Invest Your Passion Into Your Business

You have likely heard the saying, “Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That quote carries a lot of weight, and hopefully if you are reading this, you love your job. You might not like your job every day, but hopefully you chose this career path because you are passionate about agriculture and the people involved in our industry, and you want to help them keep their livestock healthy.

Did you know that you can invest your passion into your business? If you truly are passionate about what you do, and we know you are, you can take that passion to build your business, promote your products and build relationships with customers that will help create sales both now and in the future.

Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy said, “Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new.” It is vital to your business and its success, and ultimately your bottom line to follow those three simple pieces of advice. And it can start with investing your passion into your business.

How can one invest passion? One way is by showing your customers you truly care about them. Follow up your sales with customer calls to make sure the customer is completely satisfied with his or her products. Ask if there are any questions, and furthermore, have a conversation about the customer – his or her operation, family or hobbies. This will show that you are interested in their life, and not just making a dollar. Customers are more likely to do business with those who show an interest in their lives.

Another way to show your passion for your business and share that with customers is to host producer meetings or open houses. Share your passion for the business by highlighting new products in an open house or providing timely information to your customers at a producer meeting. Don’t think of the cost of the meal or refreshments as an expense, but rather an investment in your business and the people who support you.

Are there other ways you can invest your passion into your business? Perhaps you have a large show animal customer base; you can invest in those young people by hosting a feeding and fitting workshop or sponsoring an award at a local show. Offer to have the local FFA chapter have a meeting at your store so they can learn more about your products and at the same time, you will get to know more about the youth in the area.

And never underestimate sharing your passion via social media. Does your company have a website, blog, Facebook or Twitter account? You can share the passion you have for your business with the masses with just the click of a button.

What will these investments bring you? Hopefully, the enthusiasm you show to your customers, employees and others will be contagious. They will see how much you care about the brands you sell and the results that are produced. The investment in your time and energy should return dollars to you in sales. Host events that will make you money, love your job, and you will never work a day in your life.

Passion Fuels Sales

In the world of sales, you are going to hear ‘no’ more often than what you ever imagined. Potential customers can think of many excuses not to buy your products. But do you want to know how to turn that ‘no’ into a ‘yes’? Find their passion and make that your new target.

Selling is all about building relationships, and one of the best ways to build relationships with others is to find a common bond – something you and the customer are both passionate about. Once that person learns you are sincerely passionate about the same thing, the relationship is strengthened, and chances for a sale increase.

Take for instance, man’s best friend, the dog. You might be completing an order for one of your larger cow-calf producers, and you notice there are a few ranch dogs hanging around the barn. Have you ever mentioned to this customer that BioZyme® also offers a line of dog food and supplements? Learn the dogs’ names, and ask the cattle producer if he or she would be interested in getting a bag of food for the dogs. Most dog owners treat their canine companions like royalty, and if they can get their dog food from a trusted source where they also get the supplements that help keep their cattle healthy, that is a win-win.

How do you find your customers’ passion? Visit with them one-on-one! Ask questions and get to know them. Look around their farm or ranch. Did you notice a pen of horses? Do young lambs and pigs suddenly appear in the spring for their kids’ 4-H and FFA projects? And, have you looked at any of their social media outlets? Before you even call or step foot onto their place, it is always good to do a little pre-work on social media. Pictures and posts will tell you almost immediately what they are truly passionate about.

Once you find out what your customers’ passion is, take an interest in it. You might find that you share a common interest for horses. Talk about your love for horses and ask specific questions about their horses while taking notes about their responses. If you notice they have young children who are working on show lamb projects, ask about that project. Even if you don’t know anything about lambs, you will learn something new, and seem genuinely interested in the customer, and even more importantly their kids. Finding their passion beyond what they do for their livelihood, could potentially gain you a new customer or allow you to offer more of your product lineup to your current customer base.

VitaFerm Fly Control Options

One of the greatest advantages that cattlemen still have is being able to select the management practices that work best for their situation. It has always been important to BioZyme® that we offer products that can be used by a wide array of cattlemen to fit their specific production needs. As spring approaches, and you begin to think about your fly control needs, BioZyme offers several different VitaFerm® mineral products.

Altosid® IGR Feed-Thru is a popular option to prevent the breeding of horn flies in the manure of treated cattle. However, for this product to be most effective, it should be used 30 days prior to the last frost. Often our team will hear from producers that are still seeing flies when using IGR. You must remember that IGR is for the management of horn flies and you may be seeing other fly species. Also, it is extremely important that mineral intake is at the appropriate level in order for that cow to get the correct amount of IGR.

BioZyme offers mineral options with fly control in both the VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® and VitaFerm® HEAT product lines. Both of these mineral lines contain organic chelated minerals, and Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic that increases digestibility, however these two brands target different production phases.

VitaFerm Concept•Aid is designed to be fed 60 days pre-calving through 60 days post-breeding. VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S AUREO 3G IGR and VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S IGR both contain IGR to prevent the breeding of horn flies in the manure of treated cattle. It should be noted though, that the former product does contain AUREO 3G (CTC), which requires a VFD through your veterinarian. Now is the time to talk with your veterinarian and local feed store to ensure you can work this product into your management program. For more details on the benefits of IGR and the improvements in gain and profit, visit www.vitaferm.com/successful-horn-fly-control-using-igr/. Research has shown that the irritation and reduced milk intake from horn fly infestation can cause 20-25 pounds lower weaning weights as compared to cows treated with Altosid® IGR.

If you are looking to steer clear of a VFD or interested in a natural fly control product, we recommend our VitaFerm HEAT products. VitaFerm HEAT reduces heat stress during temperatures of 70 degrees and above, or anytime cattle are grazing fescue. From a fly control standpoint, VitaFerm HEAT includes garlic, a natural insect repellent. With this product, you will still see flies and insects hovering around your cattle, but they will not be making contact with their hide. For those producers interested in using garlic as a fly control option but are still needing a product with CTC for Anaplasmosis, we offer VitaFerm® HEAT AUREO 3G, however, it does require a VFD through your veterinarian.

Regardless of the route you choose, combining a fly control product with Amaferm will ensure that your cattle see maximum performance and gains during spring and summer grazing season.

April 2017 – Letters From Lisa

When I think of a harness, I immediately start thinking about a horse. You all know that I love horses (if you didn’t, now you do), and I would say my love is really a passion. Today I feed and clean a stall of a retired champion show horse that is 27. I can’t ride him any more, he’s just a pet. But, I feed him dressed for work, so I regularly go to work with hay hanging from something. I clean the stall at the crack of dawn to get it done before other duties call, and during the week I pay someone to clean for me. If you are like my family, you are asking, “Why does she do this????”

Passion is what inspires you and what gives you the drive to move forward. It gives you a reason to get up, get going and climb into bed excited for it to be morning so you can do it all over again. It’s that adrenaline pump that wakes you up in the middle of the night with a vast idea — one that will be the next (insert something big here).

Based on this definition I would say Tubby is my passion. I carry that passion around with me every day. I only have one thing on my bucket list, and that is to show a horse again. Although I am starting to realize this might not happen, it drives me every day. I feel the same way about BioZyme® and the work I do for it.

“Passion is not something you go after as an end in itself. It’s rather a symptom of your engagement with anything into which you are fully immersed. It’s also not something you usually know you have. Others notice your full involvement with something and they call it ‘passion’. I just call it doing what I feel like doing.” – David Allen, the originator of the book Getting Things Done

So, should one try to harness passion? My family has routinely tried to convince me that I do. My answer is I don’t. Passion shows up in many shapes and forms and you just don’t get to be passionate about one thing or one aspect of life or work. So any kind of harnessing, in my opinion, would be dumb. However, balancing your passion with those around you, your pocketbook and your commitments is not dumb.

I am very passionate about the value of our additives in this new antibiotic-free world, and I believe we will be a leader in developing even more science and products to help animals thrive; however, I don’t only read, meet and think about that. While we are investing money into this exciting, potentially life-changing opportunity, we aren’t going out on a limb financially to do it. We are still working on our commitments to impact the lives of our family (yes you) positively through marketing, programs and support at the same time.

Remember, passion is like chocolate cake, it is amazing, but you can’t survive on it alone. You must know when to give passion a break and bring in reason. Passion slams the gas; reason steers us safely. Passion throws us out of an airplane; reason pulls the parachute cord.

 

Targeted Producer Meetings Offer Unique Approach

Livestock producers get a lot of postcards and invitations to producer meetings, sales meetings and educational meetings through the winter months. It seems like there is always something on their calendars, and sometimes they can’t make every meeting they would like to. As dealers, we need a fresh approach to reach these customers and potential customers where we can leverage our time while gathering an audience, but still take time to have one-on-one conversations that are key to relationship building.

Salem Veterinary Service in South Dakota recently tried a different tactic to reach its customers through smaller, more targeted producer meetings. Guy Rusche, ASM, said the lunch-time meetings were more conversational where he could talk about products with a handful of producers with similar needs over a sandwich and answer their questions, much like he might if he was visiting with them at their own kitchen table.

“The producers were all like-minded so I could fine-tune my presentation, which wasn’t a PowerPoint, but more like a one-on-one producer encounter with several people with similar needs at the same time and place,” Rusche said.

Salem Veterinary Service planned the meetings for Mondays throughout February, and customized the invitation list of its clients by those with similar needs and decision making processes. Because the dealer has established a good rapport with its producers, all invitations came directly from the dealer, and Rusche said 6-12 producers attended each of the four meetings. Topics of the meetings included VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® and looking more in-depth to the advantages of Amaferm®.

“Because the group was smaller, they felt more comfortable asking questions that they might not have asked in a larger producer meeting. I spent time answering those in-depth, technical questions without sounding like I was giving a college lecture,” Rusche said.

Rusche said Salem Vet doesn’t have much space for inventory, but at least one producer from every meeting stopped by the vet clinic to order or purchase product following the meetings, and after one meeting, seven of the nine attendees purchased product, a sure sign of success for the dealer.

Although these small targeted meetings worked well for this dealer and its clients prior to calving, Rusche said they will continue to host a more traditional producer meeting in the fall to discuss other products. The smaller, targeted meetings are just one more way to share the BioZyme® message with a group of current and potential customers.

Proper Employee Training Leads to Increased Sales

There are a lot of animal nutrition products out there, and in some parts of the country, more feed and supplement dealers than there are grocery stores. This means it is vital for your sales staff to keep current on all the products you offer.

“People buy from people, and our company owners have done a great job hiring quality people that care about the products and our customers all the way from the sales staff to the delivery drivers,” said Scott Hardman, Marketing Specialist with Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer, Goodfield, Illinois.

Hardman says the literature that BioZyme® sends out when a new product is introduced is distributed to all sales people, both externally and in the store. He said that they usually can’t get the literature fast enough since customers see information about new products on social media, and start contacting the dealer often before they have the new products on hand.

Another great resource is their ASM, Shandy Bertolino. Hardman said that their sales staff typically meets with Shandy twice a year to learn about new products and brush up on their knowledge of existing products. In addition to offering kudos to the ASM in their area, Hardman also praised the entire BioZyme® staff.

“One of the strengths of the company is there are not a lot of layers if we need answers. Shandy will make the link, but the accessibility of the technical and marketing staff is great,” Hardman said.

And finally, he said the sales staff who attend the dealer retreat each summer come back with a wealth of information to share with others who didn’t attend.

Adele Halsall, a researcher and writer for Customer Service Guru, addressed some key training tips in a recent blog post. Here are three of her tips.

  1. Keep Training Consistent. Be sure to give each employee the same message and resources so the information shared with customers is reliable. Halsall said, “Product knowledge training must also be consistent, engaging and customized. There is no point in re-using the same material twice or giving unnecessary information to those who do not need it.”
  2. Allow Hands-on Experience. While it isn’t realistic that your entire sales force will have a need for a particular product, chances are someone on staff feeds one or more of the products. Get their feedback about the pros and cons of that particular product so you can offer more information to prospective customers.

    Hardman said their sales staff isn’t expected to know absolutely everything about every product; however, they have specific people that are experts about particular species. Earlybird relies on those experts to provide information about particular products to the rest of its sales force.

  3. Take Training out of the Office. Hardman mentioned the bi-annual meetings with Shandy and the dealer retreat were two of their valuable training tools. Halsall agrees that it is always good to give employees a fresh perspective and allow them the opportunity to network with others to learn helpful sales insight.

Making the sale is imperative to your bottom line. Keep your staff knowledgeable and excited about your products, and the sales will come readily.

How to Use Promos Effectively

Everyone is looking for a deal, but does that mean you need to offer regular “deals” or promotions on your BioZyme® products? No, there is a definite time and place to use promotions, and having a regular sale isn’t always the best way to make a sale.

The value of BioZyme products is that they are high quality products that do exactly what they say they do. The products keep your animals healthy, and healthy animals grow faster and more efficiently. If a potential customer is skeptical, share the research or other customer testimonials with them. Chances are, you are going to gain a new customer who becomes a repeat customer.

But, your competitors down the road offer regular sales on their supplement products, and your lack of a “good deal” is the topic of conversation at the local coffee shop. Here are few ways to offer smart promotions, should you feel the need to do so.

Offer a short-term discount on something everyone can use. Most of your customers have a dog, so offer a discount on dog food with the purchase of a certain amount of VitaFerm® or Vitalize® mineral. This gives them the opportunity to try something new they might not have even known BioZyme offers, and makes you look like the good guy for offering a promotion.

Don’t offer a discount on in-season products. Did you order too much VitaFerm® HEAT™ mineral and you are approaching the cooler months? That would be a good time to discount that inventory to get it out of the warehouse, and perhaps customers will want to order more at regular price next summer.

Remember to advertise a “limited time promotion.” If you don’t, your customer might actually like the dog the food they bought last time with their supplement order, and will want you to honor that same price again. Remind the customer that it was a one-time promotion, but you are glad he/she liked the product, and will be glad to sell it to him/her at regular price.

Add value in other ways. Host a producer meeting to share the latest industry information. Invite your customers to a special VIP open house with refreshments and door prizes after store hours. Offer delivery. There are many ways of adding value to your products that won’t hurt your profit potential.

If conducted properly, promotions can be a good marketing tool. But plan them when they will help you, the dealer, boost sales, and use them wisely.

March 2017 – Letters from Lisa

At BioZyme®, we track our market share in all the different markets where we are trying to grow. While the sales team would tell you that I use market share as a part of my slave driver approach to growth; it is actually not true. I use market share to motivate our entire team (you too) around the significant opportunity that still awaits us.

Our growth has been impressive and would not be possible without each of you. This growth makes it easy to ask how many more years is this really possible? The answer to that is objective and easy when you assess it from the market share perspective. At the end of 2016, our market share in the cow-calf sector was 1.5%. On a state-by-state basis it ranges from 10% in Indiana down to 0.2% in Texas. Just to give you some comparative perspective, McDonalds has 17% market share in the fast food industry, while the strongly misguided Chipotle has 2.2%.

Increasing market share is one of the most important objectives of business. The main advantage of using market share as a measure of business performance is that it is less dependent upon variables such as the state of the economy or changes in tax policy. Market share is said to be a key indicator of market competitiveness—that is, how well a firm is doing against its competitors. Similarly, within a firm’s product line, market share trends for individual products are considered early indicators of future opportunities.

I am sure by now, you are thinking let’s go grow market share. And because you are thinking that right now, I am hugging you. It is my job to keep the team focused on how to continue to grow that market share. It’s actually not that easy, but there are a few things one should constantly consider:

Stay relevant through innovation. One great way to gain market share is to spot new trends ahead of competitors. Listen carefully when you’re chatting with friends, watching the news or listening to kids talk about what they like. There may be a change in the wind your business can jump on.

Respond to customers – fast. Remember when leaving a voicemail recording that said, “I’ll get back to you within 24 hours” seemed responsive? Not anymore. In this age of real-time, shoppers are increasingly loyal to the company that can fix their problem right now. Check out how fast your competitors respond, and then be faster; customers will take notice.

Keep an open channel for customer ideas. One of those ideas might be your next hit product. So, let’s hear from all of you. What should we be considering as an add-on to our product line up??

Snap up competitors. Sometimes the easiest way to get more customers is to simply buy them. Watch for competitors that might be up for sale and purchase them or their customer lists.

Let’s go get that market share – our BioZyme goal is to get to 2.5% in the next 2 years. WE CAN DO THIS!!

Tips to Reduce and Handle Heat in Your Stock

Warmer temperatures are quickly approaching, and that means producers should start considering how to help their animals handle the heat. Heat stress is almost inevitable, but some management practices can be implemented to help animals better cope with rising temperatures.

All mammals regulate their internal body temperature involuntarily. Heat stress occurs when the animal’s ability to self-regulate and lower core body temperature is overwhelmed and the animal’s performance and/or health is compromised.

Signs of heat stress:

  • Bunching in the shade
  • Excessive salivation
  • Foam around the mouth
  • Panting
  • Lack of coordination or trembling

Effects of heat stress:

  • Reduced feed intake and weight gain
  • Poor breeding efficiency
  • Lower milk production
  • Increased disease susceptibility
  • Death in severe cases

Being proactive is the best approach to helping animals deal with heat stress. Having a solid management plan in place to combat heat stress could play a crucial role in an operation’s ability to maintain animal performance during periods of increased heat. Some management options include:

Shade: Temperature can be lowered by providing areas where animals can get out of direct sunlight.

Improved ventilation: Providing fans or allowing for adequate air movement helps alleviate heat stress.

Clean, cool drinking water: Water is necessary to keep the animal’s core body temperature within normal limits. Providing cool water will also help cool the animal’s core.

Wetting: Gradually wetting an animal with cool water from sprinklers or hoses is an effective way to cool an animal suffering from heat stress. Wetting the ground can also cool the area where animals lay and reduce the effects of heat stress.

Timing of feeding: By moving the animal’s feeding time to late afternoon or evening will allow rumen fermentation (which creates heat) to take place during cooler temperatures.

It is nothing new that BioZyme® is committed to improving the well-being of animals through nutrition. To help our customers better manage heat stress within their herds, we have developed two products that specifically address heat abatement; VitaFerm® HEAT and Sure Champ® Climate Control Paste. These products contain an extract that helps livestock handle heat stress by lowering core body temperature in a safe, fast, and natural way. Not to mention, the Amaferm® advantage found in both these products is research-proven to lower body temperature.

Dealer Success Stories: Customer Service is Key

Webster defines success as a “favorable or desirable outcome.” This group of dealers epitomizes that success, growing their sales significantly over the past year. But success doesn’t just happen. Ask any one of them, and they will attribute their success to having a great product, providing top-notch customer service and having great people to work with – customers, employees and BioZyme® support.

Bowman Grain
Bowman, North Dakota

Education and communication are two of the keys to a successful BioZyme dealership, according to Bob White, manager of Bowman Grain in Bowman, North Dakota.

“Having producer meetings is important to us,” White said. “We try to keep the area producers informed about changes in the industry like VFD, and hold meetings during different times of the year to discuss breeding and weaning.”

White says providing outstanding customer service has been key to their sales success. Bowman Grain offers delivery, makes sure their customers know about volume discounts, and follows up with their customers to make sure the products they have purchased are working for their livestock operation.

And the best thing about being a BioZyme dealer, according to Bob, is the support received. “The dealer support we get from our ASM and the company is great. Our ASM goes with our sales staff around the country to talk to potential customers about the benefits of VitaFerm® products.”

Circle L Feed
Quitman, Arkansas

People helping other people is what helps make the sale at Circle L Feed in Quitman, Arkansas. Although they are fairly new BioZyme® dealers, Circle L has been in business for 18 years, and owner Mike Lagasse gives his employees tremendous credit for knowing the products they sell and listening to the customer to find out his or her needs.

“We do take care of our business and don’t worry about the competition. It will always be there,” Lagasse said. “We have professional staff who greets everyone when they walk in the door, answers questions and then sells something that will help the producers make money. BioZyme has a lot of choices for that.”

Many of the Circle L employees have been with the company for years, and Lagasse said they are all cross-trained to work in any part of the store. When they begin selling a new product, the employees learn about it so they can best help their customers.