2016 Precision Farming Dealer Summit — Roundtable #3

A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

Some of the biggest challenges dealers face when planning and executing a successful precision ag field day are scheduling around farmers’ busy seasons and differentiating between a field day and customer appreciation day. Darryl Lacey of Delta Power Equipment in Warwick, Ont., the moderator for this roundtable, says many dealers attract a lot of attendees to field day events, but often nothing gets sold.

Dealers need to be specific about the message they send out to customers about what the field day is. It needs to focus more on the educational benefits than the free lunch portion of the event.

“Make sure the people you invite to a field day understand that it’s not just a free lunch or customer appreciation day. It’s actually a targeted event for customers to learn about the equipment and technology and how it could be implemented in their operation,” Lacey says.

In addition to being clear in the language used to promote the field day, the dealers at this roundtable discussed how it is also important to only invite a targeted number of customers the dealership believes will most benefit from the event and hopefully lead to a future sale. The roundtable attendees discussed how smaller groups also help keep the event focused on the products and technology.

Subject matter at the field day should revolve around the growers’ ROI on the technology or product. It shouldn’t just be a sales pitch, the dealers said.

“If you’re bringing out the decision makers and purchasers, you want to make sure you have the data to backup what you’re selling,” Lacey says. “And the best way to do that is through establishing ROI.”

To solve the challenge of planning the field day around growers’ schedules, the dealers discussed the importance of holding the event at the same time every year so farmers can learn to anticipate and possibly even plan around the event.

Read full coverage of the Precision Farming Dealer Summit presentations, from how to recruit and retain precision employees, to developing a standalone precision business, to managing customers’ data, in the March 2016 issue of Farm Equipment.

Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Keeping Precision Employees Productive Year Round
2. Troubleshooting Technology: Conquering Compatibility Problems
3. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day (currently viewing)
4. How to Structure Your Precision Internships
5. Strategies for Selling Used Precision Equipment
6. Making the Most of Online Sales Opportunities
7. Spreading Precision Workflow Across Departments
8. UAVs: Practical Precision Tools or Toys?
9. Tech Support: Where Can Manufacturers Improve?
10. Marketing: Where Will I Get the Most Bang for My Buck?