As businesses and communities cross the six-month mark of working partially or completely from home, creative use of digital communication tools has surged across industries. California-based global avocado marketer Index Fresh has adapted to this model by launching its virtual Meeting in the Grove program to connect its sales team with clients and growers.
â€œIn the past, when weâ€™ve taken customers on tours to different avocado groves throughout the state and in different countries, we find that we can have a different kind of conversation than if we were in an office meeting room. Being in the grove has a very natural way of putting everyone at ease,â€ said John Dmytriw, senior business specialist at Index Fresh.
The title Meeting in the Grove helps create a comfortable starting point for virtual conversations, opening up a space for unshielded discussions. â€œWe can talk about new business opportunities, market trends, or just simply how theyâ€™re doing because our customers are not just clients, theyâ€™re friends,â€ Dmytriw said. He added that the program is Index Freshâ€™s twist on virtual meetings, a relaxed experience in a low-pressure environment.
Index Fresh likes to show its customers whatâ€™s going on in the field, and Meeting in the Grove often consists of videos and photos from the companyâ€™s field department. â€œWe feel that taking people to the grove, even if they never leave their desk, gives them a firsthand view of what weâ€™re talking about. Itâ€™s more than just background graphics or discussing an agenda,â€ said Dmytriw.
For the Index Fresh sales team, this is a way to not only showcase the growersâ€™ fruit but to introduce people to the different growing regions and talk about them in great detail. Dmytriw said that pre-pandemic, it was often difficult for people to take time out of their day to physically tour groves. Now, by using digital communication platforms, the sales team has been able to provide more in-depth information and personalized advice to customers.
The Index Fresh team remains enthusiastic for future one-on-one meetings, physical tours of the groves, and collaboration between the marketer, clients, and growers in a safe way. â€œAs far as avocados go, I think there is a lot of good news. Looking at the remaining crop and the collective volume in Mexico and California, I think the back half of 2020 will be the springboard for a successful 2021,â€ he said. â€œAvocados still continue to perform at an extremely high level. Retail and foodservice and wholesale are doing everything they possibly can to market in creative ways. The produce industry as a whole has proven its extraordinary resiliency. Thereâ€™s no other industry I would rather be inâ€