Know thy customer – Buyers in the driver’s seat

Robyn Creed our Head of Coaching hails originally from country NSW and recently spent a relaxing weekend mustering cattle on her sisters’ 11,000 acre property north of Jerilderie, NSW.

Here is her account of the cattle industry and how buyers are truly in the driver’s seat when it comes to customer buying preferences.

“Over the course of the weekend we discussed many interesting facts in relation to producing quality cattle, and I realised that, like the Apples and Samsungs of this world, cattle producers breed cattle based on the specific needs of what their buyers want.

“Whether it is a vealer, yearling heifer or steer, cattle farmers who are producing for meat, need to maintain a grade score of C2 or C3 with a 200kg+ liveweight in order to compete in the market.

“A story appeared in a prominent country paper that same day headlined ‘Cash Cow – One Heifer goes for $55,000 in the race for a super breed to crash the Japanese market.’

“Hitomi is a young cow with a very special heritage: she is 21/32nds, or 96.9% wagyu; the Japanese breed that produces what some say is the world’s finest tastiest beef. Wagyu cattle produce meat so highly marbled, with fat that is rich in flavor, that the Japanese will shell out more than $150 a pound for the choicest cuts.

“In addition, with the use of artificial insemination (AI) one wagyu cow can generate 30 or more offspring per year. No wonder Hitomi’s new owner forked out $55,000 knowing the potential return on investment she would receive.

“In fact, she confides that just two days after the purchase, she was offered $100,000. Hitomi was bred with the specific requirements of the customer in mind, she was customised through high-tech breeding to attract the high dollar of the wagyu breeder.

“So whether it be cattle breeders producing to the tune of what their customers demand, retailers such as Country Road and the Book Depository offering free shipping for all online customers because that is what is important to their client, or Grand Designs Australia’s latest couple – Daniel and Andrew from Trinity Beach, Cairns demanding a door jamb be re-made because it was a couple of millimetres too short; it is apparent that unless we know the finer detail of what our customers want our product offering will remain on the shelf.”

“Buyers are in the driver’s seat” was voted by our readers as the fifth most important sales trend in Barrett’s 2012 Sales Trends Report.

Buyers in the 21st Century are intelligent, connected and tech-savvy consumers who know what they want. They seek to know what Return on Investment (ROI) they will receive on their investment with the aim of accelerating their business results. They want their purchase to be tailored to their needs and will not buy unless there is value in the proposition.

Robyn’s story from Jerilderie, NSW illustrates this point very well.

So make sure you spend time getting to know your buyer. Understand what their buying motivators are by visiting their local hangouts or favourite places. Check out their ‘likes’ on Facebook , what are they tweeting,  spend time with them at their warehouse or farm to see how they operate, understand their sales strategy and business vision and most importantly ask them what they want to have included in the product or service offering you are pitching.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is one of the leading female voices commenting on sales today. Sue is an experienced business speaker and adviser, facilitator, sales coach, training provider and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting, support system where you can get access to sales assessments, sales consulting, sales coaching and sales training programs including planning, prospecting, selling skills, account management, emotional resilience and more. Visit, Barrett Facebook Page or follow Sue Barrett on Twitter.


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