EDITORIAL – The Weekly Times.
Looking at SOTA Tractor’s informative website, one senses a desire to provide agricultural knowledge and assistance, beyond mere sales. Apart from cutting a swathe through agricultural jargon, by explaining agricultural terms and products for lay-people, the SOTA website provides local community services information, tractor safety advice, farm tips and much more. While there are many dealers who claim to be small acreage specialists these days, SOTA Tractors “is the first agricultural machinery company in Australia to wholly embrace a customer service paradigm,” according to Managing Director, Martin Cooper.
“At SOTA, we never recruit for gun salespeople, which is the usual modis operandi for motor vehicle and conventional agricultural dealers,” Martin said. “When we appoint a new staff member, the decision is based primarily on that person’s ability to assist or provide additional value for our customers — to enhance a customer’s overall farming experience. We have farm machinery experts and we also have farming experts who can advise customers about sowing pasture or rehabilitating their properties. For example, we can provide animal husbandry advice as well as advice on the appropriateness of a flail mower for a particular situation.”
Martin said that he was recently delighted when he overheard SOTA’s agronomist, Mark Crakanthorp, advising a customer on how to improve her self-managed 95ha, cattle-worn property. “She picked his brain for around 40 minutes and really tested him”, Martin said. “Mark, who is a tertiary qualified farmer, recently joined the SOTA team and didn’t know that our customer was, in fact, a sprightly 81-year-old. After he picked his jaw off the floor, he commented that she was as sharp as a tack!”
“SOTA Tractors is known across Australia for its highly competitive tractor and implement packages. However we offer our customers a lot more than that. One family said recently that they liked our website because it has a co-op feel — and I think it does. As a company, we try to achieve that feel. After all, rural life is about families and communities, cooperation and peace. Small-acreage owners yearn for a rural lifestyle and they will often commute significant distances to obtain it. By having the support structures in place to assist our customers with their specific agricultural problems and needs, tractor sales ultimately look after themselves.”