Sales is a tricky business to succeed at; anyone in the industry will tell you that the idea behind sales is much more difficult in execution than you might initially think. Being successful can be achieved, but these days there are so many different ways to be successful that it’s challenging to pick one road that works the best. Brandon Harris, the Sales VP at Otter PR, has a wealth of experience in sales and has pinpointed a major limiting factor for many sales groups. He’s seen both sides of this debate’s effects with multiple companies and has since been trying to educate the sales community on this very subject.
The Fixed Mindset versus the Growth Mindset is a rather interesting choice to make as both sides have their pros and cons; however, statistical evidence suggests the idea that one might perhaps more often yield results over the other. Before we discuss that, first, each mindset must be laid out and explained.
THE FIXED MINDSET
The Fixed Mindset is a more precise and secure state of mind and practice in sales. Often, this approach focuses heavily on what works rather than merely improving. It could be argued that it doesn’t tend to heavily involve the more personal influence of sales and the value of individual strengths and weaknesses. Fixed Mindsets tend to look at cold hard facts without considering the margin of error for these facts. More often than not, you’ll see examples of leaders in a Fixed Mindset being heavily focused on having a secondary education but perhaps less work experience.
In addition, the Fixed Mindset tends to have less belief & efficacy of their employees. There needs to be a detailed set of requirements met by each individual for them to be considered qualified, and the Fixed Mindset follows them to a near tee. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the Fixed Mindset is a risk-averse approach to sales. There isn’t much venturing outside of the formulaic nature of how it operates and, as a result, tends to yield low-risk based results.
This is not to say there’s no value in the Fixed Mindset; the Fixed approach doesn’t tend to err on the side of risk-taking. Depending on the individual industry, this could be a good thing as risk-reward analysis can be an invaluable tool for a sales group if the market is right for it. However, the fact remains that Fixed Mindset is a far more rigid approach to sales that is more circumstantial in the way of success.
THE GROWTH MINDSET
The Growth Mindset is a more fluid approach to sales. The idea involves more risk-taking, but also more results-based decision-making. The belief that employees’ records show more of their capabilities than what they look like through the traditional ‘on paper’ lens. The Growth Mindset takes the time to teach the employees and future leaders instead of going out of business to seek new members to fill those roles.
It is a mindset heavy in the investment of existing company members rather than investing in new members who might not perform according to specifications. A growth mindset is frequently one that takes a more direct look at employees under the umbrella of the company and invests in those who have yielded the most results or show the most promise and teach them how to fill the roles they’re expected to occupy rather than leaving them at where they are already excelling.
This mindset has a far less rigid approach, focusing heavily on promoting and using resources to invest in their team. This grants employees more efficiency and empowerment to make the right decisions for the company and their department as a whole.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Harris believes that these two mindsets, while both yield some semblance of benefits, have a superior mix. He believes that the growth mindset is far more lucrative for the future of sales as it promotes a more genuine approach to sales and goes based on performance rather than what employees look like on paper. The risk-taking involved in Growth Mindset is also something that can be attributed to further success for companies who choose the Growth Mindset and take educated risks.
These decisions ultimately help the health of the company and the sales industry at large as they help set the precedent of the growth mindset as the norm. It creates a more lucrative business in terms of the revenue, and the health of the sales industry is evolving with the changing times. Whether it’s practiced effectively or not across the board, the future of sales is the growth mindset.
As leaders in the sales industry, it is your responsibility to ensure that these are things that are taken account of when in the process of moving forward with large decisions. These individual mindsets must be chosen carefully and with a great deal of thought beforehand, and if it is not done successfully it can be detrimental to the health of the company’s success.
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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