Get to know Eubanks Equipment
Eubanks Equipment is a family-owned dealership with locations in Welch, Oklahoma and Anderson, Missouri. They were named the number one Vermeer Forage Dealer of the year in 2018. Read below as Craig Eubanks shares a few insights into the business and what they’re doing to provide a great customer experience.
Tell us a bit about your dealership and who you are?
My dealership is Eubanks Equipment and we got started about 12 years ago now. Before I had the dealership, I put myself through college running a commercial hay baling business. Then after college I moved away and had a few other jobs before an opportunity came up to purchase the local dealership which was well established. One conversation led to another and then all of a sudden, I’d bought the business and I was like, “What did I just do?”
That was 2008. My dad and I are partners and he is a part of all the major decisions and those type of things and I help manage the day to day. It’s something that I’ve grown up doing. I’m very familiar with this industry and I guess it’s what I know to do.
Tell us about one of your Vermeer customers: what they do and why they choose Vermeer.
I guess one that jumps to mind is one that we switched to Vermeer. I started getting a feel that he was dissatisfied with the service he was getting, not so much his equipment. In the process we go do a demo. He ran his baler against ours.
So we went out, spent the day with him, and at the end of the day, he said, “You’re right,” and he said, “It is every bit the baler, if not better.” Then he said, “I’m a buyer,” so we worked through this and since that time he’s become a pretty good customer. I’ve sold him some trailed mowers: aTM850 and then into a TM1210.
"The things that we do that we offer beyond the equipment – which would be the service, the personal attention, doing that with purpose and doing that with intensity, and also doing it in an intentional way – that's what he was looking for."The moral of the story is, when I got to know him and kind of built a relationship with this particular individual, what I learned was, the things that we do that we offer beyond the equipment – which would be the service, the personal attention, doing that with purpose and doing that with intensity, and also doing it in an intentional way – that’s what he was looking for. He was looking for somebody that was sincere. We brought him in, and he felt like [he was] on our team – that made the difference.
Five years later, looking back on it, now, he doesn’t own anything that isn’t yellow that he doesn’t pull behind his tractors in the hayfield. It all started with a conversation.
As a dealer, could you talk about two reasons or things that you do to equip your customers to do more?
- If we don’t know what we’re selling, then our customers are not going to know what they’re buying. We have to have the knowledge of the equipment, so we’re making sure that the person writing the check is buying what fits their program.
- We educate them on how to use [their equipment] and maintain it – those types of things. Because if those things aren’t done properly, they’re not going to understand the full potential of that piece of equipment.
The way I’ve tried to teach my team this is, once you make the sale, he’s bought in, he’s 100%, so you’re sitting here at a hundred; you want to keep this guy at a hundred, but if you don’t educate him, he’s dropped down to 80. Then if you don’t service him after the sale or you don’t take care of him when he has issues, then he’s dropped down to 70 or 60. When he becomes a repeat buyer, he’s going to be shopping at your competition. So, what we want to do is we want to keep this guy up around this hundred mark, where he’s still a 100% bought in, so when he goes into his next trade cycle, there’s not a question of, “I wonder what another baler costs,” it’s “I wonder if Eubanks Equipment has one in stock.” That’s the kind of service we want to give them.
How do you see technology changing in the future?
The technology that we’re putting into hay equipment now; I mean, honestly, when I close my eyes and think about 25 years ago, did we need all these things, all this technology? No, I didn’t see it, I didn’t see that in the future. Now that it’s here, it’s like, “Man, great, wonderful.”
"With the right creativity, the right minds, and then the right skillset to put those creative ideas together, who knows what the limits are?"We were watching the ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler run, a while ago and I’d said to one of the guys sitting next to me: “What they just did in five minutes would’ve taken 45 minutes 25 years ago.”
As long as the technology is dependable, I’m all for it.
Where are you going in the future? I think Vermeer is showing us. They’ve always been on the cutting edge of this stuff. It just tells me that with the right creativity, the right minds, and then the right skillset to put those creative ideas together, who knows what the limits are?
If you could say one message to farmers and ranchers out there, what would that message be?
To all the customers that we deal with and to the people that we deal with on a day-to-day basis: First of all, I want to thank them for being them and the kind of people that are a joy to work with. There’s always a bad apple in every bunch, I’m sure, but the people we deal with every day? Top shelf, top shelf type people. They’re people that realize that hard work pays off; they’re honest. I appreciate them for being them.
I also appreciate the fact that the customers that we deal with and the ag customers in general are becoming more conscientious of the environment. I’m really starting to pay attention to that more than I used to, and I appreciate them being conscious of the environment.
I just appreciate the things that the rural people are doing to provide a good product, because honestly, I like steak, I like potatoes, I like bread. Thank you for creating the best in the world.