Last week my fiance and I were in our favorite pub enjoying one last beer and night out before Lent commenced and we entered the "closed" time of year. In walked a few of our local farmers for their own bit of brew.
One of the farmers came right over and warmly said hello. I buy from their booth at my local farmers market all the time so it was nice to be recognized and greeted. Another of the farmers, however, whom I buy from regularly, only gave me a blank stare. Didn't even pretend to know me.
This was a bit off putting because this farmer supplied the 20 pounds of pickling cucumbers that become the bread-and-butter pickles, relish and dill pickles we have been working our way through this winter. Dare I say we've been working our way through them with a "relish"?
To have someone grow and supply the food that I turned into part of our winter staples, to sustain us with flavor through the winter doldrums, to have him look at me so coldly, well, it was...odd.
You see, food is emotional. Food connects. One reason people shop farmers markets is to make that connection with the farmers growing the local food, right?
The farm marketing lesson here is this: Be a friendly farmer! I don't care if he didn't remember he sold me 20 pounds of cucumbers, or any of the other locally grown produce I regulary buy from his stand. He could at least have waved, smiled, done something, anything a little bit friendly. I no longer have warm fuzzies for that farm, and it could be I will bypass that booth come June when the farmers markets season starts up here once again.
Your customers aren't only buying food from you. They are buying a relationship with you, a connection to the food they will in turn serve their families.
Do you think they want to buy from a grumpy farmer or a friendly one?
Even if you have to fake it, your farm marketing will only get a boost from your friendly ways, whether you're dealing with loyal customers or those you still have yet to win over.
Think friendly when you think farm marketing, okay? And at least wave to the woman across the bar when she smiles your way, thankful for the pickles in her pantry!
For more tips on farm marketing, download "Fast Track Your Farm Marketing" here.