So God Made a Farmer

These words summarized what was arguably the best commercial of the Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. I have been a longtime fan of the man whose words graced the two-minute ad: Paul Harvey. Here is a short section of the ad:

God said, “It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. So God made a farmer.”

Like farmers, independent agents must continually adapt and change to moving markets to succeed. I have many relatives in Alabama who are potato farmers. To adapt to new challenges, they became creative. They now utilize a GPS system that will plot the tractor’s course, allow it to drive itself and never waver more than an inch in planting row after row of potatoes. In doing so, they lowered their production cost and increased their overall profit.

Each year, every farmer and agent has to ask the same question: What do I need to change, update or adjust to yield a better outcome?

The challenge for agents is to look for the most innovative products that appeal to a multigenerational market of customers. F&I managers must be trained to integrate technology into their presentation to provide customers a time-efficient and value-building process. Like farming, cars and customers’ buying motivations are changing at breakneck speed. Farmers that previously harvested cotton now grow another crop because conditions and markets changed.

The ability to recognize market changes early and pivot to more innovative products and training to support their sale gives you a competitive edge. Each year, every farmer and agent has to ask the same question: What do I need to change, update or adjust to yield a better outcome?

The training product you provide for the dealer is as important as any product they offer to their customers!

Growing profits for dealers depends largely on growing their people. Agents are strategically positioned to facilitate growth opportunities for their teams. The quality of the training you provide has a direct impact on F&I profits just as the quality of the seed affects the yield per acre of a farmer!

Providing product insights, consistent training and something as simple as monthly role-playing sessions providing input on strengths and opportunities for improvement will help grow the skills of each F&I manager.

Dealerships need an independent agent who can vet and update product offerings, provide monthly training for their staff, track performance, grow product sales and profits while maintaining high employee and customer satisfaction. Someone who can help motivate their staff, bring out the best in them and see that they are consistent in their production. That requires someone who works long hours, drives many miles and doesn’t cut corners. So God made a farmer … and independent agents. Thank God for both. Sell on!