To sell tree stock, irrigation equipment and tree care services.
There are two things you need to know about selling:
1. Know your customer's business.
2. Know yours.
A successful salesperson identifies customer needs and satisfies them with a product offering. In the case of tree sales and services, the salesperson typically represents a commercial nursery and the customer is a wholesaler, a retailer, or the end user.
One of the world's largest nurseries, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsmen (since 1926) has annual sales approaching $100 million, 20% market share domestically, over 1,400 employees, three facilities, and a total of 3,000 acres which produce 42 million trees and shrubs annually that are sold in over 5,000 garden centers throughout the US. Monrovia, whose mission is to grow "distinctively better" plants, owns over 100 patents and 160+ trademarks.
According to David Betker, Sales Manager with Monrovia, "A good salesperson needs a combination of management and marketing skills." David recommends "Getting started at a nursery with summer training or an internship. Study species identification and horticulture, with a minor in business. Gain hands-on experience in production and propagation of trees, and tree sales."
Monrovia divides the world into regions, with several sales territories comprising a region. Territory managers, also known as "outside" sales people, travel quite a bit, calling on wholesalers and retailers. "Inside" sales people back up the regions. Monrovia has 42 sales territories in the US, nine of which are in California. Work is seasonal, with 75% of sales made in the spring.
Monrovia offers internships and sales training in house. Turnover is low, with the average sales representative staying with the company over 10 years. Salaries average $28,000 annually, plus commission and performance bonuses.
Alan Jones, a Region manager at Bartlett International, sells commercial and residential tree care services. He shared that an experienced territory manager can earn $60,000 or more annually satisfying the tree care needs of working arborists and public utilities.