Dealer Spotlight: Weiss Milling

You wouldn’t feed your friends and neighbors something you had never tried before, would you? That was the sentiment that long-time family-owned-and-operated feed mill shared when approached about selling Amaferm® and the BioZyme® product lines several years ago. However, they decided to give Amaferm a try on their own livestock and soon after became BioZyme dealers. That’s been four years ago, and they are pleased with their decision.

“We had been hearing a lot of good things about Amaferm for a long time in the industry and it was presented to us as an option. So, we tried it out for ourselves, and it is one of those products where we actually saw results. A lot of the products we try promise good results, but you don’t actually notice it; that’s one of the things we noticed and liked about Amaferm is that you see results,” said Abby Shoen, who works with her dad, Dean Weiss, and also raises cattle and goats.

Dean and Kathy Weiss purchased the local feed mill in 1987. Today, Dean runs the business with his daughter Abby and son-in-law Jake Shoen. Weiss Milling provides animal feed and nutrition to all species from cattle and goats, sheep, hogs, horses and poultry, with an emphasis on providing high-quality products and high-quality customer service.

“What is important to us is dealing with a very competitive market, and people come to us for the highest quality products and knowledge, and that is what we provide,” Abby said. “What VitaFerm has helped us provide is the highest quality products and the best knowledge as far as the industry and animal health.”

One unique service that Weiss Milling provides its customers is ordering chicks during the spring, a service Dean has offered for 34 years. Abby said she coordinates the customers’ orders in May, so the chicks are delivered to the mill for pick up, but they don’t actually stay there for any length of time. Then, the customers can also purchase any feed and supplies they will need such as feeders or waterers for their chicks, making Weiss Milling a one-stop shop. Since COVID-19, she has seen a significant increase in the demand for chicks.

“Especially after last year there is an increase in interest for people raising their own food as well as having projects for their kids to get involved in. It was extremely hard to order chickens this last summer, especially with the pandemic,” she said.

With the number of backyard poultry producers on the rise, and a larger percentage of them in urban areas, Abby said many of them are focused on providing their chickens optimum health and nutrition, not just a generic product. A product like Backyard Boost™, with the Amaferm advantage should help these new-age protein producers reach their goals.

“This new generation is really looking at what is going into their feed products and how they can care for the health of their animals. They are looking into how to increase production by giving them the healthiest products. They are looking into mineral programs. It’s not so much price anymore; they want the healthiest animal they can get,” Abby said.

That’s good news for BioZyme and its newest line of poultry supplements. And it’s good news for progressive dealers like Weiss Milling who has its customers’ best interest at heart and is always looking for a way to keep their customers’ animals productive and healthy. Thanks for showing that care comes full circle!

Help Us Share the News About Backyard® Boost™

A new challenge is always full of emotions: fun, excitement and exhilaration! Sometimes new things can be a little intimidating. But there is safety in numbers. That’s why we are confident as a company and specifically as a sales and marketing team that Backyard Boost is going to be a smashing success with those who raise backyard poultry. Figures in 2019 show that more than 13 million households have taken to raising these feathery friends. That was before COVID-19 had everyone staying home last year and spiked interest in raising in raising backyard poultry.

In an effort to share our products with you and the end-users, we will have three platforms where we can share information: a website, Facebook and Instagram. Initially, we will rely heavily on you, our dealers, to help us generate customer testimonials and feedback from the end-users to add to these sites.

www.backyardboost.co

This website will be the portal for all educational and product information as it becomes available. As with all of our product lines, we want to become a place where our users and dealers can come for premium products and for education. We plan to include education about feeding and nutrition, flock health and stress, coops and housing, egg production and more. In addition, we look forward to posting customer testimonials here once backyard poultry enthusiasts start using the products.

BioZyme uses social media like Facebook and Instagram to keep our dealers and end-users updated regularly with the latest and greatest product information, education and testimonials. These platforms will be where we really need you to speak up and share your end-user results or encourage your customers to do so.

We also use social media to engage with our customers for promotions, contests, to find out what they like, what they would like to see more of in the future. Social media is a great way for us to interact with customers of all levels in all corners (and backyards) of the country.

Every challenge is exciting! And this one is no different. We are excited to launch Backyard Boost this month, and we’re excited to launch three new communication platforms where we can engage with customers. We hope you’ll come along with us on this journey!

How to Reach New Markets During Chick Days

Chick Days will be here before we know it. For many farm and home and feed stores, chick days turns into chick weeks or even months, as the stores order chicks in advance and carry inventory from March through May, or even longer. Some might have chicks in-stock while initial supplies last, and others, like Weiss Milling (see Dealer Spotlight), might custom order chicks. You can make chick days a way to reach new markets that you might not think of during other times of the year.

Be a one-stop Shop

You’ve got the chicks. Make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary items that a first-time or even a repeat chick-buyer is going to need. Do you have the bedding? Feeders and waterers? Feed and health supplements? Coops and fencing? By making it convenient for the buyer, that shows you’re there to provide service, which could lead to a repeat customer for other products, even those not chick-related, in the future.

Provide Education

Consumers are hungry for education. They want to know the best way to care for their chicks to the best of their ability, and they want information in an easy-to-read format. They want to know about feed, water, housing, egg laying and general flock health. Since chicks don’t come with a label that contains all this information it is your job to provide the label information. Create a handy FAQ Sheet that is easy to follow, has all the information you would want to know about raising backyard birds and your business contact information. You might even provide a website with further flock information like www. backyardboost.co.

Educate your Employees

Part of providing customer education starts with educated employees. Before coming to work at BioZyme, I worked as a part-time farm store vendor and set up chick drinkers and feeders in chick days displays in the Chicago suburbs. I remember two college-aged girls oohing and aahhing over some baby chicks, who asked one of the farm store employees if she thought the chicks would be ok in the apartment as they got older. The employee replied “definitely.” I don’t know that I’d want five or six grown chickens in my apartment or if they would actually thrive without fresh air and sunlight, let alone what the landlord would think! Be sure you and your employees know the city ordinances for surrounding towns – do they allow chickens in backyards or not? Know how much space an adult bird needs, know about waste management protocols and provide good, sound advice.

Use Social Media

Social media is a great way to create excitement about your chick days event, especially if you have dedicated an opening weekend or first few days to launch your event. Use your various social media platforms to get the word out that you have chicks or announce their arrival dates. Photos and videos of baby animals are great attention grabbers and will catch the eyes of those scrolling through their news feed. Use a Facebook Live for in-store promotions or even for educational snippets during and after chick days to keep in front of your customers. Keep the excitement of backyard birds going long after chick days through social media with user engagement: have your customers post photos of their grown chickens, share their success stories or other funny stories of raising chickens.

Chick days are almost here. With people still staying home and looking for hobbies and ways to feed their families, you can use chick days to gain traction in your business, provide another service to your community and market your business to an audience that you might not traditionally reach. Once you reach this chick day audience, remember to ask if they have other animals that you might be able to help them with like dogs, cats or horses. Animals lovers regardless of species will appreciate doing business with a company that shows care that comes full circle and can supply them products for all their animals’ needs.

Upselling, Cross-selling Adds Value to your Business and Customer

Upselling and cross-selling are two terms you likely have heard before. They are often confused or used interchangeably; however, they are two distinct ways of marketing products that not only will help your business see more growth but will help your customers achieve more long-term success.

Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one they might be originally considering. Cross-selling urges customers to buy related or complementary items. These two practices are most effective when they are used synergistically, and the end result for you, the dealer, is increased sales and hopefully a customer who sees better results.

Cross-selling is a practice that should be used in business nearly every time you make a sale. Products in the new Backyard Boost™ line like Backyard Boost Daily Essentials and Backyard Boost Defense were created for cross-selling opportunities. Most people won’t immediately think of nutritional supplements for their backyard birds. However, they will think of other essentials like coops, heat lamps, bedding and feed. When they go pick out their feed or have questions about bird health, these are some ideal times for some cross-selling statements:

  • Have you thought about how you’re going to keep your chicks healthy?
  • Would you like to add a supplement to your chick feed to keep them feeling healthy and keep them happy?
  • Did you know that a product like Daily Essentials will help your chickens get the most nutrient supply from their feed?
  • How are you going to treat your chicks when they stress out and get sick? Have you thought about Defense?

Cross-selling allows you to add on an essential product that will benefit the customer in his or her endeavor. Often times when you cross-sell, the customer hasn’t thought about that additional need yet, but when you mention it, it becomes an “ah-ha” moment for them, and a cross-sell suggestion often saves the customer a trip back to the store in the future, while helping you create a sale.

Upselling is a tool that should be used anytime you have a product that contains Amaferm®. With a precision prebiotic like Amaferm, products like Backyard Boost Daily Essentials and Defenses are already more beneficial than other supplements that exist on the market. The Amaferm advantage and other natural ingredients in these supplements will:

  • Support performance and health of the birds by supporting the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Reduce digestive upset, therefore improving the overall health and wellbeing of the birds.
  • Increase egg production, while improving eggshell and yolk quality.
  • Support growth and feather quality.
  • Boost immune response and combat negative effects of stress.

Upselling allows you to share experiences of a high-quality product with your customer and those benefits that a premium product will provide. Remember, a premium product doesn’t always have to be the one with the highest price tag; it is the one that is backed by research and has the most high-quality ingredients included in it.

Both upselling and cross-selling are marketing tools that will allow you to help your customer and yourself. They help your customers succeed in their feeding and production endeavors and they help you meet your sales goals. When you combine the two and work them together, your business will experience even more growth.

Take the time to practice upselling and cross-selling across all species and products. There is always a product that will add value to another product. Try these marketing techniques and watch your business grow!

Letters From Lisa – February 2021

Importance of Emerging Markets

My start with BioZyme® really came from being Bob’s wife. Both of these were very good decisions for me. I traveled with him to shows, and as a true animal lover became totally engaged, but as a business visionary who never stops thinking, I saw lots of opportunity. One of my favorite stories on this front occurred at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). I was “working” the booth when a very nice lady stopped by to tell me how the Amaferm® Pellet had made a significant difference to her rabbit breeding operation. She was passionate about it, and I was so excited to tell Bob the story. When I did the response back was, “so how many rabbits does she have?” I excitedly shared the answer, 800. He replied, “how many Amaferm Pellets does a rabbit eat?” I replied 1 pellet. You know what came next, a mental evaluation to see if I had lost my mind.

I share this story because I am sure your initial response to this Backyard Boost™ idea could be the same. So please give me a minute to explain before you immediately send me to the insane asylum.

Backyard chickens are cropping up everywhere. Nearly 1% of all U.S. households surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported owning backyard fowl in 2013, and 4% more planned to start in the next five years. That’s over 13 million Americans flocking to the backyard poultry scene. A 2015 review of 150 of the most-populated U.S. cities found that nearly all (93%) allowed backyard poultry flocks.

The coronavirus pandemic is heightening interest in raising young chickens for a reliable supply of eggs, with hatcheries saying they’re seeing a flood of new customers.

“We are swamped with orders,” says Nancy Smith, owner of the Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Missouri. “We can’t answer all the phone calls, and we are booked out several weeks on most breeds.”

“We’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been here since 1964,” Smith says, describing the spike in her business.

For families adapting to disruptions brought on by COVID-19, raising hens is seen as an answer to vexing questions about the availability of staple items at grocery stores. Starting a backyard flock could also be a rewarding project for Americans who now face the prospect of spending weeks or months at home with schools closed and workers laid off, furloughed or working remotely. Folks who are feeling cooped up, in other words, may want to start a coop of their own.

Where do I see this product line growing/going?
Through the roof.

Just one hatchery, Cackle Hatchery, supplies chicks to some 1,600 feed, farm and home stores across the country. Chickens are the hottest new backyard “pet”! It seems that every Tom, Dick and Susan wants to raise chickens in his or her backyard, whether that yard is one square foot or one hundred.

Dealer Spotlight: Dakota Mill and Grain

Helping Others Helps Make the Sale

In a world where one size does not fit all, it is vital to provide customers with the individual information and resources they need to succeed. Paul Jons, location manager for the Dakota Mill & Grain in Murdo, South Dakota, said getting to know his customers and helping them with their challenges makes them more receptive to him. He puts forth the effort to really know his customers and understand their specific challenges.

“There’s no such thing as a cookie cutter program when it comes to feed because neighbors could live two miles apart and do things completely different. So, to be able to take the time and listen to both those guys and get them on different tracks on where they need to go, not only helps me as a dealer, it helps them succeed so they tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends,” Jons said.

Service with a smile is something Jons picked up when visiting the local feed store with his dad and grandpa as a child, and he has carried on that tradition today. However, he goes beyond that smile, to offer education and options to producers on the products that can best help them achieve their production goals. One thing he likes about being a BioZyme dealer is the wealth of information available to him to share with his customers, both from the website and the Online Dealer Center.

“I feel like I have good information to pass along to my customers. Anything I don’t know, I can go to the website and find in about 10 minutes. I also go to the Online Dealer Center all the time to fact check and get pricing,” he said.

Jons became a BioZyme dealer more than a year ago, after feeding the VitaFerm® products on his own operation for two years. As a fifth-generation dairy farmer, he was thrilled to discover a beef cattle mineral with prebiotics and chelated minerals, similar to what they had fed their dairy cows.

“I like the quality and proven performance of the product. So, when I first discovered there was a product out there that is similar to what we do with milk cows but targeted toward beef cows, I got really excited about it. Not a lot of people realize how important chelated minerals are in their breed-back program. Coming from a dairy farm, we used chelated minerals for 10 to 15 years, so being able to pass that information on to these guys Is worth a million bucks to a lot of them,” he said.

He hosted his first BioZyme producer meeting in mid-December and credits those gatherings as another great way to provide information to a group all at once from outside experts. Producer meetings also provide opportunities to learn from others and think about deeper questions that they wouldn’t think of during a trip to their feed store.

“Producers have more than ample opportunities to raise their hand and ask more serious questions that I can’t answer. Or they come into get mineral on a daily basis they are more concerned about weather, weaning calves or moving cows to a different pasture. When in a producer meeting, and we start talking about specific products, they say instead of weaning my calves this year, maybe I should try the Gain Smart® program and keep them for 45 days” Jons said.

When it comes to selling a product, Jons exemplifies care that comes full circle. He’s there to help his customers succeed before he is there to only sell them a mineral product. Here’s why.

“The reward is equal to the work you’re willing to put into it. If you don’t want to learn and read and get the knowledge behind you to be able to explain to people why this product is good for them, why this product will work for them, there’s no point in doing it. Be enthusiastic about it. People see you care, they feel that you care about them as well, and that you’re not just trying to shove a bag of mineral down their throat. I believe in this product because it is superior and is going to help you on your farm.”

Sharing Knowledge Helps Grow Business

In today’s world, you aren’t just a feed dealer, mineral supplier or farm and home store. You are more than a business. You and your sales staff become industry experts. Experts that your customers rely on for their nutritional advice as it relates to their herd, flock, show stock, horses and dogs. That’s why it is more important than ever before to have knowledge available and ready to share.

According to Shep Hyken, New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling author and customer engagement expert, 96% of customers will leave a business because of one bad experience. These experiences could range from poor customer interaction, untimely responses, lack of response, rude personnel, consistently being out of stock on a product or never showing appreciation.

In a recent presentation, Hyken offered several tips to help create customer amazement. The central idea to creating customer amazement is to be better than average. When it comes to customer service, no one wants just “fine” service, they want excellent service. Hyken said fine is an acronym that stands for: Fake smile, Insincere feedback, Never coming back, Emotionless (business is dead to the customer). Let’s explore the five ways he recommends providing customer amazement.

  1. Create moments of magic. Make sure that you provide the information and education that the customer is looking for. If they ask a specific question, answer that question directly, not five other questions and don’t beat around the bush. Share another customer testimonial or if you have used the product, share about that positive experience too. Customers want to hear about why something will work for them and their program.
  2. Embrace feedback. Both negative and positive feedback can be good things to help your business grow and share information with others. For example, BioZyme® heard your feedback about the paper mineral bags. A positive change was made due to that feedback. If you hear positive feedback about a product, you can use that to your advantage when talking to others about that specific product.
  3. Communication is key. When providing your customers with valuable information, remember communication is a two-way process. Provide information. Ask the extra questions. Listen for their concerns or challenges. Address their specific needs. Don’t talk circles around them, and don’t do all the talking, but always make sure to be sincere and listen to what they need.
  4. Offer convenient solutions. Perhaps you have all your product information on your website, but not all your customers have internet access. One of the best ways to lay out the information is in a FAQ document. What frequent questions do your customers have? Create the answers for those and answer them in one document and have them readily available to distribute when talking about a product or time in the production cycle.
  5. Show appreciation. You rely on your customers for your success just as much as they rely on you. Be sure to thank them for their patronage and for believing in you and your products.

Providing information is an ongoing process, and mastering the process is ongoing as well. Be sure you and your employees understand the above steps and the importance of providing education and information. Customer amazement is an important step to customer retention. Continue to educate your customers and watch your business grow!

Look to BioZyme Resources for Education and Information

As a feed and supplement dealer, your customers look to you as an expert in animal feeding and nutrition when it comes to helping them achieve their goals. Do you feel like you are armed with the proper information and knowledge you need to help the producers who ask you questions? Do you have the answers to the questions they seek? Are there existing resources to help you when you need them?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, or if you are just curious on how to be more informed and prepared to answer your customer questions, read on.

BioZyme® understands how important its Dealer Network is. That’s why we have prepared the tools to help you succeed when it comes to providing the best and most accurate information to your customers. The more information you can provide and in a timely manner, the more your customers will value you, and be more likely to return.

VISION

If you are reading this, you know that we care about getting timely information to dealers each month. We strive to provide you relevant product information and tips on how to position those products, give you sales and marketing tips, general business development guides and update you on company happenings.

Dealer Facebook Page

The BioZyme Dealer Facebook is a great space to share ideas with other dealers, see information about product launches, and keep current with happenings. Regular posts make this a great place to see information about live educational events and other news from the company.

Master Dealer Program

The Master Dealer Program was created to provide you and your employees the opportunity to learn more about BioZyme products, how to use them, how to market them, and how they can help the customer succeed. Multiple people from a dealership can complete the program to each learn about the products. Sign in to the Online Dealer Center to complete these quick learning tools today!

People

Each dealer should feel good knowing he or she has an Area Sales Manager and an Outreach Support Dealer Coordinator that they can contact for help. These people are a phone call or email away to help you with your needs. These staff members can also put you and your customers in touch with nutritionists to answer questions and help with hay testing services.

Online Dealer Center

Perhaps one of the most comprehensive places you can find the information you need to help you and your customers succeed 24/7 is the Online Dealer Center. Once inside the ODC, there are multiple tools and resources for you to use. You can ask questions and search for answers on the message board, place and track orders, learn more about the products in the Product Center, calculate LTL shipping costs, order swag and literature and download and print literature. Let’s explore some of the great resources available when you log in.

Product Center

The product center contains all the information you need about each product including selling points, feeding directions, ingredients, spec sheets and much more. It can be searched many ways to easily find the products your customers need. To access the Product Center, go to Products > View Products.

Message Board

Ask questions and receive feedback directly from the BioZyme staff on a variety of topics including nutrition, product information and more. To access the message board, visit Training > Message Board.

LTL Freight Quote

Receive an estimated freight quote for your order by filling out the LTL Freight Calculator located under Products > LTL Freight Calculator.

Literature and SWAG

All of our literature along with branded apparel and merchandise is available through the ODC. Literature is available to download in PDF format at Marketing > Marketing & Sales Aides. To have printed literature shipped to you or to order any of the swag, fill out the Literature Request or the Merchandise Request under Marketing > Marketing Requests.

Information is power. The more information you can provide your customers, the more they will rely on you to help them succeed. Good, reliable information builds trust. Trust builds relationships, and relationships are the foundation of a successful business.

Letters From Lisa – January 2021

Part of the customer experience includes product education, and it’s up to you to provide it. An educated customer is more likely to be a customer in the future. A customer desiring to use knowledge to learn about a product is entirely dependent upon how effectively knowledge is delivered to them by you, yes you.

Barring the rare customer who will dedicate significant time and effort to teaching themselves a product, most customers need guidance to help them gain confidence in using a product. Therefore, the effectiveness of the learning content provided is crucial.

Once you accept the fact that helping people get to know how to use products is a key to sales, it’s easy to see why customer education influences customer experience. Few things or products are so intuitive that they require zero instruction. All customer education efforts must remember four key points to be effective.

Accessibility

Don’t compromise access to learning your product because the content isn’t accessible enough for people without advanced computer skills. When product learning requires lots of effort and skills to access, one deprives scores of people of the ability to learn how to use the product offering. And if they can’t figure out how to use it well, they’ll simply go find another product that does provide the learning they desire.

Engagement

This is the part of the customer education process that will either cause excitement or indifference. Focused, concise bits of content that breaks the learning down into smaller pieces, makes the content much easier to follow so learners are more easily able to engage. This also helps you as you’re equally able to assess what works and what needs improvement in your learning content. People rarely stick around if they’re not engaged in what they’re learning. They’re already interested in your product (why they’re trying to learn), now it’s your responsibility to teach them in a manner that attracts their attention, engages them and delivers useful instruction in an easily digestible manner.

Care

Even with accessibility and engagement, the recipe for customer education isn’t complete. You must also deliver content that is unintimidating. Every bit of care you put into your learning content and customer education is telling your customers how much you care about their success.

Fun

Learning should be fun. Even if the learners are lacking motivation, lessons fused with laughter can be highly effective. Not only are they entertaining, but humor has actually been seen to boost retention significantly! By sandwiching humor between instruction and repetition, one can learn incredibly fast while still having a laugh. You have an obligation to your customers to be a good teacher.

You have an obligation to your own company’s success to be a good teacher. Because it’s not only about putting together a few presentations so people can get the gist of your products. It needs to be your goal to build learning content that works so well that your customers are excited about how good they are at using your products. When people are good at something, they talk about it. That team that buys your products and is excited about how great they are at using it will become product evangelists.

Dealer Spotlight: Roy Umbarger and Sons

Focus on Quality, Family Priorities for Show Feed Manufacturer

Jackson Umbarger is the fourth generation to own and work at Umbarger Show Feeds in central Indiana. Although this family-owned-and-operated feed business has remained in the family for more than 80 years, he said it isn’t just blood that is considered family. The employees, the dealers and the customers are all considered part of the Umbarger family.

“We strive to have that feeling of family. We really do care about your kids and their show livestock. Our company has a family feel and our employee retention rate is high, with a lot of our people having been here 15 plus years. That’s how its always been, and that’s how we like it,” Jackson said.

Jackson oversees the daily operation of the feed company that places its sole focus on show feed manufacturing. A new state-of the-art mill was completed in November to better ensure a consistent, accurate product. All Umbarger feed is manufactured on-site and shipped to its dealer network on a regular basis to deliver accurate, fresh product. For dealers within a two-day driving range, the company uses its own dedicated truck line to deliver to customers. They work efficiently in their dealers’ favor since they are so specialized with low seasonal minimum orders, like this time of year for example. They will also mix products within a pallet.

One of the customer services that Jackson takes great pride in is partnering with like-minded high-quality companies with a show focus whose products they can also distribute to Umbarger dealers. That is one of the reasons their partnership works so well with BioZyme®.

“The BioZyme product line compliments ours. It matches what we believe in. We also put Amaferm® in a lot of our feeds,” he said. Umbarger Show Feeds also distributes Weaver show supplies to its dealers at no additional freight fee – another service to assist its dealers. As Jackson said, if an exhibitor is looking for a big item like a showbox or fitting chute, and his or her local Umbarger dealer can get that item for that person, that person is more likely to build loyalty to that feed dealer instead of taking his or her supply and feed business to a competitor.

One area that Jackson said he would like to focus more on is marketing; however, providing apparel that is trendy and recognizes winners has been effective over time. When he assumed a leadership role in 2008, the company awarded about 40 winners’ jackets that were personalized with the exhibitor name, show name and the Umbarger logo. In 2020, more than 1,500 jackets were awarded, showing the growth of the company and creating even more walking billboards.

Family. Quality. Customer service. For a company whose logo is “we feed champions,” it’s no wonder that they also provide “care that comes full circle.” A partnership like that is just one reason BioZyme values a customer like Roy Umbarger & Sons.