Making a Premium Product with the Same Amaferm® Advantage

Progress. We define progress “to grow or develop, advance,” and at BioZyme®, we work daily to progress in the products that we offer to the animals that we serve. That’s why you’ll likely notice a change in the feed-through pesticide that we are including in our cattle products. Instead of the traditional Altosid IGR that has been in the BioZyme brands, you will now notice ClariFly® is now included in several of our product names.

ClariFly is now found in the following products: VitaFerm® HEAT® with ClariFly®, VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® 5/S with ClariFly®, VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® 5/S HEAT® with ClariFly® and VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® 5/S CTC 3G with ClariFly®, Products with ClariFly are labeled for limited for sale in specific states.

ClariFly is a four-fly larvicide that prevents house flies, stable flies, face flies and horn flies from developing in and emerging from the manure of treated cattle. ClariFly interrupts the lifecycle of the fly through the active ingredient Diflubenzuron that inhibits the synthesis of chitin, according to Casey White, Director of Product Development at Central Life Sciences.

“Chitin is a major component of the exoskeleton of an insect, and as an insect grows and will molt, it will have to reform their exoskeleton. One component is that they deposit chitin to be able to form that exoskeleton. Without a properly formed exoskeleton, that insect immature or not fully mature, will die,” he explained.

The primary benefit of the ClariFly compared to the Altosid is the fourfly versus the one-fly claim for the two products. Altosid was labeled to protect only against horn flies and their larvae. White said it is not economically feasible to increase the dosage of Altosid to obtain a claim to control the other pest fly species. ClariFly includes added claims against face flies, stable files and house flies.

White explained that different fly species become pests in different management scenarios. Horn flies and face flies are typically bigger nuisances in the pasture because they seek out fresh, undisturbed manure piles to lay and hatch eggs in. Conversely, house and stable flies are peskier in confinement areas like pens, corrals or barns, where manure build up exists and wet organic matter like feed or hay is available to lay eggs in and hatch.

Feeding a supplement with ClariFly is very similar to feeding Altosid, from a timing approach, as you want to prevent the larvae from developing. White suggests the 30/30 approach to feeding the supplements with Clarifly. Start feeding the supplement in the spring 30 days before your last hard freeze before the temperatures warm up to the mid-60s. Continue to feed ClariFly all summer long and 30 days past the first freeze in the fall. Feeding to that end point in the fall will actually help with fly control in the spring of the following year.

Adding ClariFly to the VitaFerm HEAT and VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S HEAT makes two of our products even better for producers, eliminating even more stressors. Provide your customers the best vitamin and mineral supplements available this summer. Provide them with the HEAT package and ClariFly to take away their summer stress!

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!

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.

Boost Customer Loyalty and Build Business

Customers have a choice. From everything to the brand of pickup they drive to the soda they drink, to the color of tractor they prefer to the mineral they feed their livestock, those choices are part of thread that weaves each human together. Some choices are passed down through the generations; Grandpa had a green combine, so I will have a green one too. Some are influenced by peers, and some are merely personal preferences.

However, in world that is full of choices with more products being developed each day, creating loyal customers is more important now than ever. Building brand loyalty doesn’t just start with a high-quality product, but that product must be backed by a reputable company and customer service that is second to none.

According to Jay Baer, marketing expert, author and presenter, 54% of consumers have purchased from a new company since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, a surprising 89% of those consumers will stay with their new provider.

“Market share shifts in time of uncertainty,” he explained. “Brands are built in bad times, not just in good times.”

Don’t let your market share shift. Keep your customers loyal to you, your brand and your business. To keep their loyalty and boost your business, Baer suggests three simple steps.

  1. Reconfigure your products and services.

First, you need to realize that we are living in a fast-paced world. Change happens fast and if we don’t adapt, we are going to be left behind. Perhaps your store needs to extend its hours, offer different services or introduce new products to assist your customers with whatever they are dealing with. Projects that used to take 36 months are now being accomplished in 36 days.

Think about some of the products that BioZyme has introduced this summer to its customers: the VitaFerm® Conserve™ line was introduced during a time when producers needed an economical way to get Amaferm into their animals’ diets. Sure Champ® Joint Juice was introduced because our sister company, Cogent Solutions Group already had the MHB3® technology, and we felt it was important to share it with the show livestock world.

If you aren’t creating better products or amping up your services, someone else will. And making those products available online is crucial. Baer said that as of Oct. 5, 2020, America will surpass all of 2019 e-commerce revenue, and that is without any holiday shopping spurts.

  1. Retrain your team.

Once you have stocked new products or created new services, it is time to retrain your team on the way to present your goods and services. No longer can we do things the way we’ve always done them. BioZyme has strived to make sure we have provided updated training information for our dealers with each product launch. Be sure to visit the Online Dealer Center for all of the latest literature and updated Master Dealer trainings.

  1. Reeducate.

As with any change, it is time to reeducate your customers and potential customers. Make sure they know what you are offering and what makes it unique to your company, especially if there happens to be a competing product or service in the area. What makes you unique? What sets you apart? Why should these customers stay loyal to you?

One of the great ways to educate the consumer and share your message is with a FAQ list. Think of any question that might be asked and present the answer before it is asked. End users will appreciate your foresight.

“How you handle your business over the next six months will have a massive impact on the success of your business for the next six years,” Baer concludes.

Build your customer loyalty today. Be innovative, provide outstanding customer service and happy customers will be your biggest promoters. Build customer loyalty today and watch your business grow.

Effective Action – Videos Are A Multi-Use Resource

Think back to the classic sitcom, The Jetsons. Back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, when the stars of this animated show, George and Jane Jetson, talked through video to their boss and best gal pal, respectively. At that point in time, nobody could fathom that someday we would use a similar technology to talk to fellow employees, family and even customers.

Enter 2020. Even though technology like Facetime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other visual technologies have been in existence, lockdowns and quarantines have forced us to use these technologies more than ever. Perhaps George Jetson and his boy Elroy were forward thinkers for their times.

Today, BioZyme® Inc. offers video technology in numerous ways as a resource to its employees, dealers and end-users. Videos are an efficient means of marketing and promoting to a variety of audiences. They are also an effective way to train people in various audiences at numerous venues. Let’s explore.

Training

The dealer network is the lifeblood of our organization. We also know that not all our dealers sell exclusively BioZyme products. That is why it is vital to us to provide the best sales training and product information we can. We achieve this through the Master Dealer Training Program, an online, video-based training program. This pre-recorded series of training videos is an effective way to train multiple dealers at their convenience.

Log in through the Online Dealer Center to have your employees complete the Master Dealer Training. Unique login credentials can be created for each employee so he or she can complete the training and receive credit. Knowledge is power, and knowledge gained through the use of video is even more powerful.

Education

Videos are a great way to educate producers and end-users. According to an article on Forbes.com, 65% of Americans are visual learners, meaning that the graphics and information that accompany the text and voice recordings on videos help people retain the information better than just reading or hearing it alone.

We have used Facebook Live and Zoom meetings with our dealers this spring to introduce products, explain their purpose and share their benefits. The advantages of these face-to-face video meetings is that the audience can have their questions answered while the program is in live mode, and it gives both the presenter and the target audience the sense of interaction even though multiple states and time zones could potentially be represented.

For the Sure Champ® brand, there are a variety of educational videos online under the “Resource” tab. These videos make great teaching aids for new or beginning pig and cattle exhibitors and cover an array of topics. Remember, sales are often built on relationships and offering valuable resources like these videos are just one of the resources you’ll be remembered for.

Marketing

You can’t sell what you don’t market. What better way to market a product than with videos that show results? Words and pictures are nice in printed pieces, but with more businesses turning to an online presence, the use of video simply offers more punch to the message you are trying to convey. Video tells a story, it offers personality, and when created correctly will help build trust with your audience. On several of the product pages of the website, under the “Media” tab, you can find various videos that will help market the products. Some of these are customer testimonials. Some of clips of the American Rancher files that share great testimonials within them, and some are product videos that can also be found under the “Product” tab.

Most all of the BioZyme products have a brief overview of their benefits and uses on the the BioZyme website under “Product” tab on their respective pages. These 60- to 90-second spots highlight each product in a clear, concise manner that is easy to follow. They are easy to download to use on your own website or social media platform. In addition, the product videos are also located under the “Media” tab, and make a great marketing tool. All of these videos can be shared and used to your own website or platform.

Promoboxx also has plenty of videos for dealers to use in their online marketing efforts. The product videos as well as a video testimonial are available for dealers to post on their social media and are located in the assets folder.

As long as customers continue to carry a smart phone or tablet and have a screen available in the palm of their hand, video will continue to be an effective education, marketing and training tool. George and Jane Jetson were ahead of their time. And we can use the technology they previewed all those decades ago to make our businesses more effective.

How To Use Videos Effectively In Business

Everyone likes to have a choice. Even in the world of digital marketing and social media, you as a business operator have choices, but one thing is clear as we enter the final quarter of 2020, video should be included in your marketing plan. Videos put a face in front of your audience, building trust and credibility, and videos encourage social share, which increases your company’s exposure.

BioZyme primarily uses two forms of videos on its social channels to reach its audience, depending on the goal, a prerecorded video or a Facebook Live. Both formats are fairly simple to produce and post to your social platforms. BioZyme marketing experts, Jessie Judge, Marketing Brand Coordinator, and Ashley Fitzsimmons, Regional Marketing Coordinator, share insight on how dealers can use video to help grow their businesses.

What are the advantages of a Facebook Live session?

Fitzsimmons: Facebook Live is great for those bits of information that are exciting, catchy and you really want to get people’s attention quickly! Live’s are great for the initial announcement of something new coming to your business, a promotion that’s happening in a certain timeframe or a quick in-person interview with someone on an event that just happened (i.e. winners at livestock shows, quick hit with a customer that just sold well on Superior or someone gearing up for their bull sale and has seen amazing results on your products). The benefit of live videos is the ability to capture true emotion, reaction and excitement of what you’re telling your customers.

Judge: You can’t deny that if you see a “LIVE VIDEO” advertisement, you are naturally more intrigued to want to check it out and watch it. Facebook Live videos provide you with the ability to see all the names of your followers jumping on to watch and see the sheer number of participants logging on to your view your video in live time. Another benefit of live video is the ability to directly address questions from the consumer and engage with the audience as comments and questions come in on the live feed. From an analytics standpoint, the Facebook algorithm also re-generates the live videos more often on followers’ timelines.

What advice do you have for a Facebook Live?

Judge: Plan an outline a day or so in advance. Don’t wait until 15 minutes before you go live to jot down points you want to mention. Identify your goal and key talking points that need to be discussed, organize them in a way that makes sense to deliver and practice a few times, so when the nerves set in you will be prepared to stay on target. Also, think of some potential questions you might get so you have the information cued up in your mind and can answer incoming questions quickly and clearly. Take a deep breath and loosen up as you get started! Once the Live begins, announce you will wait for a few more to jump in and encourage those watching to interact – such as “Let us know you’re watching by sending us a message in the comments or waving!” or encourage them to ask questions during the Live video. Engaging with simple conversations reduces the level of awkwardness at the start while you are waiting for more to join.

When would you use a prerecorded video?

Fitzsimmons: Prerecorded videos provide that extra level of professionalism that comes with the ability to do a couple takes, edit out any pieces that aren’t completely on message. These videos are great for more in-depth product information and training, customer testimonials and any content that you’d like to use more than once. These let viewers in on more than just the immediate and exciting and learn more about the whole picture, the story or the detailed selling points of your business, your product or your own personal story.

What kind of equipment is needed to make my videos?

Fitzsimmons: A cell phone or laptop computer is all you need for a Facebook Live. Again, these aren’t supposed to look like “in the studio” professional shot videos. The true selling factor and nature of these videos is the authenticity of the feel! Honestly, for prerecorded videos a cell phone or computer can work just as well, the investment would just be the editing software and time learning.

Judge: For pre-recorded videos, there is a bit more flexibility in regard to what you would like to use depending on how you intend to utilize the video. If it is a video being posted to social media, then a cell phone or laptop is great – maybe get a small microphone to plug into your phone or computer port to amplify sound quality, but this is not necessary. If you are looking to post a pre-recorded video to a website or other digital outlets, a camera and microphone may help create a higher quality video that matches the quality of a website; however, it is not necessary to have a professional camera and mic for a video posted digitally. It is really up to you and the goals you have or what look you are going for.

Both Fitzsimmons and Judge agree that a Facebook Live shouldn’t last more than three minutes. A pre-recorded video should run 3 to 5 minutes.

Most everyone has a smart phone, tablet or laptop. So, start creating those videos. Make a plan. Find your spokesperson, and watch your social engagement grow!

Why Is Video Vital To Your Success Right Now?

Every day it seems like an increasing number of “in-person” events are being cancelled or transitioned to virtual. Conferences and field days are now virtual, local sporting events (if your kids or grandkids even get to play) are limiting attendance to two spectators per player, and even regular meetings like the PTO and County Commissioners are meeting online.

It’s a challenge to have the same personal interaction you once had with customers and potential customers, but you can still get your face and voice out there and make a personal connection with video.

“In a time when everything is cancelled, postponed and interaction is limited, video outlets give you the best opportunity to communicate with your customers in a way that still feels engaging and face-to-face,” said Jessie Judge, BioZyme® Inc. Marketing Brand Coordinator. “Additionally, in 2020 there is an influx in the total number of people who are passing time on their computers and phones, and thus in the case of video, this may be setting you up to reach even more customers with your digital efforts!”

Not only are more people on their phones and tablets, but video is effective because like personal relationships, seeing a face, helps build trust. According to an inc.com article, the area in the human brain called the fusiform face area solely recognizes faces, and facial recognition leads to trust.

“Nielsen’s Trust in Advertising reports rank recommendations from someone we know, or feel like we know, as the most trusted. Producing in-house video content lets your audience get to know you in a dynamic way. Ongoing content not only allows for experimentation, it enables you to build trust, even when you can’t be there in person,” according to the inc.com article 1.

Ashley Fitzsimmons, BioZyme’s Regional Marketing Coordinator, works with the ASMs and the dealers to make sure their messages are timely and synergistic with the national advertising program. She agrees that video is important and here to stay.

“It’s a digital world, and video is king, again, especially during all that 2020 has thrown at us. Video gives the ability to reach our customers where they are on their phones and convey a message that takes minimal input effort on their side. Watching is easier than reading,” she said.

This summer, BioZyme offered more digital messages than ever before – hosting a three-night mini-series Facebook Live, “How to #Preptowin in a Pandemic,” conducting a youth leadership and development conference, Sure Champ® Advanced Leadership Event (SCALE), hosting two virtual producer meetings in the spring and making numerous new product announcements using Facebook Live. All of these events had tremendous success and allowed for face-to-face interaction through the use of video.

“Any successful tactic is successful because of the planning that takes place ahead of time. With all the virtual, video and digital events we created or hosted this summer, it was key that our team identified the right timing to launch these efforts and develop the content that our customers wanted or needed to hear from speakers that could convey the message best. The team planning and effort on everyone’s part helped us to deliver successful video and virtual campaigns that gave us a lot of digital traction and face time with our customers,” Judge said.

Judge and Fitzsimmons agree that it isn’t always easy to measure if your digital video presence was effective, but if you start with a goal in mind, that will help you measure your video’s effectiveness.

“Social media has trained us that quantity is what’s important. But in all actuality the quality of views is way more important. Now, you can’t sell a product or service if people aren’t viewing your content; but, I think we need to keep in mind with all digital media that the true effectiveness should be measured on cost of transaction versus number who took action,” Fitzsimmons said.

Judge agrees and said that organic involvement with your followers is vital. “The more key customers you can get to share your content, the more reach you will have and the better you can get your message out there. When customers share your video, you can see who is sharing it and if they are commenting, which goes hand in hand with Ashley’s comment about quality of views and engagement.”

Nothing will ever replace the warmth of a smile or the grasp of a firm handshake. However, with today’s technology, video allows us to be in multiple places with multiple people and still have “face-to-face” interaction. Video is here to stay. Incorporate it into your marketing strategy and watch your business grow.

Source: 1 – https://www.inc.com/entrepreneurs-organization/why-in-house-videocontent-is-critical-in-new-normal.html?cid=search

Effective Action: Personal Service is Key to Great Experiences

Great customer service can make you or break you. High-quality products are important, but even more important are the services offered by you, the dealer, to ensure when the customer is paying for his or her product, that customer is getting more than just a product that could have likely been purchased down the road from another business. Be sure to set your company up for success by distinguishing it as the company with great products and exceptional personal service.

In an era where many things are becoming automated, don’t let your service become one of them. Customers and prospective customers still want that face-to-face interaction – a smile, handshake and acknowledgement that a human with a heart is listening to and hearing their challenges while thinking of ways to help. There are several ways that you and your employees can differentiate your business by providing the best personal service possible. Here are four we highly encourage you try out.

  1. Listen. Yes, this seems so simple, yet sometimes we really don’t pay attention while the customer is speaking, and yet we think we have all the answers. On my recent flight home from the Cattlemen’s Convention, my flight was delayed. However, just one gate down, there was a flight to Bloomington that was on time. I asked the airline customer service agent if I could be rebooked onto that flight. He said that airport wasn’t close to my “home” airport and argued that he could rebook me to Wichita. Bloomington might not have been close to my original airport, but when you live in Western Illinois, you know your airport options, and it was a lot closer than Wichita, eight hours away. However, this agent wouldn’t listen to me. He only would look at his computer and offer to rebook me to a place that was not feasible.
  2. Use Names. Names are the most personal possession, and when we use a person’s name it shows we care. A recent study shows that our names are so important to us that hearing them triggers an entirely different part of our brain than any other words. And when we use our own names, that makes the relationship even more personal, like when making a phone call or sending an email or letter. Wouldn’t you rather get an email or note from “Joe” instead of “The Feed Store”?
  3. Know your customers. For most people this comes as second nature, but as you grow your customer base and get busier, don’t forget that customers are people. Asking about their family, their cow herd, and new horse they’ve purchased or even their pets will spur on conversation and show that you care about the person, not just the customer. And maybe you can’t remember the kids’ names, but you read an article about them in the local paper, ask how the kids are doing. That will be enough to make a proud parent’s visit.
  4. Respond quickly. Nobody likes to wait, or even worse be put on hold. Now, there is no way to get to everyone’s request the minute they make them, but do be cognizant of the time it takes you to respond to a customer. If they are on the other end of the phone, and you are looking for a product or a person to put them in touch with, suggest calling them back as soon as the answer or person is found. That way they are not wasting their time on hold, and you are not feeling rushed. Try to return phone calls and emails each day and be prepared when you do.

“Personal service” isn’t just a buzzword created to add to your already busy life. It is an important, valuable concept that can help you grow your business. Happy customers will tell their friends and peers about exceptional service; but they will tell everyone about poor service, something you don’t want to be the topic of!

Providing personal service isn’t hard. In fact, it is something most people do every day. Just remember, it can pay off by distinguishing your business and leading to growth.

3 Ways To Make Sure You Outperform You Competition

Differentiation is what sets your business apart from the four other farm stores, feed dealers and on-farm supplement suppliers in the tri-county area. But how can you set yourself apart in the marketplace? Just think about what makes it on your 10 o’clock news each night – besides politics and viruses. Stories that are unique, controversial or innovative find their way in front of the viewer audiences. Companies that offer unique or innovative products and services that leave customers something to talk about will attract business and create consumer awareness.

Differentiation is to your strategic advantage. Here are three ways to distinguish your business from your competitors.

Make Your Offer Compelling

Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Compelling companies are leaders. They are the talk of the town, and this buzz allows the business to gain momentum and grow sales. Now, you’re probably asking yourself what you can do in your particular industry to create buzz. That’s where your innovation and creativity get to thrive. Perhaps you offer a timely promotion for your customers once a year on a product that most everyone uses. Or, you could offer a customer appreciation incentive based on volume of business or number of new customer referrals. Providing education through a producer meeting or open house often sets your business apart, as people appreciate being kept in the know on new products, how to solve challenges in their businesses and learning of new services your business might offer.

Remember, making your business stand out starts with a good product, but also needs to be complemented with exceptional service. That’s why it is important to hire and train employees who are knowledgeable that can show their passion for what they do.

Climb the Reputation Ladder

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it,” said Benjamin Franklin.

The words spoken by Mr. Franklin could not be truer, especially in a digital world, where one wrong move is recorded and can be shared globally via text message or social media with the click of a button. Being known as a reputable company that really cares about its people – both customers and employees – is the first rung in the ladder of trust. And, building trust is the foundation to any long-term relationship. According to inc.com, “creating a good business reputation means honoring a product-returns policy; delivering on time; providing timely and friendly service; publishing accurate ingredients, as well as keeping factual records; and ensuring that goods are safe for consumption.”

Earn Big with Premium Services and Products

The problem with offering products or services similar to everyone else is that it turns your company into a commodity business. Show your customers that you’re a value-added company by explaning how your products add value. It doesn’t take many testimonials or much math to show your potential customers the ROI on a premium product like VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®. Track your customers ordering habits and remind them when they are likely low on the products that they need for the particular season they are in. Offer delivery or stay open later for “after work” pick up. All of these things might seem small, but to the customer, they add a premium and a value, making you stand out from the competition.

Distinguish your business. It’s better to stand out from the crowd, especially when you are differentiating yourself in a positive light. Be unique. Be innovative and uphold the kind of reputation that will make your customers want to come back time and time again.

Technology Can Assist With Customers Service Success

There’s no doubt technology has evolved a lot in the last decade; even the last one to five years, we’ve seen and experienced technological advances that our parents or grandparents never would have fathomed. A lot of these advances have made life and business more efficient, and as the technology continues to evolve, those efficiencies will also continue to increase.

However, when it comes to doing business, especially in agriculture and rural areas, the value of a firm handshake and face-to-face interaction can’t be replaced by any amount of technology. Yet, there are some advances that can help simplify your business and help you create more time for those personal interactions.

Customer Databases

If you don’t already, you should have a customer database system to track your customers and their orders, keep their pertinent information and log your interactions with them. Several software options exist, but if you are just getting started or have kept these details on your handy yellow legal pad for years, consider even a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Keep track of all family member names, contact information including address, phone number and email, record important dates like when they purchase particular products, when they host their annual production sale and even their birthdays. Track when you’ve communicated with them or if they have asked questions you need to follow up on. Keeping track of your communications will help you remember to check in on them on a regular basis without seeming overbearing or pesky.

Portable Technology

Keeping a tablet or iPad with you when you make a customer visit is a smart move. And with Internet connectivity getting better with 4G and plans of 5G later in 2020, the ability to access those tools will become even better. Perhaps you are visiting a customer who has questions about the products or wonders what kind of Concept•Aid® to use, you can pull out your tablet and show them the Concept•Aid® Product Navigator or other online tools. We realize that not every corner of the countryside has these capabilities, but if you do, it will make talking to a customer a little easier and help answer questions as you go.

Data Security

Some folks are just downright leery of anything that comes through the world wide web. And really, who can blame them? However, since news of data breaches have entered the mainstream media, consumers have developed a greater awareness of how their data is treated, and there is greater corporate responsibility around data privacy. New security tools are emerging for both companies and individuals, and as long as people remain aware, it is now becoming easier to do more business online with these increased security measures.

Text Messaging

An increasing amount of communication is being done via text message. Many people still prefer a phone call or face-to-face conversation, but the younger generation relies on texts to have the written reminders and the ability to respond on their time. Texting can be an effective communication tool if you are sending a reminder about a meeting or order, or if you know the person has a busy schedule, it is a good way to request a call back at their convenience. And, texts will always be there in the hand or on the wrist of the recipient.

The need for personal interaction can never be replaced, but with the help of some of these technological advances, you can work smarter and not harder. Consider technology your office assistant that allows you more time to talk to customers and potential customers. With more time to make sales calls, you will be able to reach more people and watch your business grow.