I just finished a cover story article for the June 2024 edition of Farm Equipment on a dramatic “color conversion” story at Intermountain New Holland (Twin Falls, Idaho). The 2-store dealership earned a chance with a custom harvester on one New Holland swather, and quickly parlayed it into 6 units.

Three years after showing a goose-egg in their database for this custom harvesting customer, Intermountain New Holland is now earning more than $1 million per year in rolled machinery, not to mention additional shortline sales.

The interviews for the first article in a new “Color Conversions” series included David Orr, a sales director turned general manager at Intermountain New Holland, and Daniel Avelar, who was zoomed in from a truck bouncing through the rye field that his customer was working last week.

In addition to what became an “anatomy color conquest,” Orr offered several insights into his view of sales in the ag equipment industry. “I’ve said it for 7 years, ever since I’ve become a part of a New Holland dealer group,” says Orr. “How do we get ourselves out of the transactional business of agriculture? Transactional business and agriculture is a horrible methodology but one the industry has dug itself into.

“I'm a relationship salesman. I want to know your wife’s name, your kid’s name and your dog’s name when I pull in the yard. So when I talk about relationship sales, Daniel (a newer salesman who was key in the color conversion) is a perfect example. He had a relationship that brought us into an actual sale.

“I’m perfectly OK being called a ‘salesman.’ I don’t find it derogatory or negative. A lot of people say, ‘I'm an equipment consultant or I’m an advisor.’ Dude, I’m a salesman. I like selling equipment, I love the chase, I love everything about it.”

And that same trait is what Orr wants in his sales team. One thing he won’t stand for is a salesman who “delivers a piece of equipment and tosses the keys to the owner and says, ‘I'm out.’” No, they do things differently, and make sure they’re there for the customer, even if no issues arise.

“Dave Alves has run our machines, and probably has 4,000 hours more experience with them than any of my salesmen,” says Orr. “ He knows how they work and knows how to operate them, but we show up on startup day like we are today.

“I want our customers to have a seamless experience so that when their neighbor calls, their first response will be that Intermountain is doing a great job. I can’t control the quality of the machine, I can’t control delivery dates. I can’t control any of that, but I can control their experience with us.”