STROMSBURG – There are a lot of technicalities, regulations and legal issues involved in planting seed from companies sometimes dubbed, “big ag.” Fortunately, many of these companies have friendly community members’ faces to help producers understand why their seed and services are right for them.
For the last 23 years, Tim Pallas of Stromsburg has been selling seed. His Pioneer business, Pallas Seeds Inc., has led Pallas to devote himself to selling seed full time. “Everyone can sell seed – or anything, for that matter,” he said modestly. It’s the face and personality that often makes the product come to life – in the seed business, literally.
Seed dealers work on commission, with extras available depending upon sales performance. Pioneer’s sales recruitment brochure bills their set up as both “simple” and “sophisticated.” The sales system utilized is structured to promote growth, as well as reward their salespeople for reaching their goals.
People skills and knowledge of the product are paramount to being successful. A variety of operation sizes has been a boon to Pallas Seeds Inc. “We are blessed in our locale to still have some small to medium farms,” Pallas said.
Marketing comes into play, as well as planning for sale season demand and tracking supply. Independent sales representatives must also know the customer well – just as much or more as what they are selling. “Selling is a very small portion of what a customer should expect. I like the agronomics,” Pallas said, adding: “When I interviewed for it they weren’t looking for sales people.”
As with any large business, there are policies and guidelines at all levels to maintain consistency in product. Pallas knows the ins and outs of his mother company’s guidance, in turn himself offering producers guidance.
Even with specifics put in place, Pallas has room for innovating and customizing his customers’ experience, thanks in large part to his associates: Cale Pallas, Bill Hoffman and Nate Hoffman. “I have three other people to bounce ideas off of,” Pallas said. “We’re always coming up with some new ideas for services.”
Pallas Seeds Inc. has youth on its side with associates Cale Pallas and Nate Hoffman. Pallas said having a family-based sales and service team gives him peace of mind for the business’s future. Before Cale and Nate signed on, he said, he had thoughts many other business owners have: “You start thinking, if you don’t have anyone, what’s your exit plan?”
At this point Pallas doesn’t have to worry about that; all he and the rest of the Pallas Seed Inc. team see in their future is serving their local producers – hopefully for well over another 23 years.