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Agrimarketing : January February 2008
Relationships count significantly in agricultural marketing and selling. While the importance of relationships in agri-business is not new, there does appear to be a resur- gence in the recognition that people still buy from people and prefer that it stays that way. Direct Contact, Inc. (DCI) based out of St. Charles, IL, recently cele- brated its 10th anniversary of bring- ing together agricultural companies and experienced agricultural profes- sionals to help those companies reach customers the old fashioned way, with personal, professional, informa- tive and value-added in person sales calls. These "farm gate" sales focused conversations bring back the true sense of selling through a genuine sharing of ideas and experiences with the emphasis on experiences. Retail- ers, distributors, growers and other agricultural influentials have all had positive experiences with this retro approach to the selling and buying experience and the value that it brings. Speaking of value, in addition to the experience and relationship value that the DCI contractor sales teams bring, the companies that utilize the DCI teams see a distinct advantage in having those sales efforts taking place in the right place at the right time. In an ever increasing environment of limited resources it is critical to an organi- zation's success to manage those resources as carefully as possible. DCI's approach to the market allows companies to focus on spe- cific geographies, markets and tim- ing to help maximize all available resources. Tom Wingate, Vice President of DCI, says that more and more com- panies are recognizing the value of having a proven group of sales pro- fessionals on staff for a defined period of time during the critical selling period. That period of time could be two months or two years depending on the client's objec- tives. Wingate goes on to say that the concept makes sense in all areas of agriculture including crop pro- tection, seed, animal health, equip- ment and more. "DCI provides a seamless solution to our clients sales and service needs including the recruiting and hiring process, project planning and all fees, expenses and project manage- ment," says Wingate. Because all of DCI's projects are designed to use the secure Web site for all project activities, the clients have the valuable opportunity to check on their project status through the DCI secure Web site on a 24/7 basis. Terry Bowen, President, DCI, designs and builds much of the data- base that makes it possible for DCI clients to view sales activities and results on a timely basis. Bowen says, "We have found that one of the things our customers have come to rely on is current information regarding their project. We exceed their expectations by collecting and displaying exactly what they need to see on a daily basis." DCI has between 200-300 inde- pendent contractors performing var- ious selling and service functions across the United States on an annual basis. For more information, go to www.directcontact.com or call 630/485-5700. AM SELLING THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS AND EXPERIENCE ADVERTORIAL Tom Wingate, Vice President, Direct Contact Inc. Terry Bowen, President, Direct Contact Inc.
2008 Marketing Services Guide
Crop Life America