Weigh Wagons -
One of the most outdated strategies many seed sellers continue to use is measuring product performance with weigh wagons during harvest.
Weigh wagons only provide historical information from last season which is totally irrelevant when the focus is to raise yields and increase on farm profits.
Data that comes from weigh wagons is a “look into the past” and not into the future. Seed Seller’s continued use of the weigh wagon strategy wastes time and forces their customers to unknowingly accept obsolete performance information in lieu of the latest knowledge, caring and expertise they need the most.
That is not a good trade.
It is a waste of time, energy and money to put a yield measuring device into any field to monitor varietal performance, especially in a year when we have had wide spread drought across much of the United States. How is that data going to help you or your customer make better decisions for next year? It’s not, unless you are planning for the exact same growing conditions. Putting any kind of yield measuring device into a field is a waste of time any year, but especially this year.
It is amusing to think that weigh wagons are still being used in the 21st century seed marketplace.
But I guess those who do it don’t even realize that strategy will keep them chasing their tails so to speak. And for sure they don’t know that they are being laughed at, or worse yet, looking stupid when they use such an outdated strategy for selling.
Harvest should be one of the most exciting times of the selling season for seed sellers, especially with the endless opportunities riding combines offer during harvest. Harvester riding offers sellers the opportunity to contact at least 10 prospects or more every day while requiring little planning or effort.
In contrast, on an average day, seed sellers can see only two growers when harvesting test plots. If data is what sellers want, combine riding offers the opportunity to get 10 times the data that test plots and side by sides can provide.
Riding harvesters offers the opportunity to access the simplest time management system ever developed where every day is preplanned and almost every grower is there when you drop by, exactly where you knew he would be.
Riding harvesters can be defined and spelled using just three words; opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.
Successful field sellers would agree that it does border on stupidity when seed reps don’t take advantage of those kinds of opportunities.
When I drive down the highway during harvest season I often meet seed sellers puling weigh wagons. And the nicer the day is, the more weigh wagons I meet. Like bears coming out of hibernation… machine shed doors open and shiny company pickups emerge pulling over sized bushel baskets with gas engines and electronic scales attached.
The unenlightened drivers enthusiastically hit the roads believing that the secret to increased sales is hitched behind them.
That is where the stupidity continues.
Lack of Confidence
And it goes on and on as they ignore growers’ real needs for the sake of trying to satisfy their lack of confidence in their own products by searching for validating information. Reps who feel they have to put their varieties into test plots to prove their performing abilities before they sell them are in essence “thumbing their noses” at years of knowledge and scientific testing.
That makes the concept of using weigh wagons to “prove yield” a completely stupid strategy. After all, you are selling a living, breathing organism in which 80% of it’s performance is out of your control and every year performance of each variety will be different.
Every time you meet a seed sales rep pulling a weigh wagon down the road this fall, honk.
It will let the driver know that you are not the stupid one and that you are on your way to ride combines with at least 10 growers, many of whom could be his customers.
And if you’re one of the unfortunates whose company demands you pull that over sized bushel basket around the country during harvest, I have the solution!
What You Should Do
Instead of wasting your time weighing plots and side by sides follow these three simple steps:
- Park your weigh wagon in a safe and secure place.
- Then spend the entire fall riding combines.
- When harvest season is over and your boss asks you to turn in your yield reports, turn in the stack of orders you wrote during harvest instead.
And don’t worry about looking stupid or having to justify your actions, because at that point someone else, other than you, is going to be the one looking stupid.