The selling skills he teaches help salespeople lead 21st century growers where they don’t know they need to go. Because products, technologies, and production practices change so fast, farmers need smart, youthful-thinking sales reps who are constantly working to improve themselves so they can lead their customers into the future.
Rod Osthus was raised on a farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy from SDSU in 1972, prior to joining the Research Team at Trojan Seed Company. During his five years at Trojan, Rod worked as a plant breeder, agronomist, and later became Research Station Director in Maui, Hawaii. In 1972, Rod also became a Registered Seed Technologist.
In 1977, Rod became the first employee of the newly formed Keltgen Seed Company, where he worked as a District Sales Manager, Regional Manager, and in 1984, was named Vice President of Sales. Later, Keltgen Seed Company became a member of the Dow/Elanco Team where Rod continued to orchestrate his tenure of 17 consecutive years of sales increases. Rod has four decades of successful industry experience ranging from quality control, to research, to sales leadership.
Although Rod’s primary focus has been on the seed industry, the demand for his talents and abilities has taken him into other areas as well. He has experience in training people in crop insurance, real estate, retail selling, direct sales, farm marketing, health and fitness, human resources, the food and fuel industry, and additional agricultural sectors. Rod has helped start new companies, positioned businesses for sale, and facilitated mergers. He has also developed numerous successful new product introduction strategies and created ways to add new life to current product lines by repositioning them in the marketplace.
Rod’s unique training style makes him an extremely popular sales trainer, adviser, and keynote speaker. Rod and his late wife, Sharon, have three grown children and he has lived in Olivia, Minnesota for the past 40 years.
“The secret to success in the seed business is to learn everything you can, regardless of how much you think you already know. Practice at the “insane” level until you have the social skills to apply what you have learned. Then present YOURSELF in a manner that demonstrates the highest level of knowledge and leadership possible. This strategy ensures that the salesperson AND the customer win every time.” — Rod Osthus