It’s always a pleasure to get a guided tour of farm equipment dealerships I visit and take an intimate look at the how each precision farming operation is structured.
Equally enjoyable is meeting the people behind the sales and service of precision farming products and picking their brains on some of the features they offer to customers.
But during a recent stop at a dealership in Iowa, I had my first real opportunity to get to know another side of the precision technology world — construction.
In talking with the primary precision farming salespeople from the ag and construction divisions at the dealership, I asked how much crossover one has with the other.
It came as no surprise that there was very little intersection between the service and support of precision ag and construction technology.
“Machine control is completely separate between the two,” the precision ag salesperson explains.
But where the dealership’s precision ag and precision construction sales team is finding opportunities to crossover is in precision water management.
Some construction customers buy a dozer or excavator from the dealership, but then also want to add GPS to their tile plow for custom tiling for farmers.
When the conversation drifts into GPS, that’s when the precision farming salesperson is brought in.
“Construction customers will come to us and want grade control on their tile plow,” the precision construction salesperson at the dealership says. “That’s when I’ll call our precision ag salesperson to say, ‘Here’s what I can offer you.’”
Being able to physically bring in a precision farming dealer to explain a GPS system to a construction customer is tremendous sales asset.
“As salespeople, we will work together to come up with a solution for customers,” the precision ag salesperson notes. “We’ll try to be that one-stop shop.”
While the crossover isn’t an everyday occurrence, both the precision ag and construction salespeople agree that having each other on-site provides an extra layer of customer service.
Plus, they each have the benefit of being able to bounce precision ideas off one another and get a fresh perspective.
Being located within the same building allows for regular interaction on the latest innovation in each industry and how or if there is any crossover potential.
“We’ll talk about what’s going on in each industry on the precision side and what’s new,” the precision ag salesperson notes.
Not every dealership has this kind of set-up with their precision personnel, let alone sell both ag and construction equipment.
But that doesn’t mean precision farming dealers should overlook or avoid opportunities to make connections outside of their profession.
With the rapid evolution of precision farming technology, who knows where the next intersection with another industry will occur.
8 Tips for Building Better Dealer-Farmer Precision Partnerships
Three farmers and three precision equipment specialists discuss strategies for anticipating service needs, maximizing sales opportunities and avoiding customer conflict.