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Productive Producer Meetings

By Patrick T. Malone
July, 2017

Why adjusting the opening of your producer meetings can greatly enhance your success

Over the last two decades, the number of producer meetings I have attended are too numerous to count. Unfortunately, most have been a waste of time and a waste of a company’s money unless the sole objective was to create goodwill.

If you have watched the mergers and acquisitions in our industry, you know that goodwill is the value of a business not related to assets or liabilities. It is an intangible. You also may be aware that the goodwill claimed at the inception of an M & A is mostly written off at some point during the consolidation process. I have often considered goodwill to be the amount that the buyer overpaid the seller for the asset. So the value of goodwill becomes elusive at best, and brings us back to:

Most producer meetings are a waste of your time and your company’s money.

I say this because most producer meetings fail to answer the audience’s primary question – “Why should I care?”

The majority of meetings begin with the representative thanking the audience for the opportunity, followed by “I want to talk with you about ( ll in the product/service/issue/problem/ etc.)”. What follows is a data dump that builds goodwill with some, but for the most part goes in one ear and out the other. Ultimately, this yields little return on the investment of your time and your company’s money. Perhaps you have gained some goodwill.

The starting line

Unfortunately, goodwill will not pay your bills. So how much different could your next producer meeting be if you began by thanking them for the opportunity and then said,

“Mastitis remains the most costly disease in the dairy industry. I would like to show you how to reduce these costs signi cantly and improve the economic outcomes within your herds so you can determine if this is the right solution for treating mastitis in your herd.”

Or

“Using the appropriate parasite control products will reduce your production losses and assist you to more effectively forecast production outcomes. Let me show you how, and then you can decide if these parasite control products are appropriate for your situation.”

Or

“I’m convinced the right vaccine program will provide your herd with enhanced reproductive protection, and that translates to more bottom line dollars for you. Let me demonstrate how you can make this work so that you can make a well-informed decision about vaccines.

A better position

What follows is the same data you provide in your current meetings, only now that data is positioned to reduce costs, improve production and/or increase pro t for the producers in attendance. You are positioning your audience to be more successful, which is the answer to – “Why should I care?”

When you answer that question up front, you will find that your audience will listen differently. The questions that they ask will be more specific to their own situation and demonstrate real interest as opposed to the polite questions you are getting now. You will also notice more in-depth discussions after the meeting and a genuine appreciation for your assistance in making them more successful. Shortly, you will transition from just another sales rep or marketing rep to a valued business advisor.

Valued business advisors seem to gain a greater share of the producers business, so while you were focused on making them more successful, they were helping you become more successful – and that is a true win-win proposition.

I’m convinced that adjusting the opening of your producer meetings will greatly enhance your return on your investment. And all that is required is remembering the call letters of success radio – WSIC “Why Should I Care?” But don’t take my word for it. Try it. Find out for yourself. It works!

Topics: Sales, 2017 Livestock Summer

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