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Who cares?

Tom Wall Published on 11 February 2013

It’s finally that time of year again ... trade show season. It seems that once everyone realized how slow the months of February and March are, every company and organization in the dairy industry started scheduling their meetings, seminars and conferences to fill in all the open dates. Now, it turns out that February and March are just as busy as the spring and fall.

As you sit through a number of breakout sessions at each of these conferences, you’ll probably hear a lot of “experts” share their advice and information on how to make your cows more productive and your business more profitable.

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Some speakers will be engaging and fun to listen to, others ... well, not so much. But regardless of how well the presenters deliver their message, hopefully you’ll learn something you can take home and apply at your dairy.

Chances are, after many of these sessions, you’ll probably be thinking, “Well, that’s just common sense ... I already knew that.” And you know what? You’re right, you did. Most of what works is common sense. The funny thing is ... there’s a huge difference between knowing something and actually doing it.

But of all the advice and information you’ll hear at these conferences, there’s one message that works better than any scientific or technical protocol out there. The problem is, you probably won’t hear anyone talking about it. What is it? It’s simple and it’s free.

Care. That’s it ... just care. If you do just one thing ... genuinely and authentically show that you care.

Now, before you dismiss this as a bunch of soft, touchy-feely BS, please allow me to clarify. First, I’m not suggesting you buy into all the emotions and excuses people use to tug at your heartstrings so that you give in to their requests.

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That’s not caring ... that’s being weak. And besides, it’s hard to manage and lead people when they’re walking all over you.

Instead, think about this ... When was the last time somebody made you feel like a “number”?

You know how some salesmen drive into your yard, and right away you sense that all they care about is selling something in order to earn a commission? Sure, that’s how most sales reps get paid … and just like everyone else, their kids need to eat, too.

But the sales process doesn’t have to feel cold and pushy, right? Think about it … Have you ever liked buying things from those types of salesmen? Probably not.

Chances are, you probably could’ve benefited from what they were selling. But if you’re like most people, you’d rather buy from people who truly care about you and your company’s success.

You see, as much as production agriculture is about animals, natural resources and margins, it’s a people business. Sure, you need to know something about raising cattle, growing corn and playing commodity markets.

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But if you’re in this business for the long haul, you especially need to know how to build and lead a team of people who want to help you succeed. And the best way to do that is to show your people that you care about them and the work that they do.

The 2013 conference/trade show season has just begun. Hopefully, you’ll attend a lot of valuable sessions and learn how to make your dairy more profitable and your job less stressful.

And as you’re going from one vendor’s booth to another, hopefully they’ll remember an important detail ... people like to work with people who care. PD

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Tom Wall
Dairy Coach
Dairy Interactive, LLC

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