Letters From Lisa – April 2021

Don’t let Summer Stress You or Your Business

Just because some beef producers think that green grass means less need for supplementation (this is totally not true), doesn’t mean your business needs to slow down in the summer. Here are some ideas to make the summer work for you instead of against you.

Find other ways to bring in revenue
Your sales don’t have to grind to a complete halt during the off-season. Diversify your business offerings and see if you can sell related or complementary products and services. Determine the other needs of your customers and find ways to fulfill them even when your main business isn’t in season. May I note that most horse owners love to supplement their “pet” all year long, so please consider the Vitalize® brand. We’ve been through this diversification drill in these letters before; note, I won’t give up on helping us all remember to do this.

Build your community
Social media gives you tons of opportunities to connect with people all year, so keep your blog and social accounts active. Keep publishing blog posts and posting updates on all of the channels your customers follow. Use your downtime to come up with great content that can educate your customers. Doing so helps you build authority, strengthens your community and ensures that people will remember you when it comes time to do business again in the fall.

Reach out to the media
Publications usually plan their articles months in advance, so if you want to land a magazine feature just in time for the peak season, you’ll have to reach out NOW.

Attend networking and educational events
Use the slow months to broaden your knowledge and network. Virtual conferences and even local business events can help you gain new partnerships and skills that you can use in your business, so don’t pass up the chance to attend them.

Get feedback
The off-season could be the perfect time to get feedback and reviews from your customers. Consider getting in touch with people who purchased from you and ask them what they thought of your products.

Business may be seasonal, but your commitment to it shouldn’t be. Put these tips into action and find ways to thrive. I find summer to be one of the most inspiring times of year. It’s a great time to allow yourself to create things you might not normally create—or make progress in directions you wouldn’t otherwise prioritize. For me, summer has always been about picking goals that are less directly correlated with professional success, and more about self. It’s my way of maintaining some sort of connection to that child-like feeling of “summer vacation.”

Letters From Lisa – March 2021

Diversification is important for long-term success

In business, diversification means branching out into other product categories or industries. While this strategy does present some risks, diversification is often viewed as a safety net against downturns in a single industry or a way to grow your business by improving its sales and increasing its clientele.

If successful, diversification has many benefits, which is why it is considered essential for the growth of every business. There are a variety of ways in which you can diversify your products. These ways can include the following methods.

Expansion
An example of expansion could be a company that produces fashionable children’s shoes and diversifies its business to incorporate children’s toys. The two products have nothing in common, but as long as they are both in demand by the same consumer market, the company is sure to earn more sales.

Ancillary Services
To grow a business through diversification, companies often add additional services to existing products. For instance, a car manufacturing company can offer car maintenance and repairs. The concept of goods and services alongside one another can help create steady revenue. In our industry, the service we offer is hay testing to help properly determine the protein level that needs to be supplemented based on where the herd is in the stages of production.

Brand Extension
A brand extension also becomes easier with the help of diversification. Famous brands and established businesses can extend the range of products to gain more customers. Brand expansion is often quite profitable if the same standard and quality of the goods are maintained because brands usually have many loyal customers who will buy every product they introduce into the market. If you sell VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® mineral, then brand extension is easy with the tubs and with Cattleman’s Blend™ or Conserve™ in times of lower nutritional needs.

Addition of a New Line
Some businesses prefer to diversify by adding new lines. These lines may bring in a different type of customer or the same customer for another reason. The Backyard Boost™ line fits the bill by bringing in most all of the public. Apparently, when times are tough, people want chickens. Chick sales go up during stock market downturns and in presidential election years.

The Vita Charge® line also fits. Vita Charge addresses specific challenges, and usually during a challenge people are more likely to spend money so having all of the products in this line readily available provides significant diversification.

Many of your customers likely own multiple species. If they have cattle, they probably have horses. If they have horses, they could also have dogs. Have you thought about how you can introduce Vitalize® to these customers? Read further into this issue for more ideas.

Just Do It
Considering the number of ways in which diversification can be used to expand and grow a business, it becomes clear that every booming business must eventually opt for diversification to survive and prosper.

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.

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.

Letters From Lisa – December 2020

At one second past midnight on January 1, 2021, the day will change from Thursday to Friday, usually a transition of no special significance. But this specific change, ending one year and beginning the next, is different. This unique tick of the clock prompts us to celebrate and to reflect.

The end of the year is a good time to celebrate.

If you skip the celebration, you’ll be hard pressed to realize your success, notice the progress you’re making and pivot on challenges in the future. You may always “woohoo” at your own discretion, but do not miss the opportunity to do so at the end of the year.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect.

Reflect on your personal progress AND your business’ progress. “Reflection is looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.” – Unknown

After reflecting on the past year, it’s time to plan how you want to develop in the year ahead. Think of the planning as your “business” resolutions. I know, sadly, only about 8% of the 60% of us who make resolutions, achieve them. Let’s be stat stoppers. Let’s achieve the following business resolutions together so we beat those odds:

  1. Promote Your Business Regularly and Consistently
    Too often the task of promoting our business slips to the bottom of the to-do list, crowded out by urgent tasks. But if you want to attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority.
  2. Make Business Planning a Weekly Event
    Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing business. Planning lets you assess what worked and what didn’t work, and helps you set new directions or adjust old goals. So why plan just once a year? Set aside time each week to review, adjust and look ahead.
  3. Learn Something New
    What you choose to learn may be directly related or completely unrelated to your business. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension to your life. Depending on how you choose to learn, you may meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues or friends.
  4. Set Realistic Goals
    Goal setting is a valuable habit—if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Resolve that the goals you set will be achievable and not so far out of reach that they only lead to frustration.
  5. Don’t Just Make Do
    Is there a piece of equipment in your office that’s interfering with your success? Is there something that you lack that’s making your work life harder? Whether it’s an old computer that’s a pain to use or the need for a new employee to lighten your workload, stop putting off getting what you need.

To a Great Year

If we apply these resolutions throughout the year, we’ll have more energy to put into our business and make it the success we’ve always dreamed it to be. Here’s to a great 2021!

Letters From Lisa – November 2020

Gratitude means “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Being thankful has many positive effects, according to science. It opens the doors to more relationships, improves both your mental and physical health, reduces your ‘fight-or-flight’ reactions, helps you sleep better and increases your self-esteem. All these are obviously worth making sure that we remember to be grateful.

Granted with this month’s holiday, Thanksgiving, it should not be difficult to remember to have gratitude; however, in the middle of a pandemic it may not seem so easy. But at BioZyme®, we have much to be thankful for: you, our amazing team that works so hard every day, our products that take their jobs very seriously, the dedicated animals we have the honor to feed and a country where we can take advantage of the many opportunities if we choose to do so.

Taking advantage of opportunity is something we should do under all auspices, but for sure under the auspices of gratitude. What is the best way to do that?

Be Consistent

Being consistent is one of the most sure-fire ways to continually grow a successful business. Even the best businesses will fail without a dedication to consistency. It’s a long journey to get from where you are to where you want to be, and the only way to do it properly is to never drop the ball.

Be Agile

What customers needed a year ago may not be what they need today. A business needs to be agile and innovative to take full advantage of the opportunities enough that they grow.

Be Available

Customers today are more demanding than ever. Creating value for clients requires more than sitting at your desk and waiting. You’ve got to go to them and say we’ve come up with a new idea, and this is how it’s going to help you. And yes, even during COVID we need to go to them somehow.

Achieve Operational Excellence

Operational excellence manifests itself through performance across revenue, cost and risk. It focuses on meeting customer expectation through the continuous improvement of the operational processes and the culture of the organization.

Find a Game-Changer

Social media has been a real game-changer in our marketing efforts. Use all the game-changing opportunities you can find.

Build a Legacy

Every business should be a good corporate citizen to maximize opportunity. Think “care that comes full circle.”

Know your Industry

You must understand what is going on, not just in your own business, but also in your industry. Knowing what is harming or helping your customers and determining how your business will respond to those factors may constitute at least some of its competitive advantage.

Thank you for all you do for our Company and our industry! Happy Thanksgiving.

Letters From Lisa – October 2020

Staying Connected in Disconnected Times

Salespeople are naturally resilient and strong, but how do we keep selling in COVID-19 times? It is part of our DNA to keep going, quickly recovering from the many rejections we receive from prospects and the market, and this time is no different. More than ever, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and tackle the situation.

Whilst many people believe businesses should completely shut down and that now isn’t a time to buy and sell, we understand that the economic impact on businesses and families will be more detrimental if companies stop buying and selling. We need to be creative and quick to adapt to new challenges while supporting team members, partners and clients as much as possible.

How to adapt

Many events are being canceled or turned into virtual conferences, and the face to face element and networking opportunities are no longer possible, which in turn drastically decreases the number of leads and engagements. So, how do we adapt to the new reality?

Switch the focus to two channels:

  • Digital – which means webinars, digital advertising, trainings, content, etc.
  • Proactive Outreach / Outbound Prospecting – which means a more human and tailored approach to get in touch with prospects via phone, Zoom, email or social.

When using video, phone, email or zoom, there are still a few elements that need to be taken into consideration when you reach out to a prospect. For example:

  • Empathy – We are all human beings and maybe the person you are reaching out to has a close friend or family member that just lost a job, or even worse, is ill. The first thing to do in your outreach is to be human, address the issue, and feel the vibe of the conversation.
  • Tone – The tone is fundamental in your approach. If you sense that the person on the other side of the line is not open to a conversation, make sure you back up, and don’t be too pushy.
  • Be patient and resilient Some people won’t take it well that you are still trying to drive business in tough times. You will have to be even more resilient and work harder to get into conversations that will be open and interactive.

People are more open to talk

Currently, a lot of people are working from home, meaning that they are much more receptive for interaction and happy to talk. Now is the time to have more conversations and to build relationships. Talk to people, listen to their challenges, understand their point of view and empathize with the situation. Whenever they need you or your solution in the future, they will remember you, so put all of your efforts into these calls. This will be crucial for your success in the future, even if not right now.

Look after your customers

In times where business may slow down, it’s time to look after your customers and make sure you are providing them with the value they need. It is an opportunity to get closer to your clients and strengthen these relationships. Understand the challenges they are facing and be flexible in your business terms. Once this all is over – and it will be they will remember the companies that stood by their side.

Letters From Lisa – September 2020

Good Times.
Tough Times.
Animals Need Amaferm®.
Animals Need You!

Nature teaches us that tough times pave the way for good times. In my life, I have observed that tough times usually prepare me for good times because they make me see things differently and inspire me to go after what truly matters. Things that may have been right in front of me, but I could not see. It is in that vein that I write this month. Please note, I was asked to write about how the best thing you can do in both good and tough times is to make Amaferm accessible to EVERY producer. While that is very true (seriously) what is more relevant in this “interesting” time is how we can use these tough times to see the good that’s ahead of us if we can figure out how to see it. Here are a few things to think about:

Beliefs Filter Our Communication
Beliefs are powerful; they limit what we can see or don’t see. They filter our perceptions, and they are always in motion. That’s why sometimes suspending our disbelief can help us see new possibilities.

If You Don’t Believe It, You Won’t See It
They say, “seeing is believing,” but in a lot of cases, it’s actually the believing that enables the seeing. That’s why trust and rapport, or giving somebody the benefit of the doubt, or stepping into their shoes, or looking at it from their perspective, can help get over communication humps and reduce friction, rather than talking past each other.

If You Don’t Ask, You May Not See It
Sometimes the best way to break out of the loop, is to ask a question, or a different question, or to interrupt a pattern of questions.

You may note that in every sentence there is a common word. You. You are the only one that can truly use these tough times for the good. Enjoy the process. I know this type of decision-making might not be the most fun thing to do, but it is a game of opportunity. Enjoy that. Never forget animals need you in good times and tough times as do people. Take advantage of this opportunity.

And just for the fun of it read this.

There has been some good out of COVID-19. People are sleeping better. Data from Fitbit users in six U.S. cities shows that people are getting an average of 17 minutes more sleep each night during the coronavirus lockdown than they were before the pandemic hit. The health tracking tech company also shows that sleep quality has improved with users getting more REM and Deep Sleep. See, there is good in all tough times. Go Get ‘Em, and then go get 17 more minutes of sleep!

Letters From Lisa – August 2020

Simple Selling Methods Boost Sales

Want to know a simple method to increase your sales and boost your bottom line? If you’re not cross-selling and upselling to your customers, you’re missing out on a LOT of revenue. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. And since product recommendations can drive between 10-30% of revenue, putting the right offers in front of people at the right time is an important sales growth tactic.

First, it’s important to understand the difference between upselling and cross-selling. Both are tactics used to boost sales revenue, but they work slightly differently.

Cross-selling is suggesting other relevant products people can try. What is an example of cross-selling? When you buy a cell phone online, and the online store suggests screen protectors for that model. That’s cross-selling.

Upselling is persuading the customer to upgrade their product or buy a more expensive version of it. How do you upsell? Let’s stick with the cell phone example. If you’re about to buy the model with 32GB of storage space, the online store can suggest you get the one with 64GB or 128GB.

How does this apply to our partnership? BioZyme has many products that provide opportunities to do both. See the chart below to capitalize on some of these great ideas.

All of these products quickly demonstrate the way Amaferm works so when people buy these products and see results, they will buy other products too. I have been asked point-blank on many occasions, “will what I see with the liquid products repeat itself with the mineral?” Amaferm makes that easy to answer. The answer is yes; obviously each product focuses on what it was designed to do so there will be differences, but the bottom line is Amaferm opens the door to easy cross-selling.

When focused on cross-selling, don’t forget the dog products. Sixty-eight percent of all households own a dog. So that means almost all of your customers can be cross-sold on these products.

Last but not least, remember you cannot sell what you don’t have.

I encourage you to keep these quick response products in stock so you can drive more revenue to your bottom line. Revenue that is very profitable, with products that are very effective. Now that’s care that comes full circle.

Letters From Lisa – June/July 2020

It seems a bit awkward to be writing about NEW stuff with COVID-19 ruling our lives, but it certainly has forced us to love the word, so maybe it is appropriate. When I Googled ‘dealing with NEW stuff’ the results included these topics: the new normal, new technology, a new boss and having a new baby. Quite a list. One phrase on that list would not even have been there just three months ago. This is a perfect segway into that word NEW and how we can look at it if we choose to do so.

NEW just by its nature means change. So, for anything NEW, we have a choice. We can control it or escape it. Knowing you can’t ultimately escape, one will go through phases of a response to the NEW, which “should” end in acceptance. Acceptance that could lead you to a pot of gold. The belief in that pot of gold as the best option, has been ingrained in me since I was born. With that pot of gold picture in your head, one can embrace change and never go through the normal other responses to change which are shock, fear and forced adjustment. Instead the change embracing person goes straight to acceptance and begins building on the NEW.

It is in that vein that BioZyme® has launched the NEW product line VitaFerm® Conserve™, is investigating a NEW packaging option for mineral that is not a bag (yes you read that correctly), is moving to a larger state of the art facility for all small pack products and is looking toward partnerships that have never existed before, due to being viewed as competition, to ensure we have the best products on the market for the animal and the expectations we place on them to CHANGE all the time without giving them any time to go through the normal four stages of change.

Why is all this NEW exciting?

Because done right, it leads to a pot of gold. Not only a pot that helps grow our dealers’ business, but a most important pot that supports the animal, so they get consistent, effective nutrition allowing them to maximize their genetic potential. With all this NEW swirling around it is easy to forget those things that will always remain the same and for which we should be thankful: Our appreciation for your continued support. Support in good times and in not so good, during struggles and during victories. It means the world to us.

This quote by Henry Ward Beecher says it best, “The head learns new things, but the heart forever practices old experiences.” Thanks for your heart and how you so graciously share it with us!