Did you know that you can help your Hereford customers give back to the Hereford youth by encouraging them to participate in the Feed the Future program? We are still collecting receipts through the end of October. You or your customers can email receipts for VitaFerm products or Vita Charge Stress Tubs to Ashley Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that Lisa shares special information with dealers twice a month by video? This month she is talking more about our BioZyme VISION newsletter topic: Thinking Outside of the Box. To access the video, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage with the latest VISION content.
There is no task too big or too small for Paul Delbridge when it comes to his customers. And when they make a request, his mission is to make sure their needs are met. The owner of Paul’s Feed & Seed in Faith S.D., had such a request last year, and with the help of his Area Sales Manager Guy Rusche, the mission was accomplished.
Delbridge had two customers, Ryan Vig and Bart Carmichael, come to him and ask for him to produce a range cake that included a complete mineral package. The customers were already feeding VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® 5/S but wanted it to be part of their range cake. Delbridge said that many feed companies offer a cake or cube with a partial mineral package, but that is not what his customers wanted. So, he and Rusche went to work.
“I knew the Farmers & Rancher’s Co-op made a cake out of dried distiller’s grain, and that is what they wanted,” Delbridge said. “So, I contacted them to see if they could add the Concept•Aid to it, and they said they could.”
Just 280 miles south of Faith in Alliance, Neb., the Farmers & Rancher’s Co-op makes the range cakes with the ingredients that the customers were looking for. Delbridge said the two customers had good luck with the product last year. One customer is a cow-calf producer and the other was developing coming-yearling bulls. He predicts the product will be even more popular this year when producers in his area start feeding the range cake – typically November through March.
“The way we figured it, this was even more cost-effective feeding in the cake versus as a free-choice mineral. Plus, we know each animal was meeting their daily requirements by eating the cake,” Delbridge said.
Although this was his first “special request,” Delbridge was glad he could find a solution for his customers. He’s always glad to find a way to help the producers in his area achieve their goals.
Nebraska ranks second in the nation in total cow-calf production, only behind Texas. However, when late spring and early summer roll around, most farmers and ranchers have just one thing on their minds – planting and irrigating crops. Taylor Ruether, Area Sales Manager for Nebraska, was working with a few of her dealers to come up with an innovative way to get in front of farmers during their busy season, when the “Snack & Savings” approach was created.
“One dealership gave me the idea to do this, because I was wanting to work with him, and he kept saying, ‘It’s farming season, you can’t catch any body right now.’ So, I was trying to come up with a way to get in front of farmers during their busy season,” Ruether said.
Snack & Savings gave Ruether and her dealers the opportunity to get in front of farmers – bringing them either a sack lunch that included a sandwich, chips and a drink, or a mid-afternoon snack of a cold-drink and either a bag of chips or a candy bar. Included with the snack was a product guide and a coupon for any VitaFerm® product.
Ruether made this opportunity available to any of her dealers who wanted to set up appointments to meet with customers and potential customers. She had a couple of dealers who really grasped the concept and spent a couple of days with a cooler of water and sodas and met with farmers to remind them about summer mineral programs.
“We felt like it was a good way to give back to farmers when they are crazy and hectic, and it did get most of them to stop and talk to us, even if it was just to remind them about BioZyme. No one usually turns down a pop and a bag of chips. The beautiful thing about this promotion is, if someone didn’t use the coupon, it didn’t really cost anything,” she said.
The Snack & Savings trips were a good investment in time. Ruether said that dealers did make some Sure Champ® Extreme and VitaFerm® HEAT® sales while talking to the famers. Follow-up appointments have resulted in interest in the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® program.
Ruether will work with her dealers again on similar promotions and marketing efforts, taking the message to the customers. She feels the efforts are worthwhile and she will encourage more dealer involvement. She also learned that chips are the preferred snack over candy bars.
“Anytime you do stuff like this, the more people expect it, and the better response you have. We’ve had some follow-up, and that was worth our time and effort,” she said.
It’s a great feeling when you find a customer that is loyal to a BioZyme® product. But it can be an even greater feeling for you, your customer and both of your bottom lines, when you can convince that customer to buy into an entire program from BioZyme.
Many customers are satisfied with the results of VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®, which is mineral designed to help increase reproductive performance when fed 60 days pre-calving through 60 days post-breeding. Like all BioZyme products, it contains Amaferm®, a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance. Amaferm is also research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as to the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility. But what about the time of year when producers don’t normally feed mineral – most likely those summer months? Then, you can encourage your customers feeding Concept•Aid to feed VitaFerm HEAT®, which will help reduce heat stress in the herd, which also helps maintain pregnancy.
If you have 10 customers with 40 cows each, and you sell them Concept•Aid 5/S for two-thirds of the year, you have the potential to make roughly $14,860 dollars. But where is your profit during the hot summer months? Selling those same 10 customer with 40 head VitaFerm HEAT for 120 days could land you an additional $7,420 of profit. That’s a total of $22,280 profit on 10
customers for the year. And let’s face it, most dealers have more than 10 customers. And that HEAT mineral is going to help the cows maintain pregnancy, which produces more live calves for them to market the following year, making it worth their investment in the program.
Just like there is added value to both you and the producer for investing in a year-round nutrition program for your cows, you and the producer will also find added value when investing in the three-step VitaFerm® Sure Start® weaning program or VitaFerm® Gain Smart® Stocker Program. Yes, it might be easy for a producer to buy Gain Smart or a Vita Charge® Stress Tub to put their calves on when weaned or turned out to grass. But did you know that if a producer uses one of our three-step programs, he or she can further reduce illness and get those calves back on feed and water sooner? This means they are putting on pounds of gain more efficiently and growing faster for the producer. Marketing the program will help your checkbook, but it will also help the producer in saving money on vet bills and helping calves realize gains faster.
The Sure Start weaning program includes a single dose of Vita Charge Drench or Gel upon weaning. The second step includes feeding Sure Start pellets to the calves for 14 to 28 days to help encourage them to come to the bunk and eat. After those first 2-3 weeks, you can begin to increase digestibility and maximize the energy value of your cattle’s feed with either the cow-calf mineral or the Gain Smart mineral.
The Gain Smart Stocker Program has a very similar approach to keeping calves healthy and on feed during this stressful transition period in their lives. Step one includes include giving the calves Vita Charge Drench within 48 hours of receiving to help stimulate the cattle’s immune system while allowing for maximum effectiveness of vaccinations. Step two provides the Vita Charge Stress Tub for 14 to 21 days to promote feed and water intake. The tubs also provide MOS that helps trap bad bacteria limiting their ability to do harm. And the Stress Tubs increase digestibility to maximize the energy value of feed for more gains. The final step in the program is selecting the right Gain Smart mineral for your operation and feeding program to accurately supplement those minerals lacking in the pasture and rectify mineral imbalances. Gain Smart will help maintain calf health and immunity, hoof health and support gain, once again helping the producer meet his or her goals quicker with fewer expenses.
The more times you can sell a program, the more you will help your customers meet their goals, but you will also help yourself meet your financial goals. Remember, it’s nice to sell a product, but it’s even nicer to put more profit into your dealership by selling a program.
Does it ever feel like you have saturated the market and you’ve got all the customers you’re going to get? Your sales are steady, but you’d really like to see them increase for a couple of months. Your customers seem happy with the products they are using; but do you think there’s something missing that your customers haven’t tried?
Perhaps there is something missing – something in your sales technique. Upselling and cross-selling are two techniques that you can use to help increase sales with the existing customer base you have already established. Although they are similar in nature with a similar outcome, the techniques are slightly different. One web site offers the following definitions: Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one in question, while cross-selling invites customers to buy related or complementary items.
Vita Charge® should be one of the easiest product lines to cross-sell. This all-species product that supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake is designed for times of stress and recovery. There is no reason that every customer shouldn’t have some form of Vita Charge, or even multiple forms.
“Regardless of the animal you are caring for, they can have a bad day, and that is exactly what these products are meant for. No matter why you are interacting with a current or potential customer these products will benefit every animal during those times of stress. These products are a perfect addition to a current product sale or used as an introduction to what amazing products we have to offer,” said Trent Gabler, BioZyme Sales Coach.
No matter the species or the production goals, you should never leave a sales call without trying to cross-sell Vita Charge. Are you at a cow-calf operation? They are going to calve out cows, wean calves and likely treat for an occasional sickness. Having a few tubes of Vita Charge Gel is a part of a good management practice for those times of stress. Of course, you know the benefits of having a stress tub out with both cows and calves. And the tubs are also effective for bulls prior to and after breeding season.
What about the smaller species? Yes, the Vita Charge products are equally important for sheep, goats and hogs. Keeping Vita Charge HydraBoost™ in your pigs’ waterer is important, especially at weaning, and the gel is always handy for rapid relief.
Cross-selling is the simple suggestion of adding on a complementary product to something the buyer is already buying. Perhaps they are buying Vitalize® Equine High Performance Pellets. Obviously, they take great pride in taking good care of their horse’s digestive health. But what about helping that horse recover? Have you suggested they try the Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel? Maybe they don’t know the gel exists or the benefits of the gel, but once they learn about it, they will be hooked. And don’t forget the canine line of Vitalize supplements. According to Internet statistics, 36-44% of Americans own a dog. Chances are a higher percentage of your customers in rural areas own dogs. How many of them have you told about the Vitalize® Dog supplement or Vitalize Dog Recovery Gel?
Marketing studies have shown that existing customers are 60-70% more likely to buy new products while new customers are only 5-20% likely to buy a new product. And, the existing customer is probably going to spend around 31% more. That is why cross-selling and upselling become so important. One product line that we don’t always focus on that would be a great “upsell” is the Vitalize line. We know that horse lovers will go to great lengths to give the best care to their equine companions. Maybe your customer is feeding Vitalize® Equine Free Choice, but has started showing his or her horse, or has a shortage of high-quality hay this year. Now is a great time to suggest the customer try a different Vitalize product like Equine High Performance or the Equine Protein Pellet.
“Cross selling should be very easy since you already have the customers relationship and business. The hard work is done, don’t be afraid to go after more opportunities,” Gabler said.
Remember, your existing customers already trust you. Don’t forget to upsell and cross-sell to get maximum returns from them and watch their results increase.
Some livestock producers will tell you they are forage producers and they simply raise cattle to have animals to consume the forage they produce. But it doesn’t matter if you raise hay for your cattle or cattle to eat hay, the most important thing to know is the nutrient content of the harvested forage you have on-hand before fall sets in and turns to winter.
Typically, by late August all the hay is put up, has had time for the moisture to level out, and it is an ideal time to start testing hay for nutritional content. Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition for BioZyme® Inc., offers some key advice to identifying the forages you have on-hand and getting them tested.
First, Glaubius said it’s important to identify your hay by a lot number so you know which test results are from which lot. Glaubius said a lot is defined by the field and the cutting it is from. For instance, a lot from the second cutting from field one would be named Lot 1-2. A first-cutting sample from the third field would be 3-1. It is important to identify the lots when you haul them from the field and store them and continue to know where they are kept. A year of drought like this year, might result in only one cutting, therefore all lots would be dash one, or you could just name the lots by field name or number.
Once the lots are identified, it is time to collect samples. Hay testing and ration balancing are complimentary services provided by BioZyme. Contact your Area Sales Manager or local BioZyme dealer for assistance in collecting the sample. Having an accurate sample is the key to a successful sample. Glaubius recommends taking 10 sub-samples from each lot and mixing them together to get one sample to submit.
“Where it is a real struggle for the nutritionist to work with the producer is when the producer doesn’t keep those lots separate. They bring all their hay from all fields and all cuttings and they are not identified,” Glaubius said. “This makes it really hard when they do that to help them to put them put together an efficient program and tell them to feed this hay first, this hay second, this hay third. If they can put them in rows so they are accessible to feed them from a nutrition standpoint, and not so they are just accessible with their loader, it helps. Some customers will spray paint a lot number on their bales to make their mix the most efficient.”
Once the Area Sales Manager or dealer submits the forage for testing, the results are typically generated within a week, indicating any deficiencies in energy or protein. In addition to knowing the nutrient content of your forages, it is also important to know the amount of each lot of hay you have when working with the BioZyme Nutrition Team to plan your next steps.
“We need to know the number of bales you have in each lot, so we can help you plan. We look at number of cows you have compared to the amount of forage available, and plan for estimated intake. We want to ensure you are using the right product, a protein mix to supplement, either from BioZyme or from your local grain elevator. That way, you don’t have to guess if it is time to start feeding protein or extra energy,” Glaubius said.
After the tests are analyzed and interpreted and the protein and energy needs are determined, there are four key ways to supplement proteins using the Amaferm® advantage. Amaferm is a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance.
Feed mineral with Amaferm. Get the most out of what your cows are consuming by increasing intake and digestibility. This is the least expensive option at approximately 5 cents per cow per day.
Feed VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® Protein Meal. This is a granular, free-choice mineral. In addition to the mineral, supplemental protein is provided.
Feed VitaFerm Concept•Aid Protein Tub. The tub provides the same nutrition as the protein meal but adds the convenience of the tub form.
Feed VitaFerm 30-13% Protein Tub. This VitaFerm product offers the highest level of protein, but vitamin and mineral levels for maintenance during times of year when nutrient requirements are not as high.
Forage testing is a management practice that helps you plan ahead to make the best nutritional decisions for your herd. Testing now will help you know which forages you need to feed during which stages of production and the proper amounts of protein and energy you need to supplement during those times. The more you know, the more money you could save your operation.
Think outside of the box – be innovative!
In strategic planning sessions we’re often told to “think outside the box.” Neuroscientific research indicates that it becomes increasingly difficult to break out of our existing mindsets.
Therefore, thinking outside the box is never easy, nor is it a reflection of mental brightness. To leave your psychological comfort zone and explore “solutions in the unknown world on the outside requires large measures of mental agility, boldness, and creativity and/or an inspirational leader who makes life in the old box so uncomfortable that getting out is the only option.” So where does one start to get out of this box?
Make but Challenge Your Assumptions
Assumptions play a vital part in creative thinking. However, challenging those assumptions means questioning the everyday things you take for granted. “The best assumption to have is that any commonly held belief is wrong,” says Ken Olson, CEO of DEC. The natural thing to do is the thing you have always done. Every time you approach a problem you bring your accumulated experience, knowledge and training to the table. But this includes your accumulated assumptions and biases – conscious and unconscious. The more experienced you are, the more likely you are to assume outcomes by extrapolating from the known facts and experiences to predict a result. This mental baggage can prevent you from accepting innovative ideas. Don’t let that happen or you will be stuck in the box.
Ask Lots of Searching Questions
Don’t take anything for granted. Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of “Why?” and “What If?” questions, you won’t generate the brainstorming a team needs to be innovative. Always try to look at the world through more inquisitive eyes to try and get ideas in motion.
Step Out of Your Shoes
Stepping out of your shoes and into the shoes of others may help you surface new insights to a problem. It seems us humans look at most every box through our own shoes. Walking in the shoes of others and clearly assessing and understanding their perspective is a key to out of the box thinking.
Innovative, out of the box thinking is not easy but is perhaps one of the more important traits of a high growth, performing company. Force yourself to have the discipline to challenge, ask, listen and walk in different shoes.
One of the great honors we have as a company is to participate in the Veterans Airlift Command to provide free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded veterans & their families. A recent episode of The American Rancher showcased one of these flights with pilots Bob Norton and Sarah Walther. You can catch the re-airing, Sunday, Sept. 16 at NOON EST on RFD-TV.
And check out Lisa’s newest video below for more about what this organization means to our company!