When we think about being “accessible” we might not immediately understand how that applies to grain markets. Afterall, isn’t accessibility about being friendly or easy to approach and talk to. Yes, but it’s also about being reachable and available, and that’s how it applies to selling your grain.
Do not approach!
Warning – I’m not going to paint a particularly bright picture. My apologies, but it is the lay of the land.
On the world grain markets, Canada is really struggling with its approachability into some of our important export markets. In particular, pulses to India; canola, soybeans, and pork into China; and our durum in Italy. Just over the fence to the south, the US is in deep with countries like China leading to things like soybean subsidies for their growers. It makes it tough to find a place to stand up and be seen by potential buyers.
Not surprisingly, it’s all resulting in very quiet markets today.
Queue the cricket sounds!
The lull has been building since combines hit the field last fall. Spring market rallies didn’t materialize the way we’d hoped, and both buyers and growers are telling us that things are tough especially compared to a few years ago when we had both good weather and good markets.
So, what can improve this picture? In times of quiet markets, it’s even more important to bring down barriers to access.
Let’s get personal
I’m going to digress away from talking about grain markets for a moment and tell you a personal story. Back when I was still a bachelor and all my friends were getting married, I would go to their weddings solo and feel constant social pressure to “find a wife.” Believe me when I say I was trying! Or at least I thought I was.
When I stop and think about my time as a single guy, I can see now that I really wasn’t accessible. My social life was playing hockey on an all-guy team or playing slo-pitch in a men’s league. Spending my time with only guys didn’t really make me accessible to women did it? Counting on being the nice guy that was going to get referrals from teammates was not panning out.
Eventually I moved to a different province which inspired a new approach. I volunteered and played co-ed sports and viola – I got a few dates. Even a few second dates. I was accessible! But I still hadn’t found the future better half.
Introduce Phase 3. Some friends encouraged me to try online dating. Talk about making yourself accessible! It changed the game, BIG TIME! Soon I was out on dates, meeting new people, and life was busy. And this is where we find the happy ending. I met my wife on an internet dating site. It turns out we lived pretty close to each other but none of our social circles overlapped so it’s unlikely we would have met each other in any other way. This year we’ll be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary, all because we made ourselves accessible.
Broaden your own circle
My point is there are many parallels that can be drawn between my personal story and grain marketing.
Growers often tell me “I have my 4 buyers close by” but then later complain about dragged contracts or slow movement. This is like me, spending all my time with my male teammates and hoping to have that social network work for me.
Other growers tell me they have their 4 main buyers and have a few others in their “hip pocket” that can bring them opportunities in a pinch. Just like when I expanded my social circle to include co-ed teammates and volunteers. I got a few dates, but it still wasn’t the perfect mix to make me happy.
The growers who have embraced technology and really made themselves accessible to a broad scope of buyers are the ones who have eliminated the struggles. They’re finding grain offers when they need them at prices and terms they want. Like me with internet dating. Once we make ourselves accessible, the opportunities become immense.
Make yourself accessible, and just see what happens.
You can’t build and maintain relationships with every potential grain buyer out there. That’s where technology comes in and there are options when it comes to marketing your grain. However, I believe our CXN360 service is the best in class for making yourself accessible to buyers. A CXN360 membership gives you unlimited access to the buyers on the system with minimal effort and no risk. Targeted offers come to you from a broad range of buyers (who are all Licensed and Insured).
Give CXN360 a try today. It’s free! Learn more here
Mike Witkowicz, VP of Strategy and Business Development