Early bird

 

A Case Study

Midland Tractor Company

John Deere Tractors & Orchard, Vineyard, and Nut Harvesting Equipment

Early Bird . . . how to sell more equipment and aftermarket products and services, enjoy greater ROI, and increased customer retention.

Several years ago, Midland began promoting an Overhaul Special for customers as a way of keeping their service technicians busy between the end of harvest and the resumption of work in the spring. Midland changed the program’s name to the Early Bird Equipment Special a few years ago. Together, the grower and one of Midland’s technicians inspect the equipment, after which the technician prepares a quote. The quote includes a 10% discount on all parts installed by Midland. Once the work is completed, and the equipment returned to the grower, Midland’s payment terms are 90 days, the same as cash.

Today, the Early Bird Equipment Special has been joined by the Early Bird Service Special. Midland’s harvesting equipment manufacturers offer a 5% discount on prepaid orders through early January, and Midland matches that discount. Why? Because Midland is able to drastically reduce the amount of equipment it would otherwise need to spec. And, Early Bird Equipment Special has become something Midland’s growers have come to expect. “When growers talk with us during harvest, it’s, “Hey, when do I have to get my order in for next year?” Early Bird works.

Midland retained our services because they wanted to offer Early Bird to the 5,000 growers who were not customers in their sales territory. We asked Gary Georges, Midland’s Operations Manager, how our service supports their growth objectives.

 

 “First, we are closing more service and equipment deals than we ever have in the company’s history. You guys are working with growers we’ve never met or that have been in our store, and sales is turning in 4 to 5 new customers weekly. “Three years ago, when we began working with you, we had three salespeople. We began getting more leads when you guys came along, so I hired another salesperson. Then I added another. Then I added two field demo guys and two more haulers to support them. And we’ve hired three more people to quote new equipment orders. So, we’ve gone from 8 to 18 people attending our sales meetings.

“Because of your work, our demo guys can drive to a prospect with something on the back, introduce themselves, and say, ‘Hey, you want to try this?’ Your gals somehow, someway, get growers to talk with them. I don’t know how you do it, but it’s magic. And you send us more leads than we could have hoped for. And all works extremely well. Our new customer growth is all from your gals making phone calls, allowing our guys to focus on what they do best, sell new equipment and service. “I tell my guys to follow-up on your leads first because you guys have already qualified the prospect, ascertained his needs, and gotten permission for our salespeople to follow-up. It’s the easiest call they can make.”

SUMMARY

GRO365 had been in business since 1998, and over the years, we have had the good fortune to work with dozens of successful manufacturers and distributors. All of our clients are driven to grow their businesses, but our most successful clients are the companies, like Midland, that are collaborative and willing to invest in the future growth of businesses.

In our opinion, what sets Midland apart from our other clients is Early Bird. It is a remarkable marketing approach that networks and has engagement built into it. We began contacting Midland’s prospects six months before the sales began. Over 30% of the growers we spoke with scheduled callbacks after October 1st, when we kicked off the service and equipment specials.

Early Bird offers other advantages over traditional service and equipment projects. Both Early Bird programs have so many attractive benefits that growers stop talking with the competition, awaiting the kickoff of Early Bird. While we have also used Early Bird in the material handling industry, it’s the perfect approach to take advantage of the downtime in the agricultural and construction equipment markets.

               Midland Tractor sells John Deere tractors and orchard, vineyard, and nut harvesting equipment at Madera, California since 1969.                              

This case study was prepared by GRO365 © 2022. 6453 S Fremont Peak Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84129 | (800) 898-2334 | info@gro365.com