12 Jun Selling Livestock Vitamins
Every living being, including people and animals need minerals to survive. As humans, it can be easy to add supplements here or there depending on what we need. The same thing can be said for animals though, too. Supplements can be added to their feed to make up for the nutrients they don’t receive in a pasture.
In order to add these supplements, feed companies have to sources them from somewhere. That is where companies like Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer, come into the picture.
The job of change
Meet Landon Canterbury, a key account manager for Kemin Industries in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Southwest, Kansas. Kemin Industries and its employees strive to improve the lives of people all over the world.
“We make ingredients that go into feed, food and different health products,” Landon said. “I work on the feed side for Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health. We have a pet food division, human health division and personal care division. We just launched a textile division in Europe. The pet food sector and the animal nutrition and health sectors are definitely the largest within Kemin.”
As a key account manager, Landon is charged with traveling his region to sell Kemin’s products to feed distributors and feed mills. Landon’s job is to sell the molecular pieces that build different feeds to the distributors who then make the feed for the final producer. In addition, Landon visits with key decision makers in the agriculture industry, like veterinarians or nutritional consultants for feed yards and dairies, to share the benefits of Kemin’s products.
“The primary purchaser would be the feed manufacturer,” Landon said. “But then my customers are the producers. While I might not see the invoice to our producers from the manufacturers, they are definitely my customers and their interests are in the back of my mind all the time.”
One of the key reasons Landon loves his job is the constant change he experiences everyday.
“I love constant change, which is odd for a lot of people,” he said. “Everyday there’s a new problem, everyday there’s a new issue you need to solve. You walk in to talk about one thing and you immediately realize that’s not at all what you need to be talking about today. You kind of go with the punches and that, honestly, is my favorite thing and also the most stressful thing at the same time.”
Because of the Kemin’s mission to be proactive in the agriculture industry, it constantly changes its product lineup, services, feed testing and inventory analysis, which can be a stressful thing at times.
The journey to selling
Landon grew up in South, Central Colorado on a cow-calf operation his dad managed. When he graduated high school, him moved to Lubbock to attend Lubbock Christian University.
“I stayed about a year there and then actually quite college and traveled all around the country for about a year and a half taking a few classes here and there,” Landon said. “I tell everybody, I attended seven different universities before I finally got my undergraduate degree.”
When he graduated with his undergraduate degree from West Texas A&M University, Landon was talked into getting his master’s degree, which he said opened quite a few doors. He would have never met his employer if he had not been pursuing his professional degree.
Landon met several Kemin representatives at a symposium during the Plaines Nutrition Council in San Antonio while he was in his last semester of master’s school. They offered him a job when he graduated, but he declined because he had another job lined up.
“The other job fell through (at the) last minute,” Landon said. “I actually bumped into one of the Kemin sales representatives in the grocery store and he asked me about my other job. When I told him it wasn’t working, he got me in touch with his boss.”
A day later, Landon had an interview for his current position. He attributes his success in finding a job that he loves to networking and not being afraid to keep his options open.
The ability to stay accountable
Landon’s job affords him with the opportunity to be based in a home office. He travels between six to eight nights a month, if not more during Kemin’s busy season. Due to the nature of his job, Landon is constantly faced with the question — am I doing enough?
“That’s a question that plaques all of us,” he said. “I don’t know if I have a great answer for that but I’ll tell you (how I determine if I am or not).”
To answer this question, Landon follows Kemin’s metrics as far as making enough sales calls during a month or turning in certain material. On a personal level, he determines if he is doing enough by assessing whether he is moving calls forward at a comfortable speed.
“In our industry, a big sale may take as long as 16 to 18 months to really push through,” Landon said. “By the time you present data and they get down to the producer level to when you talk to them about the money they can be saving, it can take a while. For me, it’s about how much am I able to move that call forward as I move throughout the month.”
One way Landon assesses that is by have accountability meetings and calls with a fellow account manager that lives in the same town.
“Jeremy and I work together on our goals and itineraries,” he said. “We try to stay booked up three to four weeks in advance and we really hold each other accountable. That has really helped us a lot more. A lot of it is accountability and how I’m treating the people around me.”
To learn more from Landon, reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on social media:
Instagram: @lg_canterbury https://www.instagram.com/lg_canterbury/
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