Written by Samantha Hoover
Samantha is a rising junior at the University of Florida studying business administration with a specialization in wealth management. In the future she is looking to pursue a career in the wealth management industry as a financial advisor. In her free time she loves to garden and spend time with friends. She is the treasurer for the Undergraduate Medical Women’s Association, and served as the treasurer for TPUSA’s chapter at UF.
When you think of sales in agriculture, your mind may go to an auctioneer rattling off numbers so fast you can’t keep up. That is how most people view sales in agriculture, but the truth goes far beyond that.
In my time in agriculture, I learned about the long sales process behind these famous auctions. When beginning any agriculture project, you must purchase livestock from a reputable breeder, which gives you the chance to become the client. A sales pitch becomes the most important during this process, as there are numerous breeders in the livestock market. At this point, you ask, “why should I buy livestock from you”? The following exchange determines the fate of the sale. Like the sales industry, you must handle objections and convince buyers that you are the best option. Once the sale is complete, that is when the sales process begins for the auction.
Growing up participating in 4-H, I learned about the entire process of bringing livestock to show and market. Although I thought all I needed to do was show up, I quickly noticed I was wrong. From the very beginning, in the livestock market, you have to learn how to sell to get the best sale price possible. You can accomplish this by having multiple buyers lined up to buy your livestock at the auction driving up the price. To obtain more buyers, I learned how to build rapport and a sales pitch to set my livestock apart. From the first day of purchase, I reached out to buyers and let them know of my up-and-coming livestock. Though this was not a sales pitch, I began to build a connection with the buyers. The updates became one of the deciding factors of the sale as each buyer began to feel important and a part of my livestock’s journey. Then as the auction approached, I prepared to make my final sales pitch.
Every year our fair, which hosts the auction, hosts a dinner that brings the buyers and sellers altogether. During this time, the months of building rapport pay off as I make my final pitch to set myself and my livestock apart from the rest of the livestock market. This last step is when having sales experience is most important. Growing your knowledge about the sales industry and practicing makes the final pitch go with a breeze. With a sales pitch complete and buyers ready, it is time for the bidding to begin and the sales journey to end until next year.