minds. The goal was to free them from extraneous thoughts that were keeping them from achieving their goals in life. Top sellers know they need to do the same with farmers. Farmers go through periods every year with their minds out of balance, focusing on problems instead of solutions. Sellers know that as long as farmers are focused on the negatives, no one wins, including the farmer himself. What farmers need most in today’s volatile marketplace is someone to help them stay positive amid oppressive levels of negativity. After all, more than 1,000 variables negatively impact their crops’ performance in some way every year and subsistence level market prices threaten their ability to survive. As a result, input costs put them in the mood to save money, not spend money. So, the first thing couch sellers know they need to do to get a sale is clear the farmer’s mind of all thoughts blocking positive thinking. They need to get the farmer out of that mental rut they often fall into. A rut is a coffin with the ends kicked out, and farmers can’t get out of that rut on their own. They need the help of a couch seller. The greatest asset today’s farmers could have access to, is a sales rep who understands the need for couch selling. They know that farmers are in a constant battle to stay positive and focused on the future. These seed psychologists know how to work with a wide variety of growers and diagnose a wide variety of problems. Some problems are short-term and can be solved quickly, while others are chronic and more difficult to eradicate. But there is a solution to every problem. Put your customers’ brains on the selling couch and see what happens. Once they’ve freed their minds of negative thoughts, you will have given them the hope they desperately need. They will thank you for it and so will their families. And who knows, they may even buy something in return.

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