“I hate selling because I don’t feel understood. I value and use what I sell, but I can’t find customers that will value my products.”
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
I get this question a lot:
“How do I find people that will value my products?”
And as much as I’d love to tell you “there’s a magic group of people that live 10 mins away, they “value” real food and they are happy to pay your prices, all you have to do is… [FILL IN THE BLANK]”
I’m sorry to disappoint, but no such group exists.
And if they did, I’d be the first one to tell you where to find them.
I can’t give you a name of a Facebook group or a local business or organization that keeps all these people who want to pay premium prices for farm fresh products in one place.
We’ve been trained as consumers in most first world countries that food is a commodity, the cheaper the better, no matter what their income.
So there is no hidden stash of foodies who value paying more for farm fresh products.
That’s not how it works.
But what I can tell you is that if you want customers to value what you sell, you have to show them the value.
Wanna know how? Keep reading.
1. Show the Benefits
You have a quality product but no one sees the value as much as you do. It’s our job to show customers how our product solves their problems.
Showing the benefits answers the question in your customer’s head, “What’s in it for me?”
How do you show customers the value?
- Videos you email them
- Farm tours
- Teaching classes
- Customer interviews
- Share how people use your products
One of our marketing students posted a text from her customer who stated, “for the first time, dinner’s a breeze with your meat! For some reason, they argue about eating meat from the store.”
Now notice, what makes most farmers (yes, you) think your product is valuable is NOT what makes your customers think it’s valuable.
You value your rotational grazing system, or your special organic feed blend, or your heritage breed animals.
Then you’re frustrated because you can’t find a group of customers who value these things.
And you won’t!
Keep your values, of course, but those are not the values you market with.
You market your products based on your customers’ values.
Make sense? It’s not the farmer’s values that will draw in a group of people who value your products – – it’s the customers’ values you communicate that will attract a loyal customer base.
You teach your customers (and potential customers) the BENEFITS of eating your products by communicating what your customers have told you they value (if I’m using the example above):
- Want stress free mealtimes with the kids?
- Busy and trying to get a home-cooked meal on the table between sports practices and your day job?
- Love knowing the people who care for the animals?
Then we can help!
My customers buy from me over and over again because I’ve shown them the benefits of our products based on their values. They come out and purchase, experience the benefits in their life then they’re lifelong customers and tell their friends about us, too.
Customers don’t see the value in organic meat, raw milk or farm fresh eggs unless they read, research and educate themselves. This information isn’t taught in school. It’s not drilled into their heads from birth.
Food is a commodity and unless they’re suffering from an illness, trying to lose weight, looking to eat cleaner chemically-free foods, they won’t see the value in it.
People educate themselves when they’re in “pain” or have a problem and are looking for a solution.
YOU are the solution through education. The information that seems like second nature to you, is brand new to someone else.
Farm fresh food isn’t for “everyone.”
It’s our job to educate and show them what makes your products different.
And by different, I don’t mean “…our cows are rotated daily.”
By different, I might mean, “Our grass-fed beef has more nutrients than store-bought, which means you can eat a little less and still feel fuller longer + it gives you more energy for play with the kids and be more productive throughout the day.”
Educate your customers and they’ll see the value in what you sell.
3. Consistent Communication
You must stay in constant communication with your customers through email.
I hear a lot of kick-back from people that say, “Email is dead. Millennials don’t open emails.”
Listen, everyone is busy and inboxes are full. That’s a fact.
BUT you have to give people a reason to open your emails. We’ve taught our parents and grandparents they must open their email and now we can teach the younger generation they, too, must open their email.
There is still no better channel to reach them consistently.
It’s like training an old dog new tricks.
If you can learn technology, build your website and figure out how to market your farm products, like I show and teach you inside Farm Marketing from the Heart, you can show the value of your products to your customers in email.
- Teach them about your products in an email.
- Sell your products in email ONLY.
- Give email subscribers something EXCLUSIVE.
- Thank email subscribers by giving away “extra” cream during the holiday or a pound of ground beef.
- Write a blog post and share the link via email.
Train them to open your quality (non-salesy) emails and they will.
It doesn’t matter how old they are or what form of communication they “prefer.”
Social media is not a place for selling or directly communicating with enough of your ideal customers regularly.
If customers want my raw milk and fresh chicken or want to sign their kids up for farm camp, they need to open my emails.
And we sell out within 24 hours of any sales email we send and the purchasers are all ages.
I’ve given my customers a reason to open email or they will miss out!
No one likes the fear of missing out.
If you want to know the 6 Ways An Email List Makes Your Farm Profitable, read this!
Email works when you deliver valuable content that people want to learn.
As soon as something works better than email to build your profitable farm, you will hear it from me first! Right now, email is still king.
4. Connect with Customers
If you want to find customers that see the value in your products, you have to connect with them in-person.
Yes, you have to get out of the house and away from the farm!
Meet with current customers, local business owners, local farm stands or wineries, and people you can partner with.
I know this is difficult for a lot of farmers since they’re always so busy working “on the farm” but you have to make the time to engage “off the farm” too.
No one will know you exist if you’re not sharing your farm story and telling them what you do.
If you want to know the 12 Ways to Get More Customers – My Complete Start-to-Finish Farm Marketing Plan, read this!
Customers will see the value in your products when you engage with them face-to-face. This builds know, like and trust with current and potential customers.
And let me tell you, this face-to-face marketing never goes out of style or gets old.
I’ve been using this strategy for 10 years and I have a waiting list of people ready to drink my raw milk, and our other products sell out before they’re even grown or as soon as they’re announced.
This keeps the cash flowing and the farm sustainable.
5. Keep a Spreadsheet
I call this my “Keep in Touch” spreadsheet. I open up a Google Sheet and track all the potential people that I come in contact with weekly who might be potential referral partners.
They aren’t going to be on our customer email list (unless they are customers, too) but they are people who might send business our way.
In my case it’s our local hotel/day spa, a local naturopath and two different chiropractors, a couple in town who plan wine tours and like to stop in if they have a crowd particularly interested in farm fresh products, or my girlfriend who opened a card shop and will send people our way occasionally.
Plus at least a dozen others!
I write down their first/last name, business name, address, email/phone, and when I last made contact.
Sometimes people aren’t ready to talk business and you’ll want to reach out at a later date.
It’s like collecting business cards at a networking event.
You have to follow up and keep “top of mind” with potential partners.
Do you have a local farm-to-table restaurant that supports farmers? Do you want them to buy from you weekly/daily and put your farm’s name on their menu?
Or is there a neighboring business that sent you a customer once? They won’t send you more customers unless you keep “top of mind” by reaching out to them consistently with a short note or a regular, quick drop-in visit.
Write down their contact information in your “Keep in Touch Spreadsheet” and reach out consistently. I set aside one afternoon a week to be off the farm visiting with potential referral businesses.
If they say, “Call me next week and we can talk in detail.”
Do that. Set a reminder on your phone and reach out!
This will increase your credibility and make you an influencer.
Customers value what they can see, feel and touch.
Give them an experience when they engage with you, your products and/or farm store.
That is how you get customers to see the value in what you sell or offer.
Now it’s your turn.
Tell me in the comments how you plan to show your customers the value in your products. What action can take today?
For example, you can say, “I’m most excited about #1… #2… #3… #4… #5… I plan to educate my customers about xyz in a blog post by Friday.”
Thanks for being here,