Want to get to know members of the All West team better? We’re introducing you to some of our superstars at All West and combining some storytelling, some fun facts and some insight into what the All West team is made of!
7 Questions with Don Davis
Salesman, Hilmar, CA
Part of the #Connect To 7 Series
1. Years you have been working for All West/Select Sires?
2. First job at All West/Select Sires?
Well my first job with All West was that of an evaluator. In fact, I started the SMS program in California. I was the very first, and at that time, the only, evaluator in the state. So my “territory” was the entire state of California – from the Oregon line to Mexico and the pacific to Nevada. It was huge. I lived out of my car, which was a Ford Escort with a diesel motor. I had moved to Turlock from Idaho for the job and was hardly every home. At that time, there was only aAa and DMS evaluations done here, so many producers were looking for something different. We were in the right place at the right time.
3. Approximate number of miles traveled each month?
4. Favorite road trip story?
Back in the day, the All West group would take one of those quick, little four-day cruises to Ensenada and boy were they fun! We still talk about the places we traveled to, the fact that we barely made the ship leaving port at times! The value you get with a group of co-workers bonding outside of work is priceless!
5. Favorite bull in the past 5 years?
We have to break the rules on this question because my favorite bull by far was 7HO1897 BLACKSTAR. He’s the most thrilling bull we’ve ever had. 7HO980 MARK had left a huge impact on the breed and we were all wondering who would fill his shoes? It was BLACKSTAR and he literally took the country by storm. In my mind, he definitely had a bigger impact than MARK.
6. Customers… business partners or family?
A little bit of both if you want to know the truth! I treat my herds like they’re my own cows. When you feel that personal responsibility for what you’re doing and the people you’re working with, it makes a huge difference! One of my favorite things is when people can’t wait to show me an animal! That means they’re excited with the results we’re getting! I do 90% of the bull selection for my customers, and I appreciate the confidence they put in me. We’re in this partnership together for the same goal. When they succeed, I succeed.
7. Best advice (for someone new to your position)?
I think the best advice I can give new salespeople is to never look down on customers, both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, get down out of your truck to stand on the ground and look your customer in the eye. People really like doing business face-to-face. And the other thing I’ve always tried to practice is to ask questions and make the conversation about your customer instead of about you. One of my tried and true sales questions has always been, ‘What kind of cow do you want? I’ll work hard to build it for you!’
Tom Olson, one of the founders of Superior Sires, told me something that has stuck with me forever. He simply said, ‘Take care of your customers.’ That was it. Great customer service…always…trumps…price.