About agents

We spoke about the fiduciary relationship between producer and market agent in the previous issue and focused on the producer. This week we turn the spotlight on the market agent.

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An agent’s first priority is to get to know the client. They need to understand not only the products, but the marketing objectives behind them, because they’ll be playing an important part in achieving those objectives. They should never lose sight of the fact that the stock entrusted to them remains the client’s property until the buyer has paid for it. The agent is effectively an extension of the farm gate. On the market floor, they need to ensure that fellow workers also understand what the client requires and that stock received is stored correctly, handled properly and, above all, balances at all times.

Getting the best possible price is very important. However, the best possible price might not always be the highest – it might simply be the best under the circumstances. Market prices can fluctuate like a yo-yo sometimes and a good market agent will not only understand this, but also know how to adapt their selling strategies accordingly. And through all of this, the best interests of their client will be foremost in their mind.

Staying in constant contact with your clients is one of the most important components of the fiduciary relationship. It isn’t only about giving prices, but also commenting on product quality, packaging, grading, sizing and market conditions. Future deliveries will be discussed, as will quantities, grades and sales strategies to match the expected circumstances.

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All of this will be underpinned by complete honesty and openness between both agent and client. If these aren’t there everything else becomes null and void. Once sales are completed for the day, the market agent will ensure that stock levels on hand balance before heading to the office to complete any admin work for their clients, attend to queries and resolve problems which may have arisen.

This is interspersed with calls made and received as tomorrow’s sales are planned. A committed market agent will even visit one or two buyers’ premises on their way home to build those relationships in the interests of their fiduciary relationship with their producer.

Contact Mike Cordes at [email protected]. Please state ‘Market floor’ in the subject line of your email.