We want to say THANK YOU for being such an important part of the BioZyme family: https://youtu.be/sjeIBTLmn1A
Too often we let our jobs define us. It is easy to do since we spend at least eight hours a day at our workplace. Many of us are guilty of introducing ourselves in an adult setting with our name, title and the place where we work. But you are more than just a worker. You are more than a salesperson, marketer, truck driver or person who works in a feed store. You are involved in agriculture, the occupation that ultimately feeds the world, and believe it or not, you are serving as a role model for others in our industry.
Young people naturally are attracted to people in their respective field. And those who are growing up on a farm or ranch or who show livestock undoubtedly interact with you on a somewhat regular basis. Believe it or not, there is somebody out there who is watching you, listening to you and maybe evening dreaming of the day they can be in your position. It is important to remember these things to set the best example possible.
You, yes you, are making an impact as a mentor and role model. Think about that. Your role and identity are much greater than just your occupation, but because of your occupation and your role in agriculture, you can impact someone else’s life. And because you are involved in the animal health and nutrition business, you have likely helped a young person or his or her parent get on the right track with a nutrition program.
Sure Champ® Ring Leader Whitney Walker from Prairie Grove, Ark., shared her positive experience with leadership opportunities on the Sure Champ blog in November.
“It’s been a really fun experience so far. I’ve had a lot more kids interact on my social media more curious than I expected about the Sure Champ line and the Sure Champ products. You’d think a lot of the times the parents make feeding decisions and what to buy, but these kids are actually invested and want to know about what their animals are eating. I’ve had a lot of them ask me what Amaferm is, and now I can actually explain to them what it is and back up how Sure Champ products work,” said the Ring Leader who is a freshman at Oklahoma State University.
No doubt that those young people got their first feeding information from those of you that this newsletter is targeted to.
And even when it doesn’t encompass livestock health and nutrition, you are still making a difference. You encourage young people to get involved with youth programs like 4-H, FFA or other junior breed associations. You support the youth by being a sports booster, buying their project animal at the fair or sponsoring awards. Sometimes it is even as simple as listening to reasons for a livestock judging team or a presentation for a national competition.
Catherine Stangl, a member of the Kingfisher FFA Chapter recalls how local businesses in her community help support the local chapter, on a regular basis, in addition to when they are preparing for big competitions.
“Our FFA chapter is very well-known, and we come from a really good community that is there for us,” Stangl said. “When we were preparing for nationals, we would go to several companies and organizations whether it was an oil company or Rotary, and we presented our skit, and they helped us make it better.”
Stangl was a member of the seven-person Ag Issues Forum team that won in Oklahoma and claimed the 2018 National Championship last October that presented a skit set to resemble a courtroom. The issue they presented was over the temporary water lines and the oil industry, an ongoing controversial topic in their home county. Stangl said she and her peers spent countless hours practicing and had wonderful community support.
“This industry is a really good industry to grow up in, and I think we all become better people toward other people, whether it’s being nice or just being there for them,” Stangl said.
Never forget your role is more than your job title. You are a role model, a supporter, a voice in the industry. You are an advocate, educator and a hero. Someone is watching you. Your job doesn’t define you, but how you treat others and serve your community does. Remember people want to know about you, your story and what you do on a daily basis, and not just your title.
Everywhere you look, there are signs reminding us how many days there are until Christmas or how many days there are left of this year. To me, it seems like we were just stocking up on bottled water and cash getting ready to ring in the year 2000, Y2K, and now we’re counting down to 2020. As a business owner, you are likely using these last few weeks of 2019 to plan for the new year, finalizing budgets and prioritizing marketing plans. Do you know what those plans look like? How do you plan for the future if you don’t review what you’ve done in the past?
Hopefully, as you’ve made your plans for the year ahead, you have spent time reflecting on what actions you took this year. Were they all successful? Did some of the marketing strategies you implement work better than others? Are there some actions that were smart, but could have used some better implementation? Think back on each strategy, before you plan what you will do in the future.
March on with Successful Strategies
Perhaps you conducted a producer meeting this year that had tremendous turnout, introduced some producers to your products and captured some new customers. That is the definition of success. Think about what made that meeting successful. Was it the speaker? The topics discussed? The audience? Time of year? Whatever made that event successful this year, you will want to capitalize on for the future. As the adage goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” move forward with similar events and marketing initiatives in the new year to ensure continued growth for your business.
Fix what Needs Fixin’
As mentioned in the previous article, it is best to debrief or reflect after each event to see what worked well and what didn’t. If you conducted a marketing event during the past year that had some good things going, but didn’t really hit the target, perhaps now is a good time to review those debriefing or post-event notes to recall what didn’t work out so great so you can go back and make necessary changes. Once you review the event, make the changes and add it to your strategy for the forthcoming year, you might find it to be the biggest success of all. Sometimes a little tweak is all that needs fixed to make a good event a great event.
It’s Okay to Call it Quits
Did you conduct a marketing initiative, educational event or promotion that was an absolute flop? That is going to happen once in a while. No, it isn’t ideal, and for those of you driven business leaders, those flops hurt, but we can learn from them and move forward. Maybe it was something as simple as the timing of an event or maybe it was a promotion that just didn’t interest your customer base. Sometimes the biggest lessons come from the hardest times. Your debrief notes should indicate that this was something that your company doesn’t intend to do again. Don’t spend time dwelling on this event. Move on, learn from mistakes and don’t make them again.
Once you have reviewed what worked out well and what didn’t work out so well, you can start making some marketing plans. Try to have a rough plan in place for the next 12 months, so you can start sharing plans with your ASM and creating an outline with more concrete ideas. Remember, there are a plethora of activities and ideas listed in the back office under the Dealer Rewards Center. Or, you can always propose one of your original ideas to your ASM and the Marketing Team.
Reviewing your former marketing strategies is a great way to discover what worked, what didn’t work and what you need to continue to make work in the future.
Reflect, according to Dictionary.com, means to ponder, think or meditate. But according to an article on inc.com, U.S. military leaders take this definition even deeper, as they work continuously to improve everything they do. Businesses should be no different. You should want to measure performance and success, not only by sales figures, but also by marketing strategies, educational efforts, customer service and basically any action you take, or mission, as it is referred to in the military.
Military leaders use the debrief, a self-facilitated review of how the team performed on the mission, so things can improve for the next time. In other words, they gather all those involved with a project, engagement, training, promotion, and meet as soon afterward as possible to reflect, get feedback and adjust for future success. Author Gene Hammett said, “You should do a debrief when things are going well just as much as you should when things don’t go well. Using the debrief style of meeting in my work with fast-growth companies has given them a faster path to improvement and speeds a transfer of knowledge across all levels of the organization.”
Hammett offers three tips to business leaders to have a productive debrief through reflection, which should help increase sales and foster employee morale.
1. Include Everyone
Make sure at each debriefing you include every person who was involved, not just those in leadership, but also those who actively participated. They all will have input – both good and bad. As Hammett writes, “Many organizations wonder why they have experience at the top of the company yet lack it at the middle and bottom. One reason is they are not including the full team in the moments of reflection and growth.”
A sign of a good leader is being sure to include everyone. Did you recently host a producer meeting? Have a debrief to reflect on how it was received. Be sure to include those who talked to customers, took orders and even served food. They will all have feedback so you can make future events better for your customers and ultimately your business.
2. Leave Rank at the Door
When you conduct the debrief from your latest “mission” or project, be sure to treat everyone as equals. Yes, that might seem challenging, especially for leaders who like to take charge of meetings. However, it is the best way to hear everyone’s perspective that could ultimately lead to areas for new growth. When everyone is viewed as an equal it is easier to admit faults to create better solutions for the future.
Rob “Waldo” Waldman, a former Air Force Fighter pilot turned author and speaker, offers this advice on the debriefing process: “Leaders must remove their ego. When you leave your rank at the door, you allow others to be open to their mistakes.”
3. Close Effectively
There are two ways to end the meeting with purpose and clarity. First, whoever is leading the meeting should ask for questions. Questions give the opportunity to clarify any topic that wasn’t discussed and ensure that everything that was covered is understood by all. Questions also provide insight about where the leadership might want to improve to make the next project or mission clearer for the audience.
Next, conclude the meeting with a statement that outlines clear and actionable growth steps that need to be made and list who will be responsible for those duties. Once that concluding statement is made, all attendees should be on the same page, and know what to expect for the next project, and they will know their role in making improvements.
The military debriefing might just be the next best thing since Amaferm® . It is a model for you and your employees to follow to reflect and meet after a project or event, so you know how to make the next one even better. Improving your business one day and one project at a time will help you grow your customer base and will help you grow your business.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, who will stick a penny in the sweet blonde’s hat (figured it was worth a try)? This time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday hustle and bustle and spend the entire month of December running around like a crazy Kris Kringle. Add getting all your 2020 budgets and business planning done along with December’s tasks, and one can tend to forget the real reason for the season.
In short, the Messiah’s reasons should become our motivators always, but especially in the month of December. If we listen to John the Baptist carefully, we will hear that there’s never one reason that defines Jesus’ arrival. The Good News is more than just a headline. The Good News and the God who brings this message is everything between you and the infinite.
According to Simon Sinek (whose voice carries much weight as the third most-watched Ted Talk of all time with 46 million views), “the minute we’re born, we’re players in the infinite game, and that means we get one choice in life: how we want to play. We can choose to live our lives with a finite mindset, which means trying to get richer, more powerful than all of our friends, to get more, have more – but what is the point?
“Rather, we want to live a life of service, and that’s what we write on our tombstones – what we did for others. ‘Devoted mother,’ ‘loving husband,’ ‘she inspired us.’ To live an infinite life means to live our lives so that others may benefit from the work that we do – so we will literally live on forever, because we will look at ourselves and say, ‘I am who I am today partly because I carry with me the spirit of someone who’s no longer here, and I will pass their lessons on to my children and my colleagues and my friends.’ In an infinite-minded life, just like in business, trust is better, cooperation is better, ideas are stronger and remarkably those ideals live on beyond us. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Most days, it’s too easy to stay focused on our own lives – our work, our problems, what we have to accomplish and what is stressing us out. But it’s easy to forget that everyone else in the world has just as much on their plate as we do – sometimes even more. During the holiday season especially, it’s important to remember that every person you come in contact with has his or her own story and sometimes all it takes is a simple gift – a sturdy pair of shoes, a warm winter coat, a blanket, a cherry limeade or just a hug. These things may seem small, but they may be the gift that helps to get someone else up on their feet.
This year, after you’ve opened your gifts and shared a few laughs with family and friends, think back on the true meaning of the season and what Christmas means to you. As the always wise Doogie Howser, M.D. said, “Getting is good. Giving is better. Once you understand that, it’s always Christmas.”
Merry Christmas, from all of us here at BioZyme.
Our Concept•Aid focused episode of The American Rancher is on tonight at 9 PM EST. You won’t want to miss this!
Check out a sneak peek here: https://youtu.be/YD32MIZLVlY
Nathan Gillespie was looking for a more convenient source of the BioZyme® products to use on his family’s operation, Gillespie Farms. His brother suggested that he become a dealer so the products they had relied on for their farm would be right outside their back door. With a little convincing and after visiting with his Area Sales Manager at the time, Nathan decided to become a dealer, and in the three years since, he has grown his business substantially each year. He is also teaching his 16-year-old son, Morgan, about the business. The high school sophomore helps his dad with the warehouse when he can and has learned about the products at the same time.
Although Nathan says that he doesn’t spend many advertising dollars, he attributes his growth as a dealer to two key areas – a familiarity of the products from using them on his family’s farm and using the resources that BioZyme offers him.
“We try to use everything we sell in some aspect. It helps being able to talk about the products, especially the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® lines and the Vita Charge® Stress Tubs,” Nathan said. “We’ve had some tough sales to some people around here, trying to convince them that certain products work, if you give them more than 60 days. That’s been a challenge. People feed their mineral for 60 or 90 days while they get their cows bred, and then we don’t ever see them again until the next year when it’s time to breed again. I don’t know how it works for them, but it doesn’t work for us. That’s been the biggest challenge, convincing people they need to stick the course to see the true results.”
The Gillespie family has experience with most of the product lines, except Vitalize®, as they don’t have horses. However, they run purebred Hereford cows, and Nathan’s dad backgrounds calves. Nathan and his brother feed out freezer beef. He also raises Boer goats – both show wethers and commercial does.
In addition to believing in the products, which helps him spread the word to others in the area, Nathan is an advocate for the programs and services that the company offers its dealer network. He credits his relationship with his Area Salas Manager Ty McGuire for some of his new sales growth.
“Ty has taken me into some areas where I didn’t know many people and introduced me to some new customers. We can make sales calls together, which helps. We communicate 3-4 times a week, either by text or phone call. He is always available and willing to help out,” Nathan said.
The ties to his ASM have helped him meet people, but other programs have helped Nathan build his product knowledge. He completed the Master Dealer Training Program this spring and said that has helped him learn more in-depth about each product line, and how each might help specific customers with their needs. He also conducts producer meetings to introduce other producers in the area to the products, with the goal of starting more targeted meetings, perhaps one for feeders and one more focused on the cow-calf producer.
“Take time to know your customers,” Nathan advises. “Find out what their needs are and then suggest the right products for them so they will get the biggest bang for their bucks.”
Nathan Gillespie became a dealer to fulfill his needs of having a product he relies on readily available to him. In the meantime, he’s been helping others in his area meet their needs too. With continual growth, Nathan understands thinking like his customers and using all the resources available to him.
Vitaferm® Concept•Aid® is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for beef cattle formulated to promote effective, easy breeding when fed 60 days pre-calving through 60 days post-breeding. High concentrations of vitamin E and organic trace minerals, coupled with the Amaferm® advantage, supports quick repair of the reproductive tract and more energy for reproductive success. Additionally, increased nutrient absorption and digestion leads to healthier and heavier calves giving you performance that pays.
Why Your Customers Need it:
- The Amaferm Advantage: Amaferm is a precision prebiotic that provides more intake, feed digestbility and nutrient absorption resulting in amplified breeding performance of the cow.
- High Vitamin E: Contains high levels of Vitamin E shown to assist in reproductive tract repair.
- More Stability: Contains organic trace minerals for more stability and higher bioavailability.
- Concept•Aid Quiz: With so many different formulations of Concept•Aid, many customers are not sure which one to choose. To help we’ve created a quiz that asks a variety of questions about their environment and feeding situation. Based on their inputs, it recommends an appropriate Concept•Aid formula for them.
- Gestation Calculator: We’ve added a gestation calculator and printable gestation table to our website to better serve our customers. In addition to calculating date of birth, it also calculates dates that we recommend feeding Concept•Aid.
- VitaFerm Conception Calculator: Use this tool to show your customers the additional advantage per calf they can expect from feeding VitaFerm.
- Progressive Cattlemen rely on VitaFerm: Check out our collection of blogs on why these Progressive Cattlemen rely on VitaFerm.