Gellings Implement, a Case IH-New Holland dealership in Eden, Wis., has been experimenting with the format of their precision equipment clinics they hold in the winter to include a presentation by one of its precision customers, which has increased sales.
Gellings Implement, a Case IH-New Holland dealership in Eden Wis., added precision farming to their single-location about 5 years ago. To help establish the dealership’s new business, it began offering pre-season clinics to build a rapport with customers and build credibility.
Precision Land Management specialist, Josh Blatz, is responsible for precision sales, installation and service at Gellings, and is tasked with trying to convert the hesitant farmers into precision believers. At one of the dealership’s earlier pre-season precision clinics, Blatz made some significant headway toward that goal.
The clinic attracted about 50 attendees and two Case IH-New Holland representatives helped Blatz staff it. Together, they focused on promoting precision products via payback calculators, presentations and in-tractor demonstrations. “It’s still cold when we do the clinics in late winter, but we had a couple tractors running in the lot, one with the full OEM system and one with the Trimble hybrid system,” says Blatz. “That way, I could talk with interested attendees, jump in the tractor and go over a few touch points.”
However, the unique feature of the clinic that gained traction with attendees was a presentation by a long-time Gellings customer who was one of its first precision equipment adopters.
“We went to one of our biggest customers and asked him if he’d be willing to do a quick 15 minute presentation and talk about his equipment and experience with the dealership and he said ‘Absolutely,’” says Blatz.
While Blatz says customers value the overall content at the clinics, they put more stock in something they hear from one of their peers.“Customers are going to trust a fellow farmer more than they’d trust me standing up there with a sales shirt on,” he says. “When farmers talk, other farmers listen.”
“Customers are going to trust a fellow farmer more than they’d trust me standing up there with a sales shirt on…”— Josh Blatz
The long-time precision customer’s first-hand experience with the service that the dealership offered and the payback he was enjoying from his precision products, resonated the most with attendees, according to Blatz.
“This customer did a lot of manure management, and he applauded how hard we worked to adapt a Trimble display for that purpose,” says Blatz “Because it wasn’t out-of-the-box ready for his application, we troubleshot and customized the display he wanted to fit his needs.”
Testimonials about a dealership’s willingness to thoroughly support its customers are invaluable to other farmers considering integrating precision equipment into their operations for the first time, says Blatz. The weight added by layering the farmer presentation into the clinic ended up resulting in immediate sales.
“I sold five FM750s and three EZ-Pilots all to one customer,” Blatz says. “He even told me that the testimonial was one of the final factors in getting his father over the hump and fully on board with adopting precision across their entire vehicle line-up.”