This article appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of Implement & Tractor
In a special accomplishment, the entire sales staff of Riesterer & Schnell, a Wisconsin John Deere dealership, graduated from International Agriculture University’s (IAU) sales program. A total of 25 salespeople graduated. In addition to the salespeople and managers attending the full three years of concentrated sales training, the management team met three times each year with Frank Lee, president of IAU.
At the conclusion of the program, IAU chooses one person in each graduating class to receive the Outstanding Student Award. In this case, two salespeople were recognized with the award: Doug Wallander and John Fleischmann. Both earned the Outstanding Student title because of their dedication and strong commitment to their career.
The IAU sales program. The IAU sales program is unlike any other sales training program available. Salespeople attend three two-day classes each year for three years to become Ag Equipment Consultants.
The program takes salespeople through all the basics of selling and then adds business selling and consultative selling to their arsenal. They learn things most salespeople never learn. In addition to the classroom lessons, they complete a series of “homework” assignments designed to reinforce the classroom learning and to allow them to practice what they learned.
Students are expected to apply the training. The sales managers and Waldo Riesterer, principal of Riesterer & Schnell, not only attended all the sales classes but also participated in
intensive management sessions after each class.
The Ag Equipment Consultant. The Ag Equipment Consultant is the new generation sales professional who helps farmers develop a machine acquisition strategy and who will define how farm equipment will be sold in the future. This top professional helps farmers manage their machinery assets and partners with them to provide surprise added value. In a crowded marketplace where differentiation is often difficult, the Ag Equipment Consultant stands out.
Sioux Falls graduates. Sioux Falls, S.D., was the venue of another graduating IAU class this year. Among the students were a number of field marketers from Titan Machinery, a Case IH Dealer of the Year and salespeople from as far away as Idaho and Kansas. Mark Sorensen of Garden City Farm Equipment, Garden City, Kan., was chosen to receive the Outstanding Student award. His manager, Todd Hopkins, flew to Sioux Falls for the graduation ceremony.