Business of Selling

ARTICLES

Business of Selling: Looking Back & Going Forward

While last month’s column focused on some of the ups and downs that afflicted the agricultural equipment industry over the past 40 years, this column will take a look at what one can expect over the next several years. But first, it should be apparent after reading the previous column, that one of the primary drivers for the demise of manufacturers during the aforementioned time period was their feckless hiring of top management that were either devoid of pertinent and relevant experience, or their background was from the financial side of the business. Concerning the latter, when that is the case, management will generally save themselves into bankruptcy rather than marketing themselves into prosperity.
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Business of Selling: Looking Back and …

Nearly 40 years ago, I was hired by a consulting firm whose major client was International Harvester, the once venerable leader in agricultural equipment sales. This consulting firm had designed the XL program for IH that recognized and rewarded their dealer organization for implementing a series of sensible, yet stringent, operational and financial standards.
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Business of Selling: Ensuring Territorial Coverage

Two of the most important responsibilities of an equipment salesperson are to maintain relationships with existing customers while simultaneously securing new customers. One of the primary responsibilities of the dealer/sales manager, therefore, is to see that those responsibilities are done efficiently and effectively.
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Business of Selling: Initiating Winning Strategy

As Sun Tzu wrote over 2,000 years ago, “Now an army may be likened to water, for just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strength and strikes weakness.” Dealers interested in capturing a market would be wise to heed those words and to attack a competitor’s weaknesses by capitalizing on their own strengths while simultaneously overcoming their own weaknesses.
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Business of Selling: Dominating the Market

A year ago I wrote a column entitled Gathering Storm Clouds. That was followed up by last month’s column articulating the nine steps that should be undertaken during the turbulent times that lie ahead for equipment dealers. While some may be too timid to call a war a war, make no mistake about it, what equipment dealers will experience over the next 5 years will be a “war of attrition.”
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Business of Selling: These are the Times

As of this writing, dairy prices are at record levels and livestock prices are rebounding, but grain prices are trading at 50-60% below their record levels of a few years ago. As a result, farmer income is now expected to be down 14% this year.
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Business of Selling: The 10 Commandments of Selling

Written on tablets of corn, wheat, beans, rice and cotton, and delivered by a peripatetic sojourner dressed in jeans and wearing a cap with an indistinguishable equipment machinery logo and with dairy cows in tow, the following Commandments were unexpectedly received with gratitude.
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