The hardest part of any agricultural process is sales. Sales determine the work done has been worth it. It would be of no use if you had many products and you had little or no idea how to market the products.
Grain and dairy farmers have an edge in marketing. They have a large and properly established market where they can sell their produce.
They also have the advantage of using their numbers to form cooperative societies, unions, and other existing organizations to determine the price.
The issue is different for small scale farmers particularly farmers of fruits and vegetables. The market for vegetables, whether you are a small scale farmer or on a commercial scale, requires developing unique systems.
Unique systems that are tailored to solve the unique marketing problems of the product as the market, as well as the production, are seasonal.
However, products are demanded all year round. Another peculiarity of the market is the high perishability of the product in question. Seeing how difficult this is, you would need a sales funnel to help you market your vegetables.
The Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a concept that refers to the path through which customers are led when they are buying a product. Creating and optimizing your sales funnel will help you gain control of your market.
The truth is, your customers have a range of options available to them. A well-planned sales funnel will help you get your customers the satisfaction they require from you.
By getting your customers the satisfaction that they require, you would see a noticeable increase in sales. The concept of the sales funnel is such that, with every step forward, the number of prospects reduces which is good.
Not everyone who shows initial interest in your vegetables has the intention of buying, so as you move further you are assured of actual intentions.
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There are four stages in the funnel which are: the awareness stage, the interest stage, the decision stage, the action stage.
How The Sales Funnel Works
1. Awareness Stage
At this stage of the funnel, your prospective customer is just aware of the existence of your product. For you, this stage involves making your product known to the public.
It starts with little effort such as putting up a friendly sign outside your farm making people aware that you have vegetables for sale. Running paid ads on related websites.
The process goes further as far as you attending farm fairs letting people know about your products. You could also create your own website online so people can easily reach you.
You can as well create adverts on food websites on the internet, so people can easily get to you. One very important thing that you should note however is that a perfect understanding of your product is needed for you at this stage.
Who are your prospective buyers? What do they want? The answers to these questions will give you a lead on designing the proper adverts that will catch the attention that you need.
2. Interest Stage
At this stage of the funnel, your prospective customers are fully aware and are interested in your products. At this point, they pick your vegetables and take a closer look.
One thing to put in mind here is that they have options. So put short but relevant information on the ads you are running, on your home page. Guide them through making an informed decision on the benefits of your products.
Are your vegetables organic? Let them know why it more beneficial to eat organic foods. Let him know how healthy his choice of vegetable is. Allow him the opportunity of seeing the benefits of eating such a vegetable as he is interested in.
3. Decision Phase
At this stage, the prospective customer is very interested in the product and a decision is to be made. You should have it in mind that a majority of those coming in to purchase are in search of a good deal.
They have options and as such, you must give the best in other to make sales. You should be talking about the unique offers and discounts that come with buying from you. Are you doing a “buy one get one free” promotion, now is the time to talk about it.
4. Action Stage
At this stage, the customer decides whether to buy or not. In most cases, people mistake this stage as the stage where there is nothing to do. Nothing is far more from the truth.
Whether you make a sale or not, you should go further in getting feedbacks. For those who got the products, find out how you can improve. By so doing you are finding out what your customers want exactly.
On the other hand, in a case where there are no sales, you should also try to find out why. This will help you adjust appropriately so that such wouldn’t happen again. You should also note that at this point, the idea is not a one-time purchase.
In a bid to have them come back, you need to throw in some incentives. You could have discounts for existing customers, referral coupons, etc.
The process of coming up with a sales funnel that works is a continuous process. A process that involves evaluation and re-evaluation of the process until you have optimized it.
As customers need change, so should your strategies change. You get a clearer view of what your customers need and check the success of the system.
A successful sales funnel should:
- Help you capture the attention of buyers
- See them become customers that return for more purchase
- Grant you the confidence of your customers so they can get your referrals.