Wow, Linda Smith’s Top Producer blog on Monday (2/1) really touched a nerve with some people. From the angry tone, it's clear that at least some people feel no market advisor is of any help. To generalize that all brokers are bad is like saying that all women are bad just because most of them you would not want to date or marry....or that all colors are bad just because you would not paint your house with most of them....or that all cars are bad just because you have no interest in driving most of them....or that all books are bad just because you would not want to read most of them. Most of us only need one good woman to marry, one color to paint our house, one car to drive and a few good books. Admittedly, finding a good broker or advisor is not easy nor is finding the right match in a spouse...that is why eHarmony has done so well and the divorce rate is so high.
Generalizing that all of something is bad, just because many or even most are bad, is using a broad brush. You only have to find that one special advisor/firm/broker or approach, and you can have marketing magic.
I know that many producers are disheartened, and some even bitter, toward marketing. I can understand that. It's more than just a little challenging. However, despite the challenge, marketing can be done well. 98% of the people do not do it well. Yet it can be done well. Our clients will say so. Our Market360 consulting service has a 96.9% renewal rate. This shows that there are producers that are satisfied with their marketing consultant, and that satisfaction with advisors is not merely something I wish to believe.
We’ve been at this a long time—25 years. In that time, we’ve structured a consulting service in such a way that clients get what they expect and pay for. They really value the service. Fortunately, we have found what makes a good match . . . and what fits our clients’ needs. I am proud of that. I will go to my grave knowing that we have found the way to do what is right for our clients. That is very gratifying.
Some will see this blog as self-serving. Some will see a point of view that cannot be refuted: There ARE producers that are happy with their advisor.
If you are unhappy with brokers, consultants, marketing firms, the markets, or even farming, make a change. If you believe you’ve found the holy grail to marketing, I urge you to put time and energy toward helping other farmers succeed your way. When it comes down to it, advisors exist to help producers succeed with marketing in these volatile times. Advisors who are not doing that won’t exist for very long.