Ways to Support Youth Projects

“The youth is the hope of our future.” – Jose Rizal

More than 6 million youth are involved in 4-H and FFA. And while not all these young people are involved in livestock projects, all of these young people are consumers and do want a safe, nutritious eating experience. That’s why it is important for BioZyme® dealers to support youth projects and events. While the support of the project or event is beneficial to the young people involved, as supporters, we often get to share our story; telling everyone that our products are all-natural and will only continue to help the animals feel good, stay healthy and perform to their upmost potential.

There are many ways to support the youth – or the future – of our industry. Remember, every time we give, we are making an investment.

Show sponsorships.
It is easy to write a check to group or an organization for a show sponsorship. But have you ever considered sponsorship in the form of product? Many shows are looking for “new and exciting” awards or ways to make winning the show seem more appealing. What is more exciting or appealing than winning a bag or bucket of Sure Champ Extreme with Climate Control? Be sure to include your contact information along with a product brochure. Those winners just might be your newest customers.

Educational Workshops.
Giving our time to young people is vital. And in youth projects, there are so many things to learn – feeding, fitting, showing, judging, skin and hair care. As a dealer, you are likely an expert in at least one of these areas or know someone who is. Take the time to host a day or 1/2-day workshop or work with another company to co-host an educational workshop. You don’t have to tackle every subject or every species all at once. And, at the end of the day, have a drawing for a bag or tub of product.

One example of an educational workshop was a roping clinic recently conducted by Vitalize Ambassador Whitney DeSalvo. Each participant received a tube of Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste and a Vitalize cap. A bag of Vitalize product was rewarded to one of the young participants based on merit. Giving away product might cost you initially, but it might also gain you a lifetime customer, and you will see the ROI mount over time.

Make Stall Cards.
Offer to make stall cards for your customers prior to the county or district fair. Don Bush with Powell Feed & Milling in Arkansas, said Powell makes its own line of show feeds, with the assistance of Dr. Susan Day. Last year, Powell feed provided stall cards to its Powell Show Feed customers to use at the area fairs, to recognize their customers, and help the young people have a more professional and neater looking display at the fair. Bush said the youth appreciated the added gesture, and he anticipates this is a program that Powell’s will continue.

Simply Give Back.
With many stores in many counties, Bush said it was going to be nearly impossible to support each Powell customer. Kirk Powell, the company owner, said he would rather donate back the profit margin from show feeds to all the youth than buy just one kid’s animal. And that is what he did. At the end of the summer, Powell Feeds calculates the profits from its show feed sales and divides it among all the youth who buy feed from their various stores. Then, the kids get a certificate worth a specified amount to use at any of the Powell stores.

“We can buy one animal, spend $3,000 and impact one child, or we can take all the profit from our show feed business and spread it amongst every one of them. And some of those kids who don’t win, it means more to them than the kids who do win,” Bush said.

Remember, youth are the future. They are future leaders, future decision makers and future customers. The decisions you make today to support youth will impact them and your business now and in the future.

Today’s Young People are Future Customers

For years grandpa and dad made all the purchasing decisions around the farm or ranch. They decided which color of tractor to drive, which bulls to breed the cows to and even which minerals to feed. But as the years go by, the next generation of customers – my generation –  is starting to make buying decisions. And as a millennial, I might need you to reach out to me just a little differently than dad and grandpa did.

Being classified as a millennial means I’m in an age group with other 18 to 34-year-olds. That’s a wide age range of potential and future customers, and we make our decisions a little differently than grandpa did. Here are a few pointers on grabbing my attention and converting me from a potential customer to a repeat customer:

Reach out to me early on. As part of the millennial generation, I might already be a customer of yours, especially with show livestock and performance horse product lines such as Sure Champ® and Vitalize®. But just because I’m young, doesn’t mean I’m not interested in other product lines. Keep the lines of communication open, and make sure I know how to reach you when I do need to buy more products for my growing livestock operations. For example, I might be buying Sure Champ for my show animals now, but as I develop my herd or take over my family’s herd, I will want to learn more about the VitaFerm line of products and how they will keep my cattle healthy, performing and help increase profitability.

Show us results. My generation thrives on instant gratification. We like to see results and we like to see them quickly. Share research summaries with us that describe the results we might see with your products. We also like to hear from others who have had great experiences. Providing a sample of a quick-response product like Vita Charge Paste is a good idea, too. These kinds of samples are great door openers to conversations about other products and one of the best investments you can make.

Be innovative and stay connected with us. Our generation has technology at our fingertips. We get news from social platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and if we are going to learn about your products and services, you’re likely going to have to promote them on social media as well. That connectivity is a two-way street. “Word of mouth” is still the most powerful marketing tool, but instead of us setting around the local feed store or coffee shop, we comment and share on social media. We like to share positive comments on our experiences, so look for those as we engage with you on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Have a conversation with us. Millennials like to be engaged. We don’t want you to give us a sales pitch. We want you to talk to us and include us in the conversation, so we feel like part of the solution. Start the conversation with questions to discover our goals and priorities and give us options.

Be authentic. Because technology is so easily accessible, the ability to find answers to our questions usually is too. We will do our own research and find out in a heartbeat if you have clouded over anything just to make a sale.

Times are changing, but thanks to the foresight and leadership of my dad and grandpa, I’m ready to start making decisions about our operation. Just remember, I make decisions a little bit differently than the generations before me, but keep your conversations real, show me results and work with me, and this potential customer will become your regular customer. Keep connecting with me in innovative ways as technology changes and evolves, and watch your business grow.

Youth Project Opens Doors

For 25 years Don Bush, Powell Feed & Milling, knew Ken Gillig and competed against him in the world of animal nutrition. Gillig, the BioZyme® Key Accounts Manager since 2016, was formerly an ASM, and Bush had been selling Purina through Powell Feed & Milling in various stores in Northern Arkansas.

However, at the 2014 Missouri State Fair, the friendship between Gillig and Bush became even more important when Bush’s daughter’s ram got very sick in the breeding sheep barn. Bush recalls that Gillig told him he had something he wanted him to try.

“Ken brought back a half-dozen Vita Charge® Paste tubes with a note on how to give them to our ram,” Bush said. “I told my daughter, ‘I don’t know what this foo-foo dust is, but it’s better than having a dead ram.’ Two days later he won the open sheep show.”

After that experience with his daughter’s prize-winning sheep projects, Bush knew there was something about the BioZyme products that worked. He helped Gillig get some supplements to producers down around him and told his boss he wanted to introduce the products into the Powell Feed Stores. Skeptical about the price of the products, he agreed. And Powell Feed & Milling has watched its BioZyme product sales grow, all while reaching VIP Dealer status each year.

“I knew it worked for us. I knew it would work for others,” Bush said.

Bush’s situation is a perfect example of why reaching out to young livestock exhibitors and sharing products are effective ways of promoting the products. If Gillig hadn’t shared the Vita Charge products with him, his daughter might have had a dead ram. And furthermore, BioZyme might have one less VIP dealer who has helped the health and performance of many producers in a large part of Northern Arkansas.

Don’t discount the youth exhibitor. They might buy a bag or a bucket of Sure Champ® products. Or maybe a young equestrian uses the Vitalize® products. However, those youth likely have parents who own livestock or a business who could be positively impacted by the BioZyme products as well.

Potential opportunities are everywhere. Ken Gillig seized the opportunity to help a young sheep exhibitor at the Missouri State Fair. But what he ultimately did was help grow business and change the lives of many livestock producers for years into the future.

May 2018 – Letters from Lisa

Young = Unproven = Fresh = IMPACT

Not to sound too girly, but for about two weeks I had needed to get my nails done (this new job just doesn’t allow time for such necessities).  Finally, I found a spot I could go and called to get in; no availability.  Seems it is “prom season” in St. Joseph and my offers for large tips for availability purposes got trumped. Thinking of the prom dynamic brought back many memories of the good ol’ days when I was not afraid of looking in the mirror, and my youthfulness allowed me to do many things that are not just glimpses of memories that I watch rotate by on my photo frame.

Why is youth so amazing? In my opinion, the greatest thing about young people is that they are unproven. I have never heard an 18-year-old say, “we already tried that, it didn’t work.” Or “that’s how we have always done things.”  Not having a past is a huge attribute, and one that all of us in business should embrace. Want to get futuristic insight or even today’s insight on anything – ask a young person. One warning: after asking you must listen and make change based on these suggestions. And you cannot say to yourself, that will never work, we have already tried that. I am serious, you must think “unproven.”  Ailee Langdon came to BioZyme as an intern last summer and impressed us so much with her work ethic and fresh ideas that we snatched her right up as a full-time employee so we could keep her freshness on our team.

This unproven characteristic allows young people to bring fresh ideas and fresh perspectives. Youth means a new way of thinking. Millennials (18 to 34) now outnumber boomers (51 to 69). Fast Company research suggests 68% of millennials say creating change is a personal goal, while only 42% of boomers do. There’s that word people hate, change. Young people are change agents. Embrace that. No matter whether they are customers, employees, interns or visiting for the day; we all need to think about how amazing “fresh” corn on the cob is.  Young people are even better. Cody Jensen came to BioZyme after being the President of the National Junior Hereford Association Board.  He had many fresh ideas on how we could better support show cattle and ended up driving the development of Sure Champ® Climate Control – a product that took the show world by storm last summer.

In all these scenarios there was impact. This impact does not come without commitment on the part of the Company. Training must be a part of your modus operandi as well as having processes that allow for the time to discuss, not just do. However, with that little bit of effort and if we embrace the incredible value of our youth, we will see significant IMPACT!  At BioZyme youth is a part of everything we do, not because it is easier (change is not easy) but because we are looking for care that comes full circle as our IMPACT!

Win the future – think youth!

Engage With Your Customers To Sell A Program

BioZyme® offers many great products for all phases of production. But some producers get comfortable with one product, and don’t always know how to transition to include other products. And sometimes, the new products seem overwhelming. However, with some engagement with your customers, and discussing the benefits of the Amaferm® advantage through all phases, you can expand your marketing to a program-based approach.

Matt Weigel, owner of Darlington Feed & Ag Center in Darlington, Wis., said he works closely with his producers to make sure they understand each step of the feeding process. For instance, he said the dairies he works with all incorporate Amaferm Digest More® in their feed. When Weigel asked if the producers were pleased with their calf feed, they said yes. Then he suggested the Vita Charge® Stress Tub to help them wean better and stay healthier. And the dairies liked them as well. Of course, they all start their program with Vita Charge Neonatal.

“I’m not afraid to give away a stress tub, and I’ll eat the $60 because I am confident I’ll sell 10 more tubs and more product,” Weigel said. “You’ve got to look at the big picture and be open minded. If a producer likes it and uses it forever I’m money ahead.”

He said he is on the dairy farms that are his customers at least every week or every other week to make sure the customers get their questions answered, and to fix any problems before they surface. Although his store represents other products lines, he truly believes in the Amaferm advantage and uses the VitaFerm products on his own cow herd.

“I wear my VitaFerm hat! We really promote VitaFerm because we know it works. I try the products on my own animals and they work. I like them, and I can promote them,” he said.

Another way that Weigel works to engage with his customers and promote products is to take advantage of the assistance the BioZyme Marketing Team and his ASM provide. In 2017, ASM Trent Gabler worked with Weigel and the Marketing Team to create a postcard mailing promoting VitaFerm HEAT® to those producers who use Concept•Aid®. Darlington Feed saw a significant increase in their HEAT sales after that mailing, according to Gabler.

Finally, Weigel said he’s not afraid to use other customers as references. He’ll share the results that ‘Joe Smith’ had when using a product and he said other producers have the mindset that if Joe Smith had great results, then I should try it too.

Using products, proactively making farm visits and sharing testimonials are great ways to engage and promote products. Offering a trial product might cost a little initially, but the returns will pay off in the long-term. Getting customers to use a program and not just one product will also pay dividends and keep that customer active all year long. Look at the big picture, and sell the program.

Grow Your Business Through Engagement

Without customers, business survival looks bleak. There are two key ways to grow your customer base and subsequently grow your business. First, don’t lose your current customers. And secondly, recruit new customers.

According to an article on marketingwizdom.com, “The average business loses around 20 percent of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships.”

These are customers that the business has already recruited, mostly likely sold to at least once, but simply didn’t follow up with through simple engagement. Twenty-percent adds up over time, and if a business doesn’t work to recruit new customers, it won’t be long before the business no longer exists.

Get Referrals. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to gain new customers is through referrals. But more importantly, referrals are a way to continue interaction and communication with your current customers, while building relationships with new customers and clients. Communication and interaction is vital to long-lasting relationships.

As with any project you need to set your goals first. Do you want to gain a new customer each day? Two per week? Ten per month? Be realistic in the amount of time you plan to devote to recruiting new customers.  And remember, while recruiting new customers is important, keeping the lines of communication open and engaging with your existing customers is important to keeping them happy and keeping them returning.

Offer incentives. Although referrals can and do happen without incentive, people are sometimes afraid of giving out others’ names. But if there is a small incentive included, that fear usually disappears. Sample incentives include:

  • For every name that you refer that buys product from me this month, I’ll give you X% off your next order
  • For every customer you refer me to, I’ll offer you a Vita Charge® Stress Tub at $X cost

And if you don’t offer an incentive, do show appreciation. Those two little words go a long way and give you one more opportunity to interact with current customers.

Schedule the calls. Set aside 30 minutes a day for a week to make new customer calls. If those calls only take 15 minutes each, you can make two calls a day and engage with 10 potential customers. Even if half of those people purchase product, you’ve gained five new customers in a week. Follow that pattern, and over time you’ll have 20 new customers in a month and watch that revenue soar. And surely over time, those 20 customers will have friends that they will be glad to refer too.

Keep communicating. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new customer or long-time customer, keeping the lines of communication open are key to retention. Create a communications calendar where you follow up with each customer on a regular basis. Contact them to see if they need any products, follow up after the sale to make sure they are happy with their products and reach out to them in between to see if they have any general questions or just to see how their lives are going. Customers like it when you are interested in them and engage in their activities.

Referrals are great ways to build your customer base. Remember to keep those lines of communication open between both current and new customers and watch your business grow.

Customer Success Matters

Customers are the lifeblood of our business. Without their success and their repeated business, it is likely that our business isn’t going to succeed either. As dealers, we need to consider ways to help them succeed and then recognize their efforts.

First, we need to know our customers and understand their goals. Recognize what their individual production schedules look like and what their ultimate goals are. Do they sell their calves at weaning time? If so, you probably don’t need to push the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® product line to them. Do they compete with their horses or livestock? Then perhaps the Vita Charge® Paste or Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste needs to be a staple in their show box. Customer success isn’t just about selling products; it’s about providing services and motivation to help them succeed.

Do you have a customer that is offering the same mineral program year after year because “that’s how granddad did it.”? If so, perhaps you need to suggest forage testing their hay and offering some alternatives to a more updated supplement program that will better fit their current operation. Maybe the customer didn’t know you offer forage testing and feed analysis. Once they discover the supplements they really need, they might even discover they are saving money over time. If you create an environment for your customer to succeed, they are more likely to succeed and become loyal customers.

But what happens when your customers find success? Congratulate them as soon as you can, and in person if possible. If you don’t think you will see them in the store or at their ranch for a few weeks, pick up the phone or drop them a hand-written note expressing your happiness for them. The fact that you noticed their achievements will go a long way in their customer satisfaction and your professional relationship with them.

Be sure to not only congratulate them, but to let others know about their achievements as well. Customer achievements can range from having a successful production sale to selling the Grand Champion Barrow at a recent livestock show to having a child get accepted to the college or university of his or her choice. Once you know of these success stories, start sharing them with others. There are several ways to share these stories.

Use a bulletin board in your store that allows you to “brag” on your customers. You can post newspaper clippings here. You can ask your customers to submit their photos and accomplishments to you to post on the bulletin board. People like to see what others in their community are doing, and it makes them feel good to be recognized for their successes.

Take that recognition to the next level. Perhaps you distribute a company newsletter or have a Facebook page. Share your customers’ achievements on these venues so more people see them, especially if they relate to success with your products. Producers will buy a product based on peer-success and not just because a sales person said it works (read more about this in Tell Everyone).

If you create an environment for your customers to succeed, and they succeed, they will likely become repeat customers. They will also tell others about their successes, and if you tell others about their successes, your business will continue to grow.

Information Boosts Confidence

Knowledge is power. The more information you have about anything, the more confidence you will have to talk about that product. The more confidence you have, the more enthusiasm you will project, and enthusiasm is contagious!

The above statements are true if you are talking about roping horses, fishing boats or livestock nutrition supplements. Matthew Hudson shares the following in an article on Balance.com, “Seeing someone completely enthusiastic about a product is one of the best selling tools. As you generate excitement for the product, you remove any uncertainty that the product may not be the best solution for that customer. The easiest way to become enthusiastic is to truly believe in the product. Remember, the first sale you make is yourself; the second sale is the product. If they believe in you, they will believe in the product you are selling.”

Many dealers use BioZyme® products, so they have first-hand knowledge and enthusiasm to share with customers and potential customers. However, other opportunities still exist for you to enhance your product knowledge, and therefore share your enthusiasm about the products.

The Master Dealer Program is a great way to expand your product knowledge and help build your confidence about products and programs you might need some additional information about. The online training modules cover a variety of topics, including the overall BioZyme company information and the Amaferm® advantage as well as all the individual product lines.

“When I started the classes, little did I know the outcome would be so great – from learning about nutrition, how to increase sales and the magical ‘Amaferm.’ As they say, knowledge is power. I am thankful to be part of the BioZyme family,” said Yolanda Novack, Master Dealer from Novack Feed & Grain in Lankin, N.D.

Once a dealer successfully completes the training modules and carries at least four of the product lines, they become recognized and marketed as a Master Dealer. It will receive a special designation on the Dealer Locator page on the website, signage with the Master Dealer designation will be provided to the store; and employees who complete the training will be given a special jacket with the Master Dealer logo on it.

BioZyme works hard to give their dealers every opportunity to learn and grow with the company. The Master Dealer program is just one example of the resources created to ensure dealers have access to both people and tools necessary to grow and flourish. And the more employees who complete the Master Dealer training from each location, will experience

more enthusiasm, and therefore should increase their sales.

“The Master Dealer program gives you all the knowledge and understanding you need to be a successful BioZyme dealer or sub-dealer. I truly believe it ties everything we do here at BioZyme together, our values, our brands, our key ingredients, our products and our services offered to our incredible dealers and sub-dealers,” said Ailee Langdon, Events and Training Coordinator at BioZyme. “One of my favorite things I have heard from Lisa Norton is, “take the time, find a way.” Take the time and find a way to enhance your knowledge and grow your business and complete the Master Dealer Program today.”

Dealers with more than one employee interested in completing the training should contact Langdon directly at 816-596-8782 and she will give that employee access to only the Master Dealer Training modules on your Online Dealer Center. Every employee who completes the training will receive a special jacket.

Sales Solve Everything

If you are going to survive in business, there is just one thing you need to master – sales. That’s right. You have a product or service that you offer, now get out there and sell it. That seems obvious, but there are definite steps to mastering the art of sales.

According to Entrepreneur.com, there are 10 traits that make a great leader. These traits, combined with the conviction-based selling technique, will attract customers and help you master your sales skills.

What qualities do leaders possess that make them master sellers?

  1. Confidence – They are sure about their skill/product, know its value and are proud of being associated with it.
  2. Commitment – Leaders are committed to their vision, mission or goal. They pursue it zealously, no shortcuts.
  3. Integrity – Leaders possess strength of character and maintain honesty with all stakeholders – organization, employees, vendors and customers.
  4. Above par soft skills – Leaders know how to treat people around them, be it business associates, partners or customers – they treat everyone courteously with utmost respect. Good leaders concentrate on building a relationship first, then on closing the sale.
  5. Continuous learners – Leaders are always on the lookout to update their knowledge and skill set and they share it openly with their associates. Not only this, they also seek feedback and if genuine, they implement it.
  6. Target oriented – Leaders are very target oriented – they plan and execute as per the plan.
  7. Good listeners – They are very good listeners. They pick up on subtle cues and know without explicit communication when a deal can be pursued further or when they need to take a step back.
  8. Good communicators – Along with being good listeners, leaders are well versed with the art of making small talk. A leader effectively uses the ‘you attitude’ to put people at ease and gets them to voluntarily listen to what he has to say.
  9. Problem solvers – Leaders by nature are problem solvers. Instead of letting an issue foster, they deal with it on a priority to sort it out.
  10. Product and market knowledge – last but not the least, they have in-depth product knowledge and they know how the market in which they operate performs and where it is headed – i.e. along with the present they also have an eye on the future.

Instead of using a relationship-based selling technique or even transaction-based selling, leaders use the conviction-based selling method, which exhibits their passion toward their area of expertise, in our case animal nutrition. This creates a ‘pull’ effect; ‘an attraction’ toward the leader, creating a demand for his or her expertise, skills, services and products.

As you review the list of leadership skills that will help you master the art of selling, focus on the areas where you are the weakest. You should see gradual increases in your sales and the numbers grow in your checkbook.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249927

Asking Questions To Attract Their Attention

Often, we hear dealers say, “the products sell themselves.” But how do our products get sold to new customers or those who are a little skeptical? We need to know our customers’ needs and understand exactly what they are trying to achieve.

The best way to get to know your customer or a potential customer is to have a conversation with him or her. Discover what goals they have set forth and listen. You will likely need to lead this conversation because most people, especially in agriculture, don’t like to talk about themselves or share too much information. And, your questions will have to be more of a conversation than an interview, seeming more natural than just a list of predetermined questions you have with hopes to make a sale.

People don’t always know what they want. However, they usually know what they don’t want. Use these 10 questions to help you start a conversation to attract new customers to your business.

  1. When it comes to (segment of industry person is in) what is your biggest challenge or hurdle you face when trying to meet your goals?
  2. Which of your needs are not currently being met?
  3. What products/services do you value the most?
  4. How can the products/services you use be improved?
  5. What is one area of your business you need to improve on? And how can I help you make those improvements?
  6. What features of a product/service make you annoyed?
  7. Would you be willing to invest more in a product/service if you knew the ROI would be greater than what you are currently experiencing?
  8. What opportunities or benefits are you willing to pay more for?
  9. At what price does my product or service provide great value to you?
  10. Have you ever thought, “if only a company like ours could do [BLANK] for me, life would be so much easier?” …Tell me about BLANK and how you would find it useful.

Once you have a conversation started, really listen to the potential customer’s answers. Does it sound like you have a product or service that is needed by this person at this time?  Great! Then it is time to start talking about your products or services to make a sale. Don’t talk about products or services that aren’t relevant, but show that you genuinely care and respect the person’s needs and desires by telling them how you can help their operation. The number one thing that attracts new customers is showing respect and a genuine concern/interest in people.