The number of ranchers and farmers in the U.S. is declining. However, agriculture is still an employees’ market with impressive opportunities in agriculture-related careers. Selling agricultural chemicals is one such opportunity where numerous companies are looking for qualified dealers to help them profitably distribute their products.
Here is what you need to start a career as an agricultural chemical dealer:
A university degree in agriculture is a standard requirement for companies that hire sales representatives to sell their products. Appropriate degrees include Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, Agricultural Science, or Soil and Crop Management. These types of degree provide you with the essential skills and theoretical information needed for a faster start to your career.
To distribute chemical products for a company, you must demonstrate practical knowledge of farm systems. You need to acquire practical skills through company internships and working in actual farm settings. Most agricultural companies require their dealers or sales representatives to have 1-3 years’ experience working in a farming setting or selling chemical products to farmers and ranchers.
Knowledge of Chemicals and Fertilizers
It is essential that you show versatility when it comes to learning about the wide array of agricultural chemicals you will be selling. Undoubtedly, your clients will only trust you to the extent that you are able to explain to them how a product works and its benefits. Your ability to learn about the chemicals will also affect how well you are able to sell them, maintain a sustainable client base and eventually, the amount of commissions you receive from your sales.
Professional Communication Skills
It is not enough to have an impressive educational background. The most successful agricultural chemical sales representatives are the ones who know how to effectively communicate with their clients. The job entails being on the road and interacting directly with retailers or farm owners. Chemical dealers require decent and professional communication skills not only to close the deal but also to help your clients handle farm problems such as disease control. According to Bridgette Readeal, an agriculture chemical sales representative with Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences “When you are in the field with a farmer, you have to do your best to talk it through with him, be a professional.”
Customer Service Skills
In addition to cultivating your communications skills, you also need to demonstrate an ability to provide high quality customer service. This entails delivering products on time, comprehensively answering customers’ questions, and professionally handling customers’ complaints.
Strong Accounting Background
A company can employ you as a chemical dealer or you could be an independent sales representative, distributing products for different companies. Either way, your success will hinge upon your business aptitude. This job entails discussing prices with customers, interesting them in your products, drawing up sales reports, preparing sales presentations and tabulating profits and losses. When a chemical sales representative is not on the road, they are typically indoors preparing business paper work. Potential employers will look at your math and basic accounting skills, marketing capabilities and your ability to remain organized. These skills are also important for an independent chemical dealer.
Agricultural Chemical dealers play a key role in the manufacturing and distribution cycle. They should have adequate knowledge of the products they sell to address customers’ concerns. It is therefore imperative that they possess the right knowledge and qualification to do the job.
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