4 Myths to Debunk about Pricing

Pricing tends to be looked at as this ominous figure in business that’s so difficult that most are left paralyzed. As one of the least studied branches of marketing, pricing has become a black box for many dealers, who simply adopt existing prejudices and misinformation.

Put simply: if pricing is a black box, you’re losing money. A lot of it.

Therefore, let’s dispel some of the most common myths so you can be catapulted into action and start capturing all of that lost cash you’re leaving on the table. Increased revenue makes every business owner happy.

Myth #1:
We need to accept market or competitor pricing

Basic microeconomics teaches that in perfect competition, individual companies cannot affect market prices. In other words, businesses must accept the equilibrium price, where the demand curve crosses the supply curve. While this is a convenient way to calculate price, this theory doesn’t correctly reflect how the real market works. Prices in any market span across a range, rather than fixing on only one point. Product and service differentiation through brand, quality, etc. can all affect where your business lies on this range.

TRUTH: No matter the density of your industry, product and brand differentiation can take you well above the market standard.

Myth #2:
The only way to increase volume of sales is by decreasing price

It may sound too good to be true, but it is indeed possible to raise prices and increase volume at the same time. As Lisa states in her letter this month, price isn’t the only factor that attracts customers. Focusing on giving customers a reason to pay a higher price for your product or service is crucial, whether that be greater quality or better service. A powerful tool is market segmentation. Most products have a target audience, whether it’s the progressive cattleman, the bargain hunter, the show segment or the hobby horseman. Creating different classes for your product depending on quality or services can expand the number of customers you cater to, thus increasing buyers. Additionally, sometimes lowering your price can actually deter people from buying your product. Think about it. If I came up to you and said I’d sell you an Apple MacBook Air for $100, you wouldn’t buy it, because you’d definitely question the quality.

TRUTH: Volume is created by customer segmentation, charging different sets of customers different prices, and thus increasing volume and revenue.

Myth #3: 
We need to charge lower than everyone else

This is quite possibly the biggest misconception. A race to the bottom is one of the worst ways to compete, because you end up underpricing and losing out on your customer base. Your customers begin to question the quality of your product, but needs to buy the product. So they continue to shop around, and you lose customers. Lower prices equal lower revenue rates, which means the number of sales must increase to cover the loss. Obvious, yes, but it needed to be stated. Additionally, a lower price tag doesn’t mean customers will automatically flock toward your product. For example, if BMW suddenly sold its cars for $35,000 instead of whatever ridiculous dollar amount they’re priced at now, would that necessarily increase its revenues? Possibly in the short term, but in the long term they would begin to compete with cars made by Honda and Toyota who already have that market cornered. BMW would also lose out on the consumers that put luxury value in the premium pricing of their cars.

TRUTH: Underpricing is rarely the solution to any pricing woes. You end up dropping into a different segment of customers and lose out on cash from your current customers.

Myth #4:
Pricing isn’t important

Pricing is the most important aspect of your business. Period.
A 1 percent improvement in pricing results in an average increase of 11.1 percent in operating profit. No other business lever has that impact – not cost optimization, volume increases, or anything.


TRUTH:
Pricing is, bar none, the lever in your business that has the highest impact on the most important cell on your end-of-month spreadsheet – your revenue. You need to take it seriously.

Source: http://www.priceintelligently.com

Promote Where it Matters Most

It is very apparent that organic reach for Facebook posts has been taking a hit over the past few years. Even as recent as this year, with Facebook limiting the reach of “promotional posts,” the percentage of followers a company reaches organically continues to decrease. While it is possible to slightly improve this percentage through higher quality content, Facebook advertising offers more effective ways to improve post viability, for a price of course.

Facebook advertising allows companies to choose a post and have it distributed in the news feed to anyone they want, based on interests, demographics, etc.

Before you get started, it’s important to have specific goals and understand the different options and ad types available to promote a post on Facebook. There are many reasons to boost a post, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing brand engagement (shares, comments, likes)
  • Boosting website traffic
  • Promoting new content or blog posts

Use your budget most effectively by following these guidelines for boosting a post on your Facebook business page:

MAXIMIZE TARGETING OPTIONS

It’s easy to boost a post. It’s hard to effectively boost one. The key lies in who you are targeting. Based on the goal, you have the ability to target anyone you want on Facebook. When boosting a post, Facebook offers specific targeting options including: audience (fans and/or friends of fans), location, age, gender and interests.

If the post is focused on information only relevant to current fans, it’s important to target only those people. On the other hand, if the goal is to interact with potential new customers, that needs to be reflected in the targeting.

FOCUS ON QUALITY IMAGES AND VIDEO

There is no way to stress enough the importance of having a high quality image or video tied to a post. When boosting a post, especially to users who might not be familiar with the brand, the image will be the first piece they see. It needs to be eye catching and engaging at the same time.

If using an image, make sure it is appropriately sized. If these dimensions are not followed, Facebook will resize them, causing images to look less attractive. An image 1200px by 900px is a safe bet. You can find ideal image sizes for all the Facebook Advertising campaigns at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide/post-engagement/photo. It is important that all images are high quality to avoid blurry and distorted messages. Most importantly, if you plan to pay for a boosted post, you must follow the 20% text rule. While organic posts do not need to follow the 20% text rule (only 20% of an image can include text), boosted posts do.

UNDERSTAND ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS ON FACEBOOK

Facebook offers a variety of different advertising options. While they make it easy to boost a post and move on, it’s important to know what options they have and see if there is one better suited for the target audience and goals. Visit www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide for a breakdown off all the different advertising options.

While boosting a post may seem as simple as pressing a button, there is a lot more to consider in order to effectively use it and see results. To avoid irrelevant clicks and visitors, advertisers need to understand who they are targeting, what the goals are, and why users should care about the post.

Innovative Communication Opens Doors to New Markets

Finding updates about products and activities at Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer is not hard to do. After all, the store has a team member dedicated to social media and web marketing.

Located in Goodfield, Illinois, Earlybird began as a fertilizer company in 1965. Today the 49-member staff also sells feed for commercial and show-quality cattle, hogs, goats and sheep as well as feed for turkeys and chickens.

Mike Orns, Earlybird’s Inside Sales and Feed Division Manager, is like the store’s traffic cop. He keeps everyone running in the right direction, he says, and it’s his job to be innovative and consider the big picture. From production to sales and regulations to promotions, Orns oversees the store and keeps the gears turning.

The store has grown so much that it’s owners challenged Orns to hire a new staff person, someone to focus on the use of marketing and technology to grow the store’s customer base.

“There are so many people now involved with social media, especially within the show audience,” he says. “We deal a lot with customers who show livestock and we’ve realized that’s how kids and others communicate. This opened the door wide for us to better communicate and reach that market.”

Specifically, Earlybird needed to publicize its connection to the success of many show ring champions. Posting photos, recognizing customers and marketing show products that helped get those champions to the winner’s circle needed to be done.

Scott Hardman was hired as the marketing manager for Earlybird a year ago. He had previous experience with a national youth organization, which included social media and website marketing. And, Hardman was also familiar with the livestock show ring.

Hardman says Orns was “very serious” about making Earlybird’s website state-of-the-art, and using Facebook and Twitter to enhance the store’s social media presence. Hardman has made it his mission to promote Earlybird’s successes with feed and product sales to livestock show families. And though the store has seen great results by emphasizing its show ring presence online, Hardman says there is much, much more to do.

“In the show industry, we are well aware we needed gratification of successes,” he says. “We needed to be much better at keeping up with our winners because we had a large number of them. The store needs to use Facebook as a major marketing tool rather than just a source of self-promotion for us. We want to help promote our winners.”

Earlybird also needed to expand promoting it’s successful customers from other species and added sheep, goats and poultry to it’s media plan. The store is located one mile from a major interstate in Illinois, and Hardman thought it should take advantage of that; for example promoting Earlybird as an easy stop on a person’s way home.

“We needed a bigger footprint if we were going to be found,” he says.

Both Orns and Hardman take advantage of the marketing tools provided by BioZyme®, Inc. Orns says the company is very good at direct mailing, and BioZyme always has a huge presence at livestock shows, which makes it an easy-to-recognize product when customers come in.

“It also helps that BioZyme products actually work,” he says. “When we can push examples of how the product has helped another person’s livestock project and can quantify their results, that helps us tremendously.”

Hardman says the store’s Area Sales Manager, Shandy Bertolino, does a great job at providing information on what BioZyme products are available. She hosts a meeting each summer and shares tools and marketing pieces that keep Earlybird’s staff updated on what BioZyme can offer. This kind of innovation helps dealers like Earlybird keep on top of new products, terminology and how to approach a customer about including BioZyme in their feeding routine.

Orns is quick to realize social media is not the only way to advertise and promote the fertilizer and feed store, but it is the most innovative way to do so. Social media and show ring families go hand-in-hand. Connecting with youth in agriculture is most efficiently accomplished through Facebook and Twitter so by enhancing Earlybird’s online presence Orns knows he is reaching more livestock kids who want to be as successful as those posted online.

To be sure his field staff is able to connect, post and promote products, Orns says he puts the best computers, tablets and smartphones in their hands for work, especially with the fertilizer side of the company. Earlybird’s owners are also progressive and have viewed Hardman’s social media work as a stride in the right direction.

Hardman tells how he used to come in to Earlybird as a customer purchasing livestock feed and supplements. Until he took the job as the store’s marketing manager, Hardman was not aware the store carried grass seed, emphasizing the point that innovation in social media is not just self-promotion. This kind of marketing can build a loyal customer base that will talk about using Earlybird’s wide variety of products and encourage others to do the same.

“As we continue to grow the number of Facebook followers, we can use that to better market our monthly specials and expand on things that are big and significant,” Hardman says. “The other big thing we need to focus on is to constantly grow the website and use it as tool to help us be more productive and process oriented. We will use social media as a marketing tool and invent ways to showcase the type of company we are.”

To check out Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer online, go to
www.earlybirdgoodfield.com.

Mike Orns – Inside Sales and Feed Division Manger
Earlybird Feed & Fertilizer Goodfield, Illinois

Current mobile device: Droid Turbo 2

Current Computer: Lenovo notepad

First, tell us what you feel separates your business from other feed supply operations? Service.

What websites, apps or tools can’t you live without? Email and texting

Why? Those are the best ways to communicate with me other than the phone.
How do you keep your to-do list? On a notepad with a good old pen and paper.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? 
A calculator.

What’s your secret? Take care of the little details.

What are you currently reading? Several feed magazines, local and national news. I read some parts of the newspaper but only online.

How do you recharge? I enjoy time with my family.

What is your favorite and least-favorite task at work? My least favorite thing to do is manage conflict. My favorite task is working with customers.

What is one area you’d like to improve in regarding business? Organization.

Describe your ideal customer. One who pays on time and orders well in advance. I like those who are progressive and listen to leaders in the industry.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Listen to people.

Why do you love this business? Because we’re family-owned. We are in a great community, and the owners are family focused. Family always comes first.

Financial and Productivity Apps to Keep You in Check

Your iPhone can be a powerful tool for business – or a complete distraction. The key to any software program or app is finding the right match for your specific needs or deficiencies and then committing to using the tool so you can take advantage of the benefits. The following are a few apps that may be able to enhance record keeping systems, automatically sync income or expense data with your financial software, increase communication and transparency with your team and boost productivity.

Xpense Tracker
An all-inclusive expense tracking and reporting application for dealers wishing to track their expenses and mileage. It’s power does not end at the iPhone but extends to the desktop by allowing emailing or exporting of the expense files and accompanying photo receipts directly to the desktop.

  • Quickly snap shots of receipts for easy scans and financial tracking.
  • Track your mileage in real time by using your device’s integrated GPS.
  • Export your records in .PDF and .CSV file formats.

Hours Tracker
Need a way to track your time or an effective tool for employees to use so they can send you time reports? Clock in and out as you work. Or, add entries yourself in just a few quick taps. Time entries are automatically created when you clock out.

Easily review your past entries, grouped by day, week, month or pay period. You can easily export your data by job, date or selection. Choose to export as a text summary or in spreadsheet-ready CSV format.

SLACK
All your team communication in one place. Slack is a new way to get more done, spend less time in meetings and reduce email.

  • Real-time messaging and file sharing for one-to-one and group conversations.
  • Powerful search and archiving, so you can find information easily.
  • Instantly syncs across all devices.
  • Configurable notifications for desktop, mobile, and email.
  • Proven to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

Quickbooks Payment Pro
GET PAID QUICKLY … ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. Plug the card reader into your iPhone or iPad and swipe credit cards quickly and securely. Or, if you don’t have a card reader, you can always scan a card with your camera or key in the card details directly.

Your customer signs right on your device to authorize the payment. Then, you can email or text a receipt to your customer. Accepting a payment takes just a few taps from start to finish.

Wunderlist
Wunderlist allows dealers to access their to-do lists from almost anywhere. Star important tasks, create multiple lists, sort by due date and priority and add tasks via e-mail.

Since multiple parties can edit lists, the app doubles up as a collaboration tool that works across desktop and mobile.

Freedom – Reduce Distractions
With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered. Freedom blocks digital distractions so you can be more productive. Start a Freedom session, and you’re blocked from all distractions on your phone or tablet. Freedom gives you peace and quiet, so you can accomplish more.
Rescue Time: Android alternative

Digital Punch Card

Technology has come a long way. It’s great when it works, but more importantly, to work it must be easy. Retail outlets have used promotions and customer loyalty programs for ages to drive sales and repeat business, but often these programs are difficult to manage for both the store staff and the customer. However, there is an innovative program available that automates the management of rewards points and makes communicating with your customers easy!

Here are some examples:

  • Buy 10 bags of Sure Champ® and earn a show stick, pig whip or brush.
  • For every 10th visit to the store where you purchase $50 or more, earn a free gift.
  • Come in on your birthday and receive $10 off your purchase.
  • Earn double loyalty points on Tuesdays.

These types of incentives are appealing to those customers who enjoy a bonus, and if done strategically, can be an effective way to ramp up business on specific days that may normally be slow or to promote slower moving products. Additionally, it’s a great way to stay in front of your clients and market in a fun way.

OptSpot (www.optspot.com) combines customer loyalty and text message marketing to increase customer frequency, connect with customers and drive instant revenue. Customers simply sign-up & check-in using their mobile phone number. Points are automatically tracked & rewards are earned based on points. Re-connection is automated and done through text messaging.

Some Cool Features
Customer Loyalty: Using a mobile number to track points and rewards is easy. Customers either enter their number into the tablet or you do it on your point of sale checkout system for them. Points are tracked and rewards are earned automatically.

Auto-Engage: Reconnecting with your customers automatically based on frequency is nearly impossible without innovative solutions. This text program will send a text message to those customers who have not visited in 30, 60 or 90 days inviting them back more often.

Text Message Blasts: Being able to get your message in your customer’s pockets can drive instant revenue. Send limited time offers, promotions, etc. and watch your business grow.

Collect More Data: Collect important customer data and add them to your own
customer relationship management (CRM) software through an automated text call to action.

March – Letters From Lisa

Being innovative or doing things a little differently than everyone else – enough to create differentiation – involves risk. It means openly sharing ideas, even ideas that are undeveloped, half-baked and a long way from being concrete. Innovation means not worrying if an idea is not fully formed or regarded by others as irrelevant, or going against the stream. It means it is fine to suggest something truly disruptive.

Status, turf and fear of embarrassment can lead to hesitation, so when you want people in your organization to give their ideas, you must create safety for them. It’s not enough to give your team a venue to share ideas if the atmosphere is pervaded by rules, rigid structure and unspoken judgment. This is true around products, processes, advertising or any area of the business. Instead, do the following things:

1) Challenge, Don’t Dictate

Ask questions and begin conversations, but don’t dictate a path or force a solution. Like General George Patton said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

2) Question, Don’t Reject Outright

Always draw out as many ideas as you can. Don’t reject an idea immediately because you might reject another idea that hasn’t even surfaced yet. Ask why or how to further the idea. The original idea might not be a keeper, but after asking questions, you might find the next great idea. Remember the words of Nobel Prize laureate Linus Pauling: “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away.”

3) Maintain Curiosity

Be passionate about finding the right solution or idea. Don’t take breaks, check email, leave the room or take phone calls during the idea discussion. Keep the momentum of these discussions rolling, and remember, sometimes the best discussions happen outside of the office.

4) Be Optimistic, Believe

Innovation isn’t always an overnight process, so it’s important to keep spirits up, cheer, thank and support. Belief is a powerful risk buster. Believe in the idea once in place enough for it to be a no brainer for success.

The VitaFerm® HEAT mineral is a perfect example of how using these steps work. I asked the team in April 2014 to help create ways we could reduce our summer sales slump. After many ideas were discussed in great detail and noise volume for more than two days (that’s a long time for me not to check email), we decided to create a mineral focused on helping with summer heat instead of summer grass. The nutrition team went to work to create a research-based mineral that would lower heat stress, control flies and help cattle deal with the challenges of fescue. After some testing, the product was ready to go and hit the market in the summer of 2014. At the end of the summer we had sold 26 tons – not exactly enough to get us out of our summer sales slump. However, we remained optimistic and worked harder in 2015 to believe this innovative idea was an opportunity. We sold 437 tons. Now, that’s enough to reduce any slump!

P.S. If you haven’t checked into the VitaFerm HEAT and HEAT 3G mineral,
I would encourage you to do so. Seventeen times growth in one year is every business’ dream.

lisa-norton-signature

Don’t Sell. Help.

It’s a safe bet that most people have had a bad experience with a sales person. You may even cringe, roll your eyes or your stomach turns when you hear the words “sales person.” Kelley Robertson, author of Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers and The Secrets of Power Selling, lists seven reasons why customers hate sales people:

1.) They don’t listen
2.) They talk too much
3.) Lack of knowledge
4.) Lack of follow-up
5.) They lie
6.) Fail to understand the customers’ needs
7.) Refusal to take “no” for an answer

However, sales are essential for business. After all, nothing happens until you sell something. So how do you find balance? How do you become aggressive in growing your business without being labeled as a “sales person?”

To be great at selling, you must first be passionate about the product(s) or service(s) you’re representing; and secondly be passionate about the people you serve. This type of passion is something a dealer can rarely fake. A passion for what you’re selling coupled with a passion for helping your customers make the best decisions for their operations will come across in everything you say or do.

This is one area BioZyme® dealers often do not have trouble as 80% of dealers use the product personally and have experienced firsthand results they are passionate about sharing. Here are four reasons this type of passion is a game-changer for your business:

Passion Builds Trust with Customers
There are no sales without trust, and a passion for selling can cement trust between a dealer and a potential customer like nothing else. When passion is genuine, customers know it, and will respond to it by placing their trust in you and your business. A passion for selling also helps build trust because:

  • A sales person with passion truly wants to understand the customer and their unique needs and then sculpt how a product or service fits into that picture.
  • When a sales person is fully invested in the products he or she represents, that passion can be contagious for customers.
  • Passion permits a sales person to go after the best possible outcome – even if the best possible outcome for the prospect is not the product he or she originally had in mind.

    Passion Keeps the Sales Pipeline Full
    One of the great things about a passion for selling is that it can help dealers maintain a full sales pipeline without as much effort as those who lack such a passion. Why? A passion for selling turns customers into advocates (see page 6) who will recommend the dealer and their products to others. Word-of-mouth marketing continually sends new leads who are interested and ready to buy to the dealer. Having these customers who are also willing to provide testimonials and refer other customers, is priceless in any industry.

    Passion Allows Dealers to Be Persistent
    Persistence is always a watchword in sales since customers will not always be quick to pick up the phone or return a call. Great dealers who have a passion for selling have an advantage here because that passion helps them overcome such barriers and be persistent in pursuing the sale without becoming a hindrance to the potential customer. With passion, great dealers can come up with creative solutions to reach their prospects and ultimately make the sale.

    Passion Helps Dealers Continually Improve
    When dealers have a passion for selling, that passion often makes itself known through continual improvement. No dealer is perfect, but not all dealers are willing to make the commitment of time, money and energy it takes to reach the next level. Those who have a passion for selling are willing to make this commitment not only because it is the best thing for their careers, but also because it is what they want to do. That is passion for selling in action.

Be The “Good” In Their Morning, Afternoon Or Evening

Learn how LEO SANFTNER of Cottor FARMS serves customers passionately

Leo Sanftner
Cottor Farms, Osceola, WI
Sales Agent

One word that best describes how you work: Positive

First, tell us what you feel separates your business from other feed supply operations? There are not a lot of feed mills in our area; they’ve become a thing of the past. Regardless if our door closes at 5 p.m., I stay until the job is done, all deliveries are made and all the customers have the product they need.


How do you keep your to-do list?
I run a log each day by way of a spiral notebook at my desk. At the end of each day I update it for the next business day.


What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?
When the telephone rings in the morning, I say “Good morning, this is Leo.” When it rings in the afternoon I say, “Good afternoon, this is Leo.” When it’s evening I say, “Good evening, this is Leo.” I try to be the good morning, good afternoon and good evening for them.


What’s your secret?
I am passionate about people and livestock. I’ve gone through a lot of stuff through the years, — feeling low, health issues, stress at
work, etc., so I try to help other people out. I forget about my problems and take on their problems. It makes me feel good.


What are you currently reading?
The Biozyme® VISION Dealer Newsletter on my phone or computer. I love to read that and learn what’s going on in
other places. I also read the Angus Journal and Hereford World.


How do you recharge?
By going home and getting six to seven hours of sleep a night. I love my Mountain Dew while I’m driving. That recharges me.


What is your favorite and least-favorite task at work?
My least favorite task is sitting at my desk. I like to stay busy so my favorite is when I’m manufacturing feed, helping customers, working out new diets and checking on
old diets.


What is one area you’d like to improve in regarding business? 
Advertising. I’m currently working on that. We are putting up a nice sign on the highway that will change daily or weekly to display different specials we are running. Next, I’ll start putting ads in newspapers. I feel more people need to know Cottor Farms is here to help.


Describe your ideal customer.
All of them.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My ag instructor said to me years ago, “Your English teacher will say, ‘Leo can sell ice cubes to Eskimos.’ But I say, “No, Leo would sell them a wood stove.” I wouldn’t sell a customer something they don’t need.


Why do you love this business?
I’ve been in the cattle business all my life. It’s my passion. I milked cows, and the day came when I didn’t milk anymore. Then I wanted to expand my beef operation. I have and I can help others with their operations. So my dream has come true.

Ask Questions. Listen & Learn.

On an average day, Leo Sanftner will drive to his job at Cottor Farms in northern Wisconsin drinking a Mountain Dew and catching up on phone calls. Once in the office, he’ll oversee the mill’s manufacturing process and prescribe customized diets for his customers’ livestock operations. The rations Sanftner mixes are for species including cattle, horses, goats, sheep, hogs, rabbits and chickens.

In afternoons and evenings he’ll make product deliveries. Some customers are 30-40 miles away, but through his personal show ring connections, Sanftner also delivers orders up to 200 miles away from the mill’s home base in Osceola, Wisconsin.

His passion for helping breeders do well is second to none. Every day, Sanftner says he listens to his customers to learn about their unique situations. He asks them to share specifics so he can help find the right information and formulate a ration. Sanftner says he wants customers to trust him to treat their animals like his own and realize they can call on him whenever the need arises; daytime, nights or weekends.

His days are long and his to-do list is lengthy, but he doesn’t mind one bit. He says he’s living his dream of helping breeders improve the health of their operations through his position at Cottor Farms.

Cottor Farms is a family-owned business, owned by brothers, Rick and Dan Cottor, that raises its own crops to put through the milling process. Sanftner has known the Cottor family for two decades and was brought on as a sales agent six years ago, thanks to his show ring and livestock connections. He credits his success in both his work and in the show ring to BioZyme® products.

Cottor Farms also supplies and grinds 90-percent of the feed for a nearby mill, and Sanftner says he makes sure to include Amaferm® in all of the mixes.

Prior to joining Cottor Farms, Sanftner was familiar with the Sure Champ® brand as he experienced the impact of this supplement when he purchased cattle from Star Lake Herefords in Skiatook, Oklahoma, years ago. He knew the product worked on cattle and kept it as a part of his own feeding program.

“People have high quality animals, but they may not bloom and take off,” he says. “BioZyme products are formulated in the diet for them. For example, Digest More® will take calves that have been really slow to develop and give them what they need to take off. If they have a good start it’s unbelievable how they eat at the bunk. I’m amazed when I see them a few months later.”

Sanftner can share numerous success stories of his customers using Digest More and Vita Charge®, specifically. One customer who raises chickens for ethnic groups wants his hens to have all black shiny feathers. Sanftner recommended adding Amaferm to their diet. Not only do the chickens now have the desired physical traits, but their eggs are harder with stronger yolks.

He also says the farm has not had problems with chickens that stop laying nor any molt season issues in the past year.

When a new customer discusses an issue with Sanftner, one of the first products he recommends is Vita Charge paste. He says he’ll give them a tube to try, and it will always trigger more business.

“We have some small farmers that the minute their pigs and calves are born they give them Vita Charge even before colostrum,” he says. “I’m overwhelmed with the success of the product and how it works for everything I put it in.”

Another testimonial Sanftner shares about the effects of Vita Charge is from a family with show hogs that last year developed a staph infection. Among other treatments, he encouraged the use of Amaferm through the products Digest More and Vita Charge. Sanftner believes these products saved one out of their four show pigs.

Sanftner says the products are not a hard sell because once the breeder has experienced Amaferm in their diet, they see improvement in overall herd health. His customers’ bragging points include enhanced immune systems and minimal issues with sickness.

“They feel like their animals are getting the best quality,” he says. “The first thing customers might ask is ‘How much more will it cost me,’ but we add it into the whole diet and it all comes out as price at the end.”

On a personal note, Sanftner and his son T.J., raise Hereford and Red Angus cattle. They are active in the show ring and proudly pass their love for showing to Sanftner’s granddaughter, Racthel. As the fourth generation of Sanftners to show cattle, Racthel, has seen show ring success that Sanftner credits to Sure Champ and Digest More. She showed the Reserve Grand Cow-calf Pair at the Minnesota State Fair last year, and his son exhibited the Reserve Grand Get-of-Sire.

Sanftner’s passion for livestock, people and BioZyme is a package deal. By visiting with various breeders, he can learn how the animals are doing on the products and tailor to their needs. “I treat all animals as if they’re a champion,” he says. “Like they’re my own family and not just a number on the wall. It’s just how I do business. I hope to give them a good protocol with the right products then step back and let it work.”

Passion is the Only Way to Reach Peak Performance

Which of the following types of people would you prefer to have in greater numbers working with your business?

A. Happy, Low Performers
B. Unhappy, Low Performers
C. Unhappy, High Performers
D. Happy, High Performers
E. All of the above.

The obvious preference would be “D.” Makes sense as mounting evidence suggests that happy, high-performing workforces correlate with greater employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, profits and productivity.

One of my favorite books is All In by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. It says productivity is driven by the equation E+E+E. The Es stand for engaged, enabled and energized. Engaged means the employee is attached to the company and willing to put forth extra effort. Enabled means that the company environment supports the employee’s productivity and performance. Energized means that the employee feels a sense of well-being and drive.

Yale psychologist, Amy Wrzesniewski, interviewed hundreds of workers in all professions and found that people have one of three work “orientations” or mindsets:

  1. They see work as being a “job” or a chore and use the paycheck
    as its reward.
  2. They approach work as a “career” and strive to advance and succeed.
  3. They see their work as a “calling” and find work fulfilling because it gives them feelings of meaning and purpose.

Wrzesniewski then showed that people with a calling will work harder and longer simply because their jobs are rewarding.

After reading all of this, the conclusion is simple: we need happy, rewarded, engaged, enabled and energized workers if we want them to be the high-performing type that result in greater productivity and profits for our businesses.

But wait. According to Deloitte University Press, up to 87.7 percent of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have passion for their work. Less than 12.3 percent of America’s workforce possesses the attributes of worker passion. This “passion gap” is important because passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance.

So passion truly matters, and here are three ways to find and support it in your team:

1) Look for where your preconceived notions about the profile of a passionate worker are stopping you from identifying talent both externally and internally. Passionate workers come from all age groups, educational levels and backgrounds.

2) Recognize that passionate workers out earn and outperform their peers because of their internal drive for sustained learning and performance improvement. Take risks to cultivate these dispositions, and passionate workers will take risks for you in return.

3) Cultivation of passionate workers internally is probably the most effective way to increase the proportion of passionate workers in your organization. Organizations should evaluate their work environments to understand where they cultivate or discourage passion.