Tuesday, October 4, 2016

From Office Attire to Farm Boots: All in a Day’s Work

By: Brooke Schultz, Communications Coordinator, CRI

I recently spent some time with Genex Territory Sales Manager Tim Lynch (a seasoned Genex veteran) to see what life of a Genex sales and service employee is really like. I don’t have an extensive background in agriculture, so having this opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes (or in my case, what goes on outside of the office) was exciting and intriguing.

Starting with a 4:30 a.m. wake up, I was already beginning to experience the life of an A.I. sales rep (and my admiration for all they do was already increasing). I sluggishly got ready, grabbed my coffee and headed towards the mid-part of Wisconsin.

Upon arrival of our meeting spot, Tim greeted me graciously and we hopped in his Genex van to begin our adventures.

My lovely ride for the day. And yes, the pink jacket is mine, not Tim’s ;)
As we drove towards Tim’s first stop of the day, I couldn’t help but think what a great day it was going to be. I can’t think of many things that beat driving down county backroads, winding around corners, listening to Packers talk radio (in true Wisconsin fashion, of course). About a half hour later we arrived at our first stop.

As we rolled up to the farm, the muddy tracks from the tractors, sound of machines whirring, and the smell of corn silage and manure let me know we were definitely at the right place. The moment Tim and I walked through the door, I could instantly tell the kind of relationship Tim has with his members and customers. Tim talked with the manager a bit about some of the new sire releases and which bulls he thought would work well in their breeding program. After the manager agreed to purchase a few units, Tim didn’t just close up shop. He continued the conversation, asking how the farm was doing and if everything was going well. It was apparent Tim wasn’t about making a sale – he was about our members and customers.

That became more and more apparent at each stop. Tim greeted nearly all of the producers as if they’d known each other forever (which, I suppose they pretty much have since Tim’s been with the company for over 25 years). Tim was well aware of each farm’s breeding program and what they were looking for. Nearly every stop we made there was a purchase – not because Tim pushed the sale but because he knew exactly what they wanted. He only had to show them four or five bulls, and the producer would typically pick about three bulls he’d like semen from.
Tim preparing an order for a customer
Since Tim and I work in two completely different settings, we took time between farm visits to better understand each other’s job responsibilities. I filled him in on what it’s like to be a Communications Coordinator, and he filled me in on his tenure with Genex. He has worked in nearly 30 different Wisconsin counties and has put many, many miles in, making around a dozen stops per day. I also couldn’t help but notice his form of GPS. When asked about it, he was not shy to tell me that he does a few things “old school.” I believe his exact wording was, “If it isn’t broke, why fix it?” His GPS was a cork board with a map, and each stop was marked with a pin or thumbtack. After he makes each stop, he pulls the pin out to see what stops he has left for the week. (And although there’s probably a 30-year difference between us, I could relate. While I’ve grown up in a technologically advanced era, I still find something satisfying about physically writing out reminders, making to-do lists and crossing off each item as it’s completed.)
Tim’s trusty GPS
As we continued on our adventure of cruising back roads to the next farm, Tim showed me another important aspect of his job: it’s all about teamwork and doing what you can to help your co-workers and company be successful. He had made a phone call to Ken, a member of his team, to let him know he’d be going past a few of Ken’s customers and he’d be more than willing to stop and provide them with the semen they needed. I also learned that a few of the stops we made that day weren’t Tim’s typical stops – he was helping out another member of his team to make sure Genex members and customers were taken care of. (That is one part of our jobs we have in common – both his and my team are always more than willing to help each other out. The comradery within Genex is truly uplifting.)

We only had a couple more stops before we were done with our day, so I squeezed in the last few questions I had. Me being the competitive person I am (although I like to think you can’t tell), I asked Tim if he ever runs into competitors on the same farm. He gave the answer I would expect from someone as professional as Tim (and as professional as Genex itself): “Yes, once in a while I’ll see a competitor’s vehicle in the driveway. I usually just drive by and let them have their time. Then I circle back later.” (C’mon, Brooke. Did you really expect any other answer from such a standup guy? And let’s be real, those competitors are just trying to do their jobs the same as we are. We just have to go to that farm and prove why Genex is the best choice.)

Considering I help with the resale product marketing and advertising, I asked him if he sold quite a bit of any particular resale products. He mentioned he sells quite a bit of our NuLife® ReBOUND™, NuLife Oral Electrolytes, Push™ calf nutritional paste and Milking Gloves. (He also sold a few of our Calf Coats that day as well, which, by the way, Genex has a promotion on right now, along with a few other resale product promotions. Be sure to ask your Genex representative about it today!)

As we made our last stop and headed back, I felt accomplished (although Tim did all of the work). I felt like I had learned a few new things and had a much better grasp on what our sales and service employees do (and a much bigger appreciation for them along with our members and customers who bust their backs day in and day out). I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience on a better September day with a better person. Tim, although I doubt you’ll read this (because you’re “old school”), I appreciate you letting me tag along to be your shadow for the day (or bodyguard as one producer put it). And I may or may not be biased, but I definitely think our Genex employees are about as top-notch as you can get ;)

Thumbs up to a successful (and windy) day!

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