How Can I Identify Clients That Might Benefit from AGRIfinancial Loans/Leases?
Your knowledge of the customer’s cropping operations is invaluable. You know about their plans and hear about the changes they are making on the farm. If a producer is increasing acreage, or adding grain storage, those actions usually suggest they may need additional financing. The current environment has given farmers and unprecedented opportunity to look at their long-term position, and possibly refinance to lower interest rates. That’s always worth discussing. Even more important is the fact that today’s marketplace gives them the opportunity to obtain long-term fixed rates. Those products are not available everywhere, but they are available at AGRIfinancial. That’s a real selling point to producers who remember the volatile times past.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you visit customers, and try to assess their needs and whether they make good prospects:
- Have command of large tracts of land (either owned or cash rented)
- Show positive earnings and progressive financial positions.
- Show the ability to manage risk.
- Seek advice from others (accountants, crop insurance experts like yourself)
- Stay abreast of current farm trends, shifting practices.
- Stay current and are curious about new technologies.
- Have succeeding generations involved in the farm.
I Know Crop Insurance, But I Don’t Know Finance. How Can I Open The Conversation With Out Getting In Over My Head?
We know what you mean. Ask a finance person to put “crop units” together and watch them squirm. There are all sorts of disciplines associated with running a farm today, and producers (better than anyone) know that you can’t be the expert at everything.
What they appreciate though is that you are interested in their well-being and what they’re up to. Natural, open-ended questions are the best tool for any sales person. Here are some that can open great conversations:
- How’s your marketing plan look for next year. Any changes?
- Will those changes call for any additional financing?
- What’s your take on interest rates? Have you been able to take advantage of some of the low, fixed rate programs available today?
- If you could change anything about your current financing on the farm, what would that be?
- Today’s rate environment is pretty low, do you have any loans with re-pricing anniversaries coming up? What are you thinking about for the next step?
- With land prices being what they are, what’s your strategy for financing those higher investments? Have you been able to find the type of loan products that give you the rate options and protections you want?
- The past few years have been pretty good in terms of farm earnings. Have you ever looked at how leasing could benefit your tax position?
Remember, you don’t have to sell anyone a loan. It’s the responsibility of AFS personnel to show producers how products can solve their needs. What we hope you will do is introduce your customers to AGRIfinancial. And show them our wide array of financing options to meet their needs.
Here’s one key message that many farmers will relate to:
Today’s environment offers farmers a chance to lock-in long term fixed rates that can shield their operations from financial risk for years to come. AGRIfinancial Services is a company that can provide those products.