“Why Didn’t My Cattle Sell Higher”

rhdRHD Blog

By Rachel Cutrer

Recently, I had a very thought provoking conversation with a purebred beef producer. Essentially, the main theme of the conversation was:“Why didn’t my cattle sell higher?”

A big question, right?

To give a little more background, Brandon and I and the BRC team recently hosted the “Brahman Days” Workshop, and we had over 125 Brahman breeders come in from all across the USA for this workshop.

Our topics were about breeding, cattle marketing tips, business management and more.

During a break, one of the attendees came up to me and said,

“I took my first set of calves to a consignment sale, and I was expecting $4000 to $5000 for my heifers and they only brought $2200.”

I listened as he continued:

“The crossbred heifers in the sale that sold before mine were selling sky high! So I thought – mine should sell great because they’re purebreds! But they didn’t! The heifers had a well known brand on the top and the bottom side! They were out of heifers I paid a lot of money for too!

I let them sell, but, I just don’t understand why they didn’t sell for what I was expecting! Oh, and I know we’ve talked about doing a log and website with you before, but I’m just too busy. I know you sent me the info and I never wrote back. “

It made me think of the famous saying “Are you a price taker or a price maker?”

There are so many reasons that could be the factor in this individual’s experience, and as we all know, there’s a lot that goes into selling and marketing purebred cattle.

Being a deep thinker, I started thinking about all the things you can do to help your cattle do well in a consignment sale….

  • Did you have a pen sign identifying your ranch?
  • Did you have signs on the pen showing their pedigrees?
  • Did you advertise or promote your consignments on Facebook prior to the sale?
  • Did you run a print ad about your consignments in the sale.
  • Did you stand around your pen so you’re there to visit with customers who might be interested?
  • Did your cattle match and shape up in a uniform set?
  • Were your cattle open or bred?
  • What was your cattle’s age compared to the others?

As a purebred cattle breeder, you play a big part in controlling your marketing success.

At a basic level, every purebred cattle producer needs what I call “The Purebred Marketing Foundation.” It’s a plan I created years ago but still holds true. To me, this is the basis of any successful cattle marketing program.

RHD Purebred Livestock Marketing Foundation

In listening to the man’s assessment of his cattle’s poor performance, he had only taken his operation to level 1, from what I understood. He felt he had good cattle, and that he is a person of integrity, but he hadn’t gone any further than the first step in cattle marketing.

Your customers only know what you tell them.

So, what level are you in the purebred cattle marketing foundation?

  • Level 1: You have good cattle and good intentions.
  • Level 2: You have a ranch name and brand
  • Level 3: You have a logo, slogan and ranch colors.
  • Level 4: You have a digital presence (Website / Facebook / Social Media)
  • Level 5: You’re utilizing print advertising

As long as you’re at Level 1, or anywhere else on this chart, we can help you “Level Up” and reach the ultimate goal of having a full fledged, well rounded marketing program that helps you be a “price maker” and not a “price taker.”

If you’ve been thinking of working with RHD, usually I like to start each new project or new client consultation with a phone call if at all possible. It doesn’t have to be an hour long call — usually just 10 to 15 minutes can help me understand what you’re looking for, and if RHD is a good fit to help.

Then this way, we get a personal connection and our team can really jump in and help you in the way YOU need.If we can help in any way, we are always here!