John Deere – Shout Out

For those that know me well I would say the general consensus from everyone is that I am a straight shooter. If I don’t like something I have no problems calling/emailing the equipment manufacturer and telling them not just that I don’t like it but why and many times how I would fix it. I also would say that I have high expectations when it comes to service from our dealers as well. I have a few simple rules:

  • Don’t just show up when we are ready to buy equipment.
  • Bring the demo ready to go.
  • If you say your going to do something do it.
  • Be honest. ( If your equipment isn’t good for our application don’t try to sale it to me it will hurt you in the long run)
  • Do your homework – I have done mine.

I would say if you can handle the above well we will get along really good. The reason for the blog post this week is I wanted to give a shout out to John Deere. While this is a rare occasion as normally I don’t speak about many companies when I write without including them all, there is a reason this month. First off I have never had a specific color of equipment that I prefer over the other. I have genuinely felt that every manufacturer has their good pieces, their bad pieces and those that are fairly equal. That is the reason that none of the equipment packages I have put together in the last 10 years have been all one color. That is still true today as well.

The reason for the John Deere shout out is because quite simply I am impressed. I know of no better way to say it than to give examples. Examples that I feel others should note. Some of these are more on a personal level and others are a little larger scale:

  • Early in my career I found issues with a machine and you sent in an engineer, redesigned the part and fixed the rest of our machines.
  • You implemented quite a few of my ideas during some prototype testing and just my random emails. (still waiting on a check for those…..hahaha)
  • I feel your Feedback sessions give us (your customers) a great opportunity to see where everything is going and talk to engineers on ways to improve it. This started with all Superintendents attending these events and over the last few years you have larger crowds of Equipment Managers. (I am willing to bet it was a Superintendent’s idea to start the cup holders….. kidding)
  • I did (2) equipment deals with you this year at (2) of our properties. Never once did I feel pushed to go 100% Deere.
  • Not only did we elect to do business with you but you also elected to do business with us and that is a true partnership.
  • I try to separate my personal life and business life. Last year my step father passed away and I had more emails from John Deere staff than anyone. Not my dealer so much as John Deere. To me that shows that the relationship goes way beyond buying equipment.
  • Our building collapsed this year and you guys brought us over used equipment to use at no charge. Even though at that time 25% of our fleet was Deere.
  • Finally you are willing to tell the truth and set the politics aside. My affiliation with IGCEMA has it’s goods and bads and when doing equipment deals it becomes a challenge. I have relationships with all 3 manufacturers and I would say really good relationships. Whether I buy equipment or not I always try to educate them why I don’t choose a certain machine (sometimes whether they want to hear or not lol). The difference with you guys is you understand that if you don’t get the deal this time you will work harder next time (words of Corey). Also your not afraid to talk about what you can and can’t do as far as levels of support for IGCEMA. The biggest thing I try not to do with my staff is to say “no” but not explain why. I feel like it leaves them with a sour taste in their mouth and I miss out on teaching them something they could use later. I believe you guys do that well. Matt early on and Mark now have really done a great job at communicating with us as we have grown.
  • Lastly you are one of the sponsors of our PGA Tour Event this year ( Read more here ).

I could go on for hours but I feel you grasp what I am saying. I think it’s great business practice to do the above things. Quite honestly I would say I am probably a little spoiled as many of the things above I also get from the other 2 manufacturers as well. The only thing that really compelled me to write this is the personal touch that John Deere puts on it. Somehow they give off the it’s not us its you vibe and that works in a grass roots business like ours. Keep it up and great job.


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1 Comment

  1. Bobs Shop
    March 31, 12:55 Reply

    Well said Steve and agree 100%. We primarily deal with a different color for the same reason. Great customer relationship = great business either now or in the future.

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