Recently at a lender’s conference I asked people to discuss how their competitors detract from value when dealing with farm clientele. Do any of these characteristics look familiar?
Limited understanding of business and people
One of the first comments on the table was limited understanding of the business or of personal and family goals. Today’s agriculture that is constantly changing requires deep knowledge of specific industries and enterprises.
How many of you have dealt with an organization that had a revolving door lender program? A “here today, gone tomorrow” approach may be good for the urbanite but constantly spending time breaking in the new lender is one of the most common complaints discussed at producer meetings.
With today’s environment of computers and cellular phones, some lenders become the next version of the invisible person. Recently while working with a Canadian lender, I learned that they require their account managers to meet at least annually with their customers on the farm or ranch.
What is more disturbing after enduring a natural disaster or outbreak of problems on your farm than to pick up the newspaper and find your lender no longer wants to serve agriculture. You say it never happens? Think again. Conduct a due diligence on senior management at the executive level to determine their motivations.
On the Road
This week I’ll be heading out to Nebraska and Utah for several days. This month is flying by so fast -- the holidays will be here before you know it.
My e-mail address is:firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.
To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.
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