By Grant Anderson FIA Scot

Business development is as much a part of our job as being an auctioneer selling in the ring but some weeks it can be a juggling act to balance out the two roles.

Getting out and meeting clients is massively important. When I was a young lad stepping into the box, farmers didn’t always have the confidence in you to get the best price for their stock but the more time you spend with them, the more they get to know you and their confidence in you grows.

When I drive down a farm road it can be for a number of reasons. A lot of the time it’s to get stock, I’ll be visiting customers who don’t sell with Harrison and Hetherington or who haven’t in a while and basically make the case for them to use us. It’s also good to keep in touch with existing customers when we’ll be advising them on what stock to sell and when.

There is a limited number of farm sales each year so we try to keep our hand in to get new business when these happen. We always hope that our own customers would use us but we do go out of our way to get new business when these sales come up outside our customer base. In these instances we’d be going out to pitch how H and H can offer a superior service.

Farming can be a lonely job and the mart provides an indispensable social hub for farmers and farming communities. Coming to the mart and regular visits from auctioneers like me are good ways to break up the rural isolation that often comes with farming, another positive aspect of the mart system.

Looking after clients is obviously important but some weeks you’re being pulled in every direction and you can’t always do as much as you want to. The selling schedule in the ring can be demanding, I sell prime cattle and bulls on a Monday, store cattle on a Wednesday, and once a month I sell implements on a Thursday.

Going forward into August I’ll be selling pedigree stock every Friday and Saturday. There are times of the year when you're selling every day of the week but we still have to make time for our customers. Our advisory service is a key part of what you get when selling at auction and we will always work hard for our customers to ensure they get the fairest price.

Grant Anderson FIA(Scot) is an auctioneer with Harrison and Hetherington Ltd, and as well as his weekly responsibilities at Carlisle he is involved at Lockerbie and Newcastleton Marts.