I’m sure you’ve heard this one before: time is money. Nowhere is this truer than when you’re selling precision ag equipment to farmers who are looking to be as cost effective as possible. This is why it is crucial for you to emphasize the increased return on investment (ROI) farmers gain when they invest in precision ag equipment. Farmers will not only save money when they utilize precision ag equipment, they will also save time and resources (which can lead to more earnings in the long run).
When it comes to saving costs with precision ag equipment, having higher accuracy in the field saves growers more money at the end of the day. When you are selling to customers, this point can be key for farmers who want to run a more cost-efficient farm. One lens through which you can present the cost saving benefits of precision ag is through the “gray money” vs. “green money” explanation.
Gray money is when the full cost of certain expenses are not acknowledged in your finances because they are not at the forefront of your purchasing conscious. For example, when you buy a new truck, you might pick a more fuel-efficient vehicle that gets 19 miles to the gallon instead of one with 16 miles to the gallon. That gas mileage number might not seem like a big difference in the beginning. However, the extra cost of gasoline you would have been paying for with a less efficient truck would have meant you spent more money every time you filled up. Over the course of the year, how much extra money would you be spending on gas because of that inefficiency? That gray money number might be hard to tease out, but you know logically you will be saving more if you choose the more fuel-efficient vehicle.
For your customers, purchasing precision ag equipment is like buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Combining the accuracy of a satellite-guided system like CenterPoint® RTX with other precision ag equipment, they can gain insight into every detail of their soil needs, down to the inch. With this accuracy, it removes the worry of over applying fertilizer or pesticide, which means they’re shrinking their overall input cost. Additionally, the time saved by using precision ag can be a huge benefit to farmers in general and can further increase their ROI.
Because precision ag solutions like Trimble’s are so easy to set up, there are significant time savings for your customers from the start. There is also an enormous amount of time saved by farmers when they can rely on precision agriculture solutions, including correction services, for more workflows on the farm. One of my colleagues often talks about a farmer they frequently visit. This farmer's parents were always so wrapped up in the farm that the only way he could get to baseball practice 10 miles away was to ride his bicycle. Nowadays, this farmer uses precision ag solutions on his own farm and it frees up a lot of time. Which means he has enough time to coach his own son's baseball team. Of course, this extra time can also be used to improve your customers' farming practices and much more. For example, your customers could negotiate a better seed contract with that extra time, which could ultimately lead them to improving their ROI.
There is a misconception that if a farmer is planting wheat, they don't need to be accurate down to the inch because it's a broader application. Regardless of the crop or size of your operation, there are real dollars and cents lost by farmers when they don’t have higher accuracy out in the field.
When it comes to breaching this conversation with customers, you should know that Trimble provides helpful demos of our products so dealers can prove our technology is accurate to their customers. We also provide input saving calculators that make it easier for you to have productive one-on-one conversations with your customers. Trimble sales managers can also help you take advantage of advanced spreadsheets specific to certain business cases. A farmer who is farming 2,000 acres is going to need something different than someone farming 500 acres. Trimble provides the tools to demonstrate the cost and time savings for each of your unique customers through our dealer support network.
Selling Trimble’s precision ag solutions and correction services can even increase your ROI as a dealer. For example, you might sell RTK and have two or three people on staff serving as technical support. Trimble eliminates the need for these support positions because customers automatically receive customer support when they subscribe to Trimble’s correction services. The question you have to ask yourself in this scenario is: what are you spending on support staff that you could instead be investing into another salesperson who can go out and find new customers for your dealership?