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!

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.

Your Inventory Calendar Can Help Create A Marketing Plan

Developing an inventory calendar can be useful for more than just inventory management. It can serve as the framework and guide for your marketing schedule as well. It makes sense to align marketing and promotion with the inventory you’re housing at the time and to be prepared to turn seasonal stock as quickly as possible.

You know you have the inventory, so why do you need the marketing plan? You surely don’t want to set on the inventory you have for long, and you don’t want to be short on inventory for specific seasons of high demand like breeding, weaning or calving, for example. That is why it is vital to have a marketing plan, which often is synergistic with the inventory you maintain.

Create a Marketing Strategy
Before you create a marketing calendar, it’s important to decide on an overall marketing strategy. Some questions to ask yourself include:

• What is your estimated marketing budget for the entire year?

• Who is your target audience?

• How frequently will you promote your company?

• When is your peak demand? Factor in different times of the year, such as weaning, calving or fairs.

• What kind of media will you use? See the list below.

Once you have answered some of the above questions and have started thinking about your strategy, you can star planning your marketing calendar. Consistency is often one of the biggest struggles for dealers and establishing a marketing plan can give you a guide to follow to help you stay on course and in front of your customers in the most effective way possible.

First, establish the list of marketing tools you plan to use to reach your customers. That list may look something like this:

• Radio Ads

• Social Media – Promoboxx, Facebook, Twitter

• Email Marketing

• BioZyme Quarterly Mailers

• Print advertisements

Next, reference your inventory calendar to know what items you should be promoting for that respective month. Promotions need to be done in advance of your selling season to prepare customers, so it’s always good to set your marketing plans in advance. A general rule of thumb is to begin talking about products six weeks to a month before that buying season really starts to take off. Your customers and prospective customers are studying and researching the next product they’re going to use well in advance of making a purchase.

An inventory calendar will help paint a visual picture of the opportunities you have to focus on, what promotional efforts could be combined or if it is necessary to run multiple campaigns simultaneously. Obviously, margin and/or volume will factor into your focus each month, but don’t leave out ‘door-opener’ products that could generate traffic or interest as well. And don’t forget to have inventory for any cross promotion or upselling opportunities that you plan to promote.

Once you’ve established your product focus for the month, detail your marketing plan to include specific tactics, contacts you need to reach out to, deadlines, etc. If you haven’t, be sure to sign up for Promoboxx to get the most updated BioZyme content. In addition, coordinate with your ASM to have any custom materials designed to help you spread your specific message.

At the end of the month, you should revisit each marketing medium used and analyze its effectiveness so you can make any necessary adjustments for coming months. As you review your marketing calendar, be sure to also revisit your inventory schedule to make sure you have everything on hand so you can meet the demands of your future marketing plans.

The Importance of Keeping and Tracking Inventory

You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Measure (Or Have)

Inventory management is an art that can elevate your business to new heights, if done well. It is highly variable, and the optimal system is different for each dealer. There are many tools that can be implemented to improve your inventory management, which will ultimately help you grow your bottom line.

Let’s explore five reasons why it is vital to your business to have a good inventory management system in place.

Improve the Accuracy of your Orders
Proper inventory management helps you figure out exactly how much inventory you need to have on-hand. This helps prevent product shortages and allows you to keep just enough inventory without having too much in the warehouse.

Successful inventory management involves balancing the costs of inventory with the benefits of inventory. Many dealers fail to fully appreciate the true costs of carrying inventory, which includes not only direct costs of storage, insurance and taxes, but also the cost of money tied up in inventory. This fine line between keeping too much inventory and not enough is not the only concern. Others include:

• Maintaining a wide assortment of stock — but not spreading the rapidly moving ones too thin;

• Increasing inventory turnover — but not sacrificing the service level;

• Keeping stock low — but not sacrificing service or performance;

• Obtaining lower prices by making volume purchases — but not ending up with slow-moving inventory; and

• Having an adequate inventory on hand — but not getting caught with obsolete items.

Organize Your Warehouse
An organized warehouse makes your business life simplified, and a good inventory management approach supports an organized warehouse.

If your warehouse is unorganized, you will be challenged in managing your inventory. Many companies choose to optimize their warehouses by putting the highest selling products together and in easily accessible places in the warehouse. This helps speed up the order fulfillment process and keeps customers happy.

Save Time and Money
By keeping track of which products you have on-hand or ordered, you save yourself the effort of having to conduct regular inventory recounts to ensure your records are accurate. A good inventory strategy also helps you save money that might otherwise be wasted on slower selling products.

Increases Efficiency and Productivity
Inventory management devices like barcode scanners and inventory management software, can help improve your efficiency and productivity. These devices will eliminate manual processes so your employees can focus their time on other areas of the business. All BioZyme products come with a preassigned SKU to assist in inventory control.

Forecasting will also help you increase efficiency in your business. A huge part of good inventory management comes down to accurately predicting demand. Make no mistake, this is incredibly hard to do. There are so many variables involved and you’ll never know for sure exactly what’s coming, but you can get pretty close. Here are a few things to look at when projecting your future sales:

• Trends in the market

• Last year’s sales during the same week/month

• This year’s growth rate

• Guaranteed sales from contracts

• Seasonality and the overall economy

• Upcoming promotions

• Planned ad spending

If there’s something else that will help you create a more accurate forecast, be sure to include it. A helpful planning tool would be to graph product sales from last year by month, so you have a picture that serves as a rough forecasting tool to help stay ahead of ordering and marketing.

Build a Repeat Customer Base
It’s a fact that good inventory management leads to what you should be constantly striving for—repeat customers. If you want your hard-earned customers to come back for your products and services, you need to be able to meet customer demand quickly. Inventory management helps you meet this demand by allowing you to have the right products available when your customers need them.

Accurate inventory management incorporates what you know about customer and product demand from the past and present to (ideally) predict your best course of action in the future. Optimize the value of such information by coupling your inventory management and marketing promotions to work together. For example, such insights can reveal potential opportunities to leverage quantity-based pricing suppliers may offer, while at the same time empowering you to offset times of lower demand with promotions or ‘packaged’ deals that strategically drive sales.

It is always a best practice to ensure you have product on the floor at least 2 weeks prior to the beginning of selling season for each product and then use the forecasting tools above to prepare for restocking throughout the season.

Inventory management is a good practice for your sanity and for your customer satisfaction. You can’t sell what you don’t have. So, stock accordingly, and watch your business grow.

Marketing Trends for 2021

Trends come and trends go. But one action that will always be trendy is to have a marketing plan in place as you roll into a new year. The BioZyme® Marketing Team recently attended the virtual Brand Manage Camp to freshen up their skills and learn how to better increase market share while helping dealers market their product lines.

In the final presentation of the three-day seminar, Michael Brenner, CEO of the Marketing Insider Group and best-selling author, reminded everyone that marketing has two key purposes: to create leads and to generate a return on investment (ROI). He said the best ways to accomplish marketing are through story telling and reaching for emotion.

The team at BioZyme is always here to help its dealers with their marketing. The Marketing Team offers a variety of services from print and radio advertising, social media, email marketing, custom in-store displays, custom signage and other custom designed pieces.

“I encourage each dealer to take a look at what we offer, have a conversation with their ASM and decide what works best for them. Each business differs based on brands, target audience, geographic location and time of year, so make sure you’re not just marketing to say you’re marketing, but that you’re doing what’s most beneficial to your goals and customers that you serve or desire to serve. Meet your customers where they are,” said Ashley Fitzsimmons, BioZyme Regional Marketing Manager.

Brenner offered three trends he predicts will continue to be popular for businesses to use in their marketing approach as we enter 2021. Explore how those trends will synergize with what the Marketing Team offers.

  1. Build your Business Case
    Be sure when you create marketing materials you are creating content that your customers want and need. Use key words to help get engagement, reach the customers you are looking to get to come into your business and retain those customers. One way that BioZyme can help you with the content that will resonate with your customers is by engaging on Promoboxx or sharing national marketing content from the BioZyme brands on social media that are most applicable to your business.
  2. Increase Traffic and Conversions with more Regularity
    The adage out of sight, out of mind is key in marketing. If you are not making regular impressions with your customers, they might just forget that you exist. In an effort to engage with dealers as part of our “care that comes full circle,” Fitzsimmons created an easy opt-in quarterly mailer program in 2019. This is a simple and effective action for dealers to help prospect for new and retain current customers by staying in from of them on a regular basis.

“Each quarter our marketing team will create a timely mailer that we can customize with your dealership information. We will send this out to your customer/prospect lists. All you have to do is opt in! Each quarter dealers get an email blast two weeks before the next mailer goes out asking them to opt in. Dealers may also opt in one time for the whole year beginning in the first quarter,” Fitzsimmons explained.

The quarterly mailers are available to all dealers. The only thing BioZyme needs from you is your complete mailing list, which you can update as many times as you need throughout the year. This is a fantastic way to get a concise message to your customers and potential customers on a regular basis. All you need to do is opt in; send your mailing list to Fitzsimmons, and the mailers will be printed and sent for you.

  1. You Must Answer Customer Questions
    Customers rely on their nutrition suppliers to answer a multitude of questions. You are their resource. Regardless if it is a question they pose on your social media or a question they ask over the phone or in person, be sure to provide them a timely and accurate answer. No one likes waiting for an answer, and if they wait too long, they might take their business elsewhere. Not sure of the answer? Let them know that you are doing a little research and will be glad to get them an answer as soon as you can.

Marketing is never going to go out of style. As long as you have a product or service to sell, you will need a way to present those goods and services to your customers and prospective customers. Stay in the know with their needs, stay in front of them, and provide solutions to their answers.

Appreciation vs. Recognition and Why People Need Both

The terms appreciation and recognition might seem interchangeable. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and most enjoy recognition for their efforts. Although these words are both important to the productivity and morale at the workplace, they have vastly different meanings. Let’s explore.

Recognition is the act of giving positive feedback based on results or performance. Recognition can be formal in the way of an award, a bonus, promotion or raise. It can also be informal in the way of a thank you – either verbal or a handwritten note. Regardless of the method, recognition is meaningful as long it is timely and genuine. It can also be motivational and exciting since most all people like to have a pat on the back for good work.

Like most good things, recognition has its challenges. Recognition is based on results, so it is conditional. Next, it is based on what has already happened, so it is in the past tense – old news. Recognition is often scarce since it comes from the top down. The leaders in a business are often reluctant to hand out too much recognition, because if everyone is receiving it, it then loses its value. And finally, too much recognition is never going to happen in the form of bonuses or raises because in the end, money doesn’t buy happiness.

According on one Harvard Business Review article 1 , “While recognition that includes monetary compensation can be great, researchers from the London School of Economics found that financial incentives can actually backfire when it comes to motivating employees. According to an analysis of 51 experiments, ‘these incentives may reduce an employee’s natural inclination to complete a task and derive pleasure from doing so.’”

Conversely, appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s natural value, not their achievements. It’s their worth as a colleague and a human being. Simply put, recognition honors what people do; appreciation honors who people are.

Even highly motivated, wonderfully talented people fail from time to time. Some things are simply out of their control. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate their God-given talents, the efforts they put forth to a project, the camaraderie they bring to team or an endless list of other attributes they offer. That is why it is so vital to show appreciation on a more regular basis than it is to hand out recognition so freely.

“And when we show appreciation to our colleagues, customers, managers, and partners, we’re more likely to build trust and connect,” according the HBR article.

Here are few simple ways to show others your appreciation.

Listen. Now more than ever this is so important, and it is so simple. Put down your phone or tablet, turn away from your computer and just focus and listen to them. During this time of isolation and lockdown, some people have not been able to share their thoughts, so take the time to listen and be present.

Tell people what you value about them. This should be genuine and proactive. Don’t wait to pay a compliment until you need something, or someone has done a favor for you. Make it a habit to share one positive thing with one person a day, and you will start to see how the attitudes around you will lift and change for the better.

Check-in. Once again, it might be hard to see everyone you’re accustomed to seeing, but you can check in with a phone call, text or personal note. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Show that you care by checking in, regardless if it is with a colleague, customer, employee, relative or friend. Everyone has 10 minutes to spare and the person you are checking in on will feel more appreciated than you will know.

One employee appreciation survey revealed that 53% of people said feeling more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company, that is why it is important for supervisors to show appreciation for others, not just peers.

Appreciation and recognition. They are both important when we are in the business of working with people. Showing appreciation should become part of our daily routine. Find at least three people to show appreciation for during your day; make their day better and it will make you feel better too. Save recognition for those who go the extra mile. Make sure it is timely and well received. Giving recognition when it is earned will make a big difference.

– Source: https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-employees-need-both-recognition-andappreciation?autocomplete=true

Put a Different Twist on Producer Meetings and Customer Opens Houses

The chill in the air is a gentle reminder that field work will soon come to an end, and it would typically be time to kick off producer meetings. Depending on your location, local or state mandates and the willingness of people to gather, might determine the plan you take this fall and winter for the traditional producer meetings and customer open houses.

Regardless of your situation, it is important to share information with your customers. Educating them on the newest products and services you are offering, talking about what is coming down the pipe as nutritional needs of the herd or flock shift and networking are often the highlights of a producer meeting. However, a producer meeting is also a time to introduce any promotions that you’re offering, and the gatherings offer a chance for you to take orders on a product after a talk when that product is fresh in the producers’ minds.

Holiday open houses are another opportunity to show appreciation toward your customers and other community members. These typically feature some type of food and drink with a small token of thanks. Just as 2020 has looked different since March, both producer meetings and open houses might have to take on a new look this fall and winter.

While some people have no qualms about gathering, some are playing it safe. Furthermore, some state and local governments are regulating the amount of people who can gather, have put social distancing practices in place and still require face coverings. Before you do plan an event, be sure you know what is required of you.

However, if you are looking at alternative ways to share information, network and show appreciation, those do exist. Think about inviting small groups of like-minded customers to the local café for breakfast to talk about a new mineral program. This still offers the camaraderie and a chance to get some face-to-face interaction without a huge group.

Pick up the tab and offer a limited-time promotion that might get them into your dealership to place an order.

Offer an online meeting for those who want to learn what’s new at your dealership. Zoom, Google Meets or Facebook Live are efficient ways to reach your customers and potential customers and interact with them at the same time. Even if you do an in-person meeting, it is still good to offer a virtual component for those who maybe can’t make it or don’t want to attend the live event. To learn more about using video for these events, be sure to check out last month’s VISION, or check out the Online Dealer Center.

Perhaps you want to show appreciation to some key customers while still letting them know what is happening. Send them a gift box with an FAQ sheet. Include your famous peanut brittle that they would typically stop by the shop to pick up, some hot cocoa mix and a mug with your logo on it. Determine what you normally spend on a full meal or holiday promotions and use that budget to still show your customers some type of appreciation during the end of the year.

Meetings and open houses don’t look like they did a year ago. But your business is growing. Keep the camaraderie up, continue to nurture those relationships and show appreciation. Take action. Your customers will notice.