Dealer Retreat Offers Prime Opportunity for Growth

Professional development opportunities don’t come along every day when you are in the animal nutrition business. However, BioZyme® offers an opportunity that will help you grow your business, allow you to learn more about the products you sell and give you the chance to build valuable relationships with other dealers and the BioZyme staff.

Each June, BioZyme offers a day-and-a-half of professional development to its dealers who have achieved a specific sales goal the year prior. You’ve probably seen some promotional information for the 7th Annual BioZyme Dealer Retreat in the last two VISION newsletters. If you sold at least 50 tons of product in 2018, you’ll want to be watching your mailbox this month for your invitation.

The Dealer Retreat offers educational sessions led by BioZyme staff that covers marketing, selling tools and product highlights. There are also typically times for interactive discussions when dealers can exchange what works best for them in a given scenario or with a specific product.

Mark Johnson, Sleepy Hollow Farm, Centerville, S.D., attended his first Dealer Retreat in 2018. He highly recommends it to anyone that has the chance to attend, especially newer dealers. He said learning more about the products, meeting BioZyme staff in-person to discover who to call for what, and hearing what works for other dealers were the most beneficial parts of the retreat.

“We’ve really interacted more with the home office, mostly just because we figured out who to talk to from personal contact made at the dealer retreat,” Johnson said. “Last year, we really enjoyed getting to know the marketing staff better and realized how much was available to us.”

Johnson took what he learned from the Promoboxx session last year and made his first Facebook post at the Dealer Retreat session. And, due to that Promoboxx post, he made a sale to a new customer before the evening’s casino night was over.

“I would say Promoboxx contributed to almost 50% of our new leads since the last Dealer Retreat,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s experience is just one of many positive experiences that dealers have when they attend the Dealer Retreat. He said if it works into his schedule, he would attend again for further opportunities to grow his business, network and continue learning about the products and programs BioZyme offers.

The Dealer Retreat is not just a great place to learn, network and help grow your business. There are also some inspiring speakers, good food and entertainment and sales awards presented as well. This year dealers will experience a change of venue, moving from Saint Joseph to the Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Kansas City. There will still be BioZyme plant and headquarter tours available to those who wish to tour. And even if you have toured in the past, upgrades and changes are continually made to improve production and efficiency so the tours are always encouraged.

Take the time and action to grow your business.
When you receive your invitation to Dealer Retreat, RSVP with a “Yes” and reap the benefits.

Collaborate with our Marketing Team to Enhance Your Business

Whether you’ve been a BioZyme® dealer for years or you are in the early stages of being a dealer, there is one thing for certain; the company is here to help you succeed and grow. From your Area Sales Manager to Business Development, Outreach Support, Customer Support, Nutrition Support, Marketing, Quality Control and Production, every employee at BioZyme is here to help you thrive in your dealership.

Jordan Milliren, who represents Iowa and Southwest Minnesota, is just one of the ASMs that makes sure his dealers have the marketing tools and support they need to grow and generate sales. He credits Trent Gabler and Mike Wadle, the previous ASMs in his territory, with building a solid foundation of dealers. Milliren said he works to ensure those dealers have the tools and resources they need to promote their products to current and potential customers.

“My dealers know their customers better than I do. They know if a mailer or touch-point is going to end-user customers, those customers are going to call and usually do business with them,” Milliren said.

Although sometimes unsure at first, he said his dealers are usually willing to work with him on a mailing. After all, it is to their benefit and cost effective for them. He credits the creativity and working relationship he has with the marketing team at BioZyme. He said he often has ideas for mailings or e-blasts, and they put them together to make them happen.

“I think it is important for our dealers to know that marketing does pay. I’d put our marketing team up against anyone in the industry. They have the ability to do some pretty creative stuff for our dealers, and it is to benefit their business, as well as BioZyme’s,” he said.

Brand awareness and education are priorities when it comes to Milliren’s marketing goals. When introducing a new dealer, he likes to introduce the person as a dealer with a small promotion just to help that dealer generate business. And with so many competitors on the market, making the touch-points, creating brand awareness and sharing one or two benefits is important.

“We don’t want to give customers too much information at once, but hit the highlights, like how a stress tub can help your calves at weaning time or why Concept•Aid® is important at breeding,” he said.

Milliren said he likes to send quarterly mailers to keep the brands in front of customers who have busy lifestyles. For instance, during planting and harvest, farmers might need a gentle reminder to check their cattle’s mineral, even though they know it is important. He said monthly e-mails help keep that brand awareness high as well.

Marketing can be a big undertaking. But with the assistance of your ASM and the BioZyme marketing team, you can work together to promote your business. Remember, there are many ways to work with the BioZyme staff. Just reach out to your ASM or the Outreach Support Center and let us know how we can help you grow your business.

Collaboration Grows Business

If two heads are better than one when it comes to planning, just think how good things could be if we worked together in groups of three or four, or even more? But sometimes as an employee in a small business or a small-business owner, you might just be flying solo. That is why collaborating with others is so important to grow your business.

The connections you form with others, and the different ways you collaborate with those people you formed connections with, will help you grow your business to new levels.

An article from www.thebalancesmb.com offers five ways you might grow your small business through using collaboration, regardless of the industry you are in.

  1. Collaboration will inspire you. While it is easy to get into the routine of “we’ve always done it that way,” just think, there might be a better way. But how will you learn a different way or technique if your business is unique to you and unique to your location? Ask around. Do you want to find a new customer service tracking software? Or do you need a new way to keep inventory? Chances are there is another dealer who has gone through the same growing pains you are experiencing. Check with your ASM, and he or she can probably point you to someone in the dealer network who would be glad to visit with you about their software or record keeping system.
  2. Collaboration helps you grow your network. Just like attending the Dealer Retreat provides a great opportunity for you to expand your business relationships with other dealers, collaboration can also help you grow your customer base. Have you considered collaborating with a bull stud or semen company to host a producer meeting? All those producers that breed cattle also need mineral. Collaboration can help you grow your network and grow your sales.
  3. Collaboration is educational. With almost every interaction you have, you should learn something. This might be something as minor as learning what day the local auction market café serves your favorite meal to discovering someone in the area is going to background 500 stockers and could benefit from the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® program.
  4. Collaboration can help you save money. Small businesses, or most businesses, often run on tight budgets. Isn’t it nice to know there are others out there that can help you save money? Instead of investing in a high-price marketing firm to help you with advertising and promotion, don’t forget to collaborate with your ASM and the BioZyme® marketing department to create a mailer or promotional ad for you. This is just one of the services BioZyme offers its dealers and it will save money in your marketing budget for other items.
  5. Collaboration solves problems. Remember that adage of “two heads are better than one.” Sometimes it is nice to have someone to share ideas or look for solutions with. “Think about the last difficult problem you faced in your business. When we get stumped, most of us immediately go to a partner, mentor or other trusted resource who acts as a sounding board and helps us work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of someone outside of the situation. And when you add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix, the end result will often transcend what you originally set out to accomplish,” writes Alyssa Gregory, author of the article.

You might be a small business, but you don’t have to do your business on your own. Collaborate with your ASM, other dealers, the marketing team and other industry professionals. You can even collaborate with others in your community. Get involved with the chamber of commerce or a small business partners organization. With collaboration, you will have many thinkers, and you can watch your business grow.

Information from article: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/collaboration-grows-yourbusiness-2951718

How to Empower your Sales Staff to Ask for the Sale

Developing relationships and providing top-notch customer service are two of the keys to a successful business. However, if you want your business to generate profit, you need to grow your sales. Perhaps one of the most challenging things about business, once you’ve developed those relationships is making the actual sale.

“A lot of good conversations take place when we build relationships, but did we flat out ask for the sale? Even the most experienced sales staff feel comfortable talking about products and having rapport, but they are scared of being told ‘no,’ so they might avoid the ask,” said Trent Gabler, BioZyme® Inc. Sales Coach and former ASM.

The fear of rejection is a natural reaction; however, until the question is asked, the answer is always ‘no,’ and when you do get a positive yes, it makes you and your business’ bottom line and outlook a little brighter.

Gabler offers three methods to empower your staff to feel more comfortable in closing the sale.

1. Summary close. Once you have discussed a particular product’s benefits or the Amaferm® advantage, have one or two summary statements and then simply ask when the customer would like to try the product or place an order. You could summarize with the three main selling points of improving intake, digestibility and absorption each time. Just keep your closing statement simple with an impact. For example, you might say, “Concept•Aid offers the benefits of increased reproductive success. When would you like to give it a try?”

“I think the summary close is the best. It highlights the benefits and reconfirms why the producer should invest in your product. How can a producer afford not to use it? Then, suggest how and when to order,” Gabler said.

2. Now-or-Never. One way you can ask for the sale without really applying sales pressure is during a promotion or sale. If you are a dealer that offers a good deal during or directly after a producer meeting or during a particular season of the year, this is a particularly effective pitch, according to Gabler. People like to save money, so if they know they have to buy “now” or they will “never” save money, they are more likely to buy on the spot. With the now-or-never approach, you might say, “This promotion ends tomorrow. If you don’t place your order now, you will miss out on this incredible savings.”

3. Direct Ask. If you aren’t afraid of hearing no or maybe, then try asking directly, “Would you like to place your order today?” If you don’t ask immediately after your conversation, and your potential customer says they need a little time to think, make sure you follow up with him or her within two to three days of your original discussion. That allows enough time for the person to think about the products and do any research they might want to do, and yet keeps you and the products fresh in their minds. Never assume they will get back to you; that is why it is imperative that you reach back out to them.

Training your employees to have product knowledge, customer service skills and build relationships are all important. Those skills will lead to empower them to make the ask and close the sale. Making sales and hearing “yes” will further empower and elevate your employees’ self-esteem. Make the ask, make the sale and watch your business grow!

Grow Your Business by Engaging and Empowering Your Staff

Good help is hard to find. But once you’ve found a good and loyal employee or several of them, you want to make sure they stay with your company. Turnover and hiring are costly in both money and time, and let’s face it, if you’ve found someone that meshes with your company values, mission and culture, isn’t it worth it to keep them as part of your team?

In a recent Inc.com 1 article, author Maria Matarelli suggests the best way to empower and grow your business is to empower and engage your employees. She quotes,

“According to a Gallup poll, only 37% of employees who feel they are engaged in their job would leave for a raise of 20% or less. That’s a big indicator of just how important engagement and empowerment are. Employees are willing to turn down more money if it means less empowerment.”

Employees need to feel like they are being treated as an unique individual, not just a robot following a set of rigid rules to accomplish a task. Yes, policies and guidelines are imperative to workplace productivity and safety, but happy employees are the key to a job well-done.

Matarelli reminds readers, “A machine can’t surprise you. A machine can’t be creative. A machine can’t innovate or contribute to the culture of your workplace.” Once you have hired someone provide them with the company vision and let them work. You might just be surprised at the type of contribution they make to improve a process, create a new product or provide other valuable input to help your company.

Follow these three simple steps to empower your employees and watch them succeed and help your company succeed simultaneously.

1. Listen. This might seem simple; however, often times employees have great ideas but have no one to share them with. People want to know that they have a voice and their opinion matters. As their supervisor, you don’t have to say yes, but you might just hear the next great idea for your company to soar.

2. Provide Safety. People like to feel a sense of security in the workplace. This can shape up in different ways. First, your employees will want to know they do have job security. No one works to their potential when rumors of firing or downsizing are circulating. If your company is experiencing hard times, be open with your team so they know what to expect. The second way you can make your employees feel safe, is by letting them voice their opinions, ideas, or thoughts on what works well and what could be improved on.

“The problem with leadership roles is that leaders are rarely the ones who interact directly with the customers. It’s important to hear from your employees that do, because they have valuable insight to offer. But they won’t share their thoughts if they don’t feel safe doing it,” Matarelli writes.

3. Mistakes Happen. Nobody likes to make mistakes. But, if you turn a mistake into a learning opportunity, it might be one of the best things to help boost your company’s growth. Being in the animal nutrition business, we conduct research trials with our products continuously. During those trials and experiments, we know that there will be mistakes, and that is often when we can learn both what doesn’t and what does work. Amaferm® , the product featured this month, might not even exist if Mr. Kistner hadn’t observed the growth effects of his livestock when he threw out some bad experiments and noticed how much more efficient his animals became. Allow your employees to try new ideas and let them feel safe with the idea that they might make a mistake.

Empowering your employees is a great way to help your company grow. Happy, engaged workers who feel a true connection to the business will flourish, work harder and smarter and help your business achieve its goals. Customers don’t want to do business with a robot, so make sure that you treat your employees like people, and keep them a part of your team.

– Source: https://www.inc.com/maria-matarelli/so-you-want-higher-performance-in-yourbusiness-empower-your-people.html?cid=search

Host a Holiday Open House

It’s the time of year for holiday parties, Christmas cookies and egg nog. Sounds like a great reason to host an open house at your business. An open house doesn’t need to be extravagant, costly or time consuming. However, it is a great way to open your doors to the community, your customers and spread some extra cheer during the winter.

If you have an actual store, especially in town or on the edge of town, perhaps hosting an open house makes a lot of sense. It is a chance to promote your business and share in the spirit of the holidays. Often, smaller towns will have a holiday parade, dedicate one night a week when they are open later for shopping or have a community bazaar. These are ideal times to hang a little garland, turn on the coffee pot and host your open house.

If you are an on-farm dealer, you can still host an open house; it might just take a little more planning and preparation. You might put more effort into promoting your event and issuing invitations. You can tidy up the shop or barn where you store product, and still put on the coffee and show your appreciation for your customers – your community.

First, you need to establish a date when you will host your open house. Find out when other events are happening and if it makes sense, plan your open house with those. If there are not a lot of other community holiday events, plan your event during a time when there are not other local community events like a basketball game or concert. Promote your event through local advertising, your store sign, a poster on your door and your social media channels. You might even want to make some phone calls to key customers or potential customers.

Next, plan what will make your open house special from regular store hours. Will you offer food and beverage? What will that involve? Are you thinking sugar cookies and punch? Meat balls in the crock pot with cheese and crackers? Or something more substantial like sandwiches and chips? Whatever you do plan, make sure you have plenty to offer. Nothing is worse than having an event and running out of food.

Provide a learning opportunity. Especially if you are a storefront, maybe not everyone in the community knows what products or services you offer. Make yourself available to share your story or have some type of game or entertainment to showcase the products. Think a store scavenger hunt or BioZyme® Bingo.

Give back to the community. Perhaps you can have a toy drive for local kids or a pet supply drive for the local animal shelter. Make it interactive – bring in a toy or purchase a bag of dog food to leave for the pet shelter and get a $5 off coupon toward your next purchase. There are a variety of ways to give to others this time of year.

If you are an on-farm dealer, your open house might resemble that an open house where you get together with friends, neighbors and customers. People are always looking for a good reason to slow down for bowl of soup and good conversation. And remember, you can also take part in community opportunities and spread the cheer.

For more ideas on hosting a holiday open house, contact Ashley Fitzsimmons at afitzsimmons@biozymeinc.com or (307) 575-1082.

Community Support Comes in all Sizes

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

This quote by Helen Keller epitomizes the spirit of community, especially at this “most wonderful time of the year.” It is often hard to think about those less fortunate in our communities and how we’d like to help them, especially with the agricultural economy in its up and down cycle. We are busy paying our own bills and trying to provide a nice holiday for our families. However, if we come together with our coworkers, friends, a church group, or another organization we can make a difference without breaking the bank.

One thing that BioZyme® did during November is gather food for community food banks. That’s right; employees across many locations including St. Joseph, Mo., Haskell, Texas, and Area Sales Managers and other remote workers gathered nonperishable food items for local food banks. Between the St. Joseph and the off-site workers, employees had the potential to donate to 30 banks in 16 different states from Pennsylvania to Texas to Montana to Missouri.

One employee visited a local grocery store where she purchased two cases of canned vegetables, four cans of chicken, a large tub of peanut butter (think non-perishable protein), a box of crackers, a jar of meaty spaghetti sauce and a box of pasta for less than $25. If each person gives similarly, that can feed several people for several meals. And in that employee’s mind, that is two trips through a fast-food drive through for her family or roughly four “foo-foo” coffees for when she gets to the big city – not a major sacrifice for others that are truly in need.

Perhaps your town has a local soup kitchen. Those places are always looking for volunteers to make and serve a meal. Would it really hurt business to shut down to a skeleton crew for a few hours one day to go and serve the community? Perhaps leave a few employees at the store to serve your customers but take the rest to the local soup kitchen or homeless shelter to help prepare and/or serve a meal. The gratitude levels do vary, but your personal satisfaction in knowing you made a difference will soar.

Several organizations typically have an opportunity to “adopt a family” by providing gifts and holiday meals for families that might not otherwise have a nice holiday. Adopting a family as a company might seem daunting or not in the budget, but if your company and its employees work together to adopt a family it can be a little easier on everyone’s checkbooks and make a lasting impact on a family. I remember when I worked at another company, we adopted a family with four or five kids one year, and they all needed winter coats and wanted bicycles. Well, we worked with the local Wal-Mart and K-Marts in town to get bikes at reduced rates when we told them what we were doing. Several of my male co-workers who didn’t really want to “shop” all pitched in a set amount – probably around $20 – and we made sure that family had bikes and warm coats. I signed up to help with the delivery that year. And even though we contacted the mom to see if she wanted to have the bikes be from “Santa” she refused. She wanted her kids to know that kind people gifted her kids those bikes. I’ve never seen 7 and 8-year-olds cry tears of joy for coats and bikes, and it was truly one of the best Christmases I’ve ever experienced.

Giving back. It is more fun to do as a group and the impact is often greater. It doesn’t have to put a big hit on one person or company’s checkbook if we all work together to make a few sacrifices to give to those less fortunate. And together, we can do so much more.

Get Involved in the Community

For business people there is no better way to receive recognition within your community than to become involved in the community where your business is located. That is especially true if you are a smaller or specialized business that not everyone might have a purpose to support on a regular basis (like a feed mill or feed and farm store.)

Taking an active role in your community is important for a number of reasons. Here are 5 ways we encourage you to get involved in your community, year-round; not just during the holidays. You might just meet some new customers while you’re at it.

Community Boards. Most communities have a plethora of boards that are always looking for people to serve on them. These can include school boards, hospital boards, extension boards, 4-H boards, FFA alumni boards, cattlemen’s boards and the list goes on and on. Remember, pick organizations that you are truly passionate about helping, and don’t spread yourself too thin. A volunteer that has too many irons in the fire is often not as helpful as one would like.

If you have never used the hospital and you are a normally healthy person who doesn’t think you’ll ever be in the hospital, perhaps that board isn’t for you. However, if you are a cow-calf producer, trying to educate consumers on the benefits of eating healthy, lean red meat, then perhaps a role on the county cattlemen’s board would be ideal.

Volunteer. Volunteering shows that you are willing to give your time – one of your most valuable assets. You might volunteer with the local ag groups like 4-H and FFA to help them with educating youth or running a judging contest or clinic. Or you might volunteer to coach youth wrestling, teach Sunday night youth group or help with a cause like Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Whatever you volunteer for, make sure it is something you are passionate about doing and have time to make a priority. No one appreciates a volunteer that is always “too busy” to meet their commitments.

Build partnerships. If you are getting involved with your community, building partnerships would seem logical. Perhaps you are building a partnership with a local feedlot to run a mineral trial. Or maybe you find a way to build a partnership with a local high school ag class. The opportunity for agricultural businesses to partner, share promotions and advertising budgets and even costs for producer meetings are endless.

Offer internships. Young labor is typically inexpensive and hardy. Are you looking for someone to help in the store after school and on weekends? What about one of these young “techno-kids” that could help you with your social media presence. Young people are always looking for “real-world” experiences, and often are willing to work for little money or the experience they can list on their resumes.

Host & participate in events. As livestock nutrition suppliers, it would make sense that you would host and participate in events, like judging clinics, livestock shows, barrel racings and ropings. However, you chose to participate in these events, be sure to get your company name exposed as much as possible so others in the area know who the title sponsor is.

Getting involved in the community – it’s probably something you do anyway. Take the time to make a difference in someone’s life and the future of your community. You might just meet a new customer along the way.

Marketing Will Wow Your Customers

Chances are you wouldn’t be selling the products you offer if you didn’t believe in them. In fact, the 2017 Dealer Survey results show that 82 percent of BioZyme® dealers already use the products they sell. So, that personal experience is one way to share your story and tell how the products work in your operation or on your companion animals.

However, a plethora of animal nutrition products exist on the market. And even though we know that our BioZyme supplements are unique due to the Amaferm® advantage, sometimes the best way to WOW your customers is by focusing on your service attitude versus constantly talking about your products.

“My best advice to produce the most effective results is to advertise to your customers where they are, when they are there,” said Ashley Fitzsimmons, Regional & Partners in Performance Marketing Manager for BioZyme Inc. “Fall is a busy time with weaning, harvest and this year’s weather! So, meeting customers where they are whether that is taking out meals to farmers, being present for conversations at your local cattlemen’s meeting, the sale barn on a busy day, your state/county fairs, etc. really is the most effective tactic.”

Being present where your customers are is just one way of providing service marketing. If they are harvesting, they probably haven’t taken time to think about their cow herd’s nutrition prior to calving or even thought about placing a mineral order. But, you probably have. Reach out to them with a sack lunch or an afternoon drink while they are harvesting with a gentle reminder of how many days are left in this year and a list of the mineral they purchased from you last year at this time – making their lives simplified, and potentially making a sale for you!

Another service you can provide is to simply listen. This is a great time of year to host producer meetings. However, the interaction shouldn’t always be about the dealer talking about new products or special promotions. Take time for an open discussion. Hear what is on the minds of the producers and end-users of the products and see how you can provide a service you haven’t already thought of.

“No one knows your customers and your community better than you do, which is what makes local dealers so incredibly vital and important to our company. If anyone ever wants to bounce ideas back and forth or see what tactics have worked best in a community like theirs I’m always available via email,” Fitzsimmons reminds the dealers.

Providing a service and listening to your customers – you have just turned two traditional customer service tactics into marketing plans to help you reach your customers in a way that will WOW them. Everyone likes to have a service provided to them, especially when it is unexpected. And, when a customer is listened to, it makes them feel more like a part of your team. Use these two marketing tools to wow your customers this fall and see your sales grow!

Make an Impact on Others

As the calendar year-end draws closer, many individuals and businesses look for charitable causes to give to. With the holidays near, it is in our hearts and on our minds to give to those who might not have the same advantages we have. But have you thought how you can best make an impact on others?

First, you need to select just a few worthy causes to donate to. Your dollars will make the biggest impact if you don’t spread your gifts too thin over too many charitable organizations. Determine how much you want to spend, and then decide if you want to give all of that to one group or split it two or three ways.

Next, determine how your funds will be used. Does your donation really go toward helping others or will it go to administrative and further fundraising fees? Ask the organization outright. You might be surprised to learn that only 25-percent of your donation goes to the cause. If that is the case, determine if that is a cause worth supporting or is there another charity or individual you can give to? If you are unsure, visit www.give.org and search for your organization, to learn more about the cause and their spending.

Then, choose a cause or organization that is near and dear to your heart. Does someone in your family suffer from a disease that you are passionate about? There is most certainly a group that is raising money for research for a cure to that ailment. Do you care about helping kids whose only meals are what they get at school? Perhaps you’ll want to learn more or donate to Snack Pak 4 Kids™. Maybe you were once involved in 4-H or FFA, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, or another local youth organization in your town. It’s always nice to give back to an organization that made a personal impact on your life.

Perhaps you are new to your area, and don’t know where to donate, but want to keep your gift local. Talk to local clergy, someone at the bank or even local law enforcement officers. They are likely to know of local programs like “adopt a family” programs, “shop with a cop”, shelters or food pantries that always appreciate extra financial help around the holidays.

It doesn’t take a big check to make a big impact. If each person donates what he or she is comfortable with, those donations do add up. Pick the organization or groups you would like to help this holiday season and share your joy with others. Make sure the cause you are supporting uses your funds for its programs, and give with a glad heart.