Riding Shotgun – Stick Your Hand Out
As we travel the highways and by-ways of the Limousin family and breed we often cuss and discuss the cattle business, sports, politics, great cheeseburgers and most of the time, the promotion and marketing of Limousin cattle.
Through “Riding Shotgun” we invite you to join us in the right-hand seat, so that we can let you in on what we find to be our marketing pet peeves, shortcuts and some of the favorite habits of top-flight professional producers. Grab a cup of coffee and take the ‘shotgun seat’—we are pleased to have you riding along.
The other night, after a long day of travel, my traveling partner had endured enough of me and headed down to the hotel happy hour to find someone else to talk to. As he sat down next to another weary traveler in a cowboy hat, he did as he is prone to do and stuck out his hand and did what natural marketers do, started a conversation—some good old-fashioned interaction. By the time I arrived he had a business card with the man’s bull buying history on the back, the promise of a bull sale catalog in the future, a new friend and potential bull buyer.
The moral to the story is that you never know when opportunity is going to offer itself. It might be at your kid’s ball game, at the grain elevator or at the hardware store. In this day and age of many people getting lost in their “friends” online, they often miss the potential in the ones sitting right next to them.
Fall is the perfect time to call on your past bull buyers and potential clients. Now is the time to check-up on how the bulls you sold worked this past breeding season. Now is the time to nip any problems in the bud and, in the case of potential new clients, it’s time to plant the seed for the next bull season.
The best programs we watch year-after-year do their own work. When sale day arrives, they already know that Joe needs three bulls that add marbling; Tom needs a calving-ease sire for the heifers out of his last bull; and Mary wants to add thickness and bone to the feeder calves she sells at the local auction market. Waiting for people to show up sale day is not the way progressive bull business is done today. Sale day is just the day of harvest, there is a lot of field work to be done prior to harvest.
One of the things we should be proud of in American Agriculture is that we not only apply the latest technology, but we still thrive and enjoy the basics of human interaction. Get out that Maps app and fire up that cell phone and go visit your customers. They came to you to start with, now is a good time to return the favor and go see them. I think you’ll find they react well to the interaction. Stick your hand out, take ownership of your business—it’s yours to cultivate and grow.
We’ll see you down the road.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Mark A Smith