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Employee Focus: 25 years with Terry Clark

Terry Clark recently celebrated working 25 years in agricultural machinery sales – seeing two company names on the building – first Santro Ainsworth Ag, and now McIntosh & Son.
We had a chat with Terry to see if we could learn any of his secrets to sales success and to chat about how his last quarter of a century in the business has been.

Congratulations on 25 years Terry! You came into the business without any agricultural machinery experience - how did you come into this role?

After working in a variety of industries including mechanics, real estate and merchandising, I landed a job at a motorcycle shop.

My 9 months there was my first introduction to sales before I was poached by the sales manager at Santro Ainsworth Ag (now McIntosh & Son).

He gave me a phone and a car and told me to go sell some gear - at the time, a header was worth $350,000 so it freaked me out a bit! It was a hell of a lot more money than you sell a motorbike for.

I was stressed and overwhelmed so I told them it wasn’t for me, but they didn’t want to lose me so I moved to spare parts for a few months. This move helped me gather my feet, gain confidence with customers and fast-tracked my product knowledge.

I went back into sales and have been happy doing it ever since - but I can’t say it was a good start!

It sounds like the team at Santro Ainsworth nurtured you into the job then.

I was quite shaky and ready to pull the pin but I’m glad I persevered and that they persevered with me.

They sent me to some New Holland tractor training and that helped me out and got the ball rolling. Once I had a fair idea of what I was talking about and could deliver it in the right manner, I got to work my way through the customer side of things.

So then 4 years later the business was purchased by McIntosh & Son – how was that transition?

I had 4 years with Santro before McIntosh & Son brought the business and kept me on. The change of management brought a bit more structure into the business, which was needed so was good.

You must have seen a lot of different faces over your time?

Absolutely, I worked with our long-term parts manager Phil Donges who sadly passed away 3 years ago and still miss him every day.

Then, of course, there’s our administration manager Carlene who recently celebrated 20 years at McIntosh & Son!

I still keep in touch with a few staff members who have left too, they’re good people and good mates - I met one for golf this morning actually!

What are some other changes you’ve seen within the dealership over the years?

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t keep up with modern technology!

I rely on the young bucks to help me out with new machinery specs like auto-steer and precision farming - that’s for sure. But it’s great to see the benefits the farmers get.

So what is a typical day for you like?

I’ve got a large client base and they keep coming back to me for business so that’s takes up a lot of my day.

But I’m not the kind of guy who just sits behind a desk and pretends I’m busy!

I spend a fair bit of time loading and unloading machinery via forklifts and cranes. Just today I went and unloaded a brand-new header. It’s a hands-on job and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.

I’ll go on field and assemble a bit of gear too - just do what needs to be done.

And there’s always something to be done!

Can we talk about some favourite moments?

I managed to sell one customer 3 combines in one hit!

That was a fairly good moment, it’s always a good buzz when you convert a customer.

I’ve also had some really good trips courtesy of the company.

Through Agco I’ve had a trip to India, went to the United States for the release of a new Challenger tractor, I’ve been to New Zealand through Goldacre’s and Pottinger shouted us a trip to Austria one year so I extended the stay and travelled through Europe.

They’ve all been memorable. Definitely perks of the job!

What is the best part of your job, and what are you most proud of from your time here?

The best part of my job is meeting new people and turning them into customers.

I’d say something I’m proud of is getting to work with the people that I do. It’s such a great team and they make me feel needed on a daily basis.

I’m really grateful to the McIntosh Family for the way they treat everyone, they’ve really got your back through any rough times.

What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?

I still play squash twice a week and I play Golf on the weekend – and I do love the odd cold one.

If you could tell your 20-year-old self anything, what would it be and why?

Do what makes you feel good, don’t treat a job as a job because if you don’t enjoy it - you’re wasting your time