Dealer Spotlight: Kaycee Macgibbon

Most of the time we think of community as the area we live – it might be our rural neighborhood, our town or even our county. But for one BioZyme® dealer with a passion for the equine business, her “horse” community stretches from New Mexico to North Carolina and from Wyoming to Florida. Kaycee MacGibbon, from Crouse, N.C., comes by her passion rightly; she is the fourth generation born into a rodeo family. She and her family always worked with horses – raising, training, breaking, showing and competing on them. It wasn’t until tragedy struck in 2014, that she started advocating for their health.

“Equine nutrition has evolved over the years. We always knew how horses worked, unfortunately we didn’t have a good nutrition program back then because we didn’t have all the research and knowledge we do now,” MacGibbon said. “I always tried to feed the best feed I could, but unfortunately in 2014, all my horses died of Rumensin toxicity. That is when I would start educating myself on equine nutrition. Through that and through learning proper diet and nutrition for horses, I found out about Vitalize® , and I started feeding it and it did wonders for all my horses – even the horses I thought were looking good and really healthy. They improved another 75% at least, once I put them on Vitalize.”

Although MacGibbon experienced immediate results when she put her horses on Vitalize, it was almost a year later before she decided to become a dealer. And now, she shares the Vitalize message of the importance of a “good gut feeling” with her equine community, rodeo friends and family both near and far.

“A lot of time when you start new products, the first 60-90 days you are like ‘wow, this is really working,’ then it plateaus, and it quits working. But with Vitalize it did not do that. It improved the animal’s overall health, digestive tract, hoof, hair coat, brain, everything. It continued a year later, which was really impressive to me because I have never seen another product do that. I wanted to become a dealer because I wanted to share this with all my people in the barrel horse industry, rope horse industry, the rodeos, the shows, and everybody to be privy to this information and have this help their horses as much as it has helped mine. And through that I met (ASM) Justin O’Flaherty, and I became a dealer and it has been a huge snowball effect from there,” MacGibbon said.

With such a large network of friends and colleagues in her equine community, MacGibbon said it hasn’t been hard to sell the products. And if she gets people interested in the product too far from home, she will point them in the direction of an another ASM like Rowdy Pope who will help them find a dealer in their area.

MacGibbon said the split is about even with her approaching people to tell them about the products or people coming to her seeking advice about their horses. But her advice and the outcome are almost always the same – the horses usually have gut health issues, and Vitalize typically makes them feel better.

“If the gut’s weakened, the body’s weakened. And 99.99% of the time, it is poor digestibility. Basically, their horse’s digestive tract has shut down, and we get them on the Vitalize. In 10-15 days, I get a text, saying ‘Oh wow! My horse is already looking better. They are happier; they are healthier. Thank you so much.’ I usually say, ‘Don’t thank me. Thank Vitalize,’” she said.

And for the skeptics, who are used to a “supplement on every corner,” and not sure they want to try Vitalize, MacGibbon offers some free product because she knows once they try the Vitalize, they will be hooked. She said to this point, she’s never had one person try a “free” sample, who hasn’t returned as a paying customer, making those samples well worth the investment.

“The product speaks for itself. If they try it, they stay with it,” MacGibbon said.

Reaching out to the equine community is what MacGibbon is passionate about. By raising awareness of a sound nutrition program that starts with gut health, she knows she is making a difference for her generation of equine enthusiasts and those generations to come.

Host a Holiday Open House

It’s the time of year for holiday parties, Christmas cookies and egg nog. Sounds like a great reason to host an open house at your business. An open house doesn’t need to be extravagant, costly or time consuming. However, it is a great way to open your doors to the community, your customers and spread some extra cheer during the winter.

If you have an actual store, especially in town or on the edge of town, perhaps hosting an open house makes a lot of sense. It is a chance to promote your business and share in the spirit of the holidays. Often, smaller towns will have a holiday parade, dedicate one night a week when they are open later for shopping or have a community bazaar. These are ideal times to hang a little garland, turn on the coffee pot and host your open house.

If you are an on-farm dealer, you can still host an open house; it might just take a little more planning and preparation. You might put more effort into promoting your event and issuing invitations. You can tidy up the shop or barn where you store product, and still put on the coffee and show your appreciation for your customers – your community.

First, you need to establish a date when you will host your open house. Find out when other events are happening and if it makes sense, plan your open house with those. If there are not a lot of other community holiday events, plan your event during a time when there are not other local community events like a basketball game or concert. Promote your event through local advertising, your store sign, a poster on your door and your social media channels. You might even want to make some phone calls to key customers or potential customers.

Next, plan what will make your open house special from regular store hours. Will you offer food and beverage? What will that involve? Are you thinking sugar cookies and punch? Meat balls in the crock pot with cheese and crackers? Or something more substantial like sandwiches and chips? Whatever you do plan, make sure you have plenty to offer. Nothing is worse than having an event and running out of food.

Provide a learning opportunity. Especially if you are a storefront, maybe not everyone in the community knows what products or services you offer. Make yourself available to share your story or have some type of game or entertainment to showcase the products. Think a store scavenger hunt or BioZyme® Bingo.

Give back to the community. Perhaps you can have a toy drive for local kids or a pet supply drive for the local animal shelter. Make it interactive – bring in a toy or purchase a bag of dog food to leave for the pet shelter and get a $5 off coupon toward your next purchase. There are a variety of ways to give to others this time of year.

If you are an on-farm dealer, your open house might resemble that an open house where you get together with friends, neighbors and customers. People are always looking for a good reason to slow down for bowl of soup and good conversation. And remember, you can also take part in community opportunities and spread the cheer.

For more ideas on hosting a holiday open house, contact Ashley Fitzsimmons at afitzsimmons@biozymeinc.com or (307) 575-1082.

Community Support Comes in all Sizes

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

This quote by Helen Keller epitomizes the spirit of community, especially at this “most wonderful time of the year.” It is often hard to think about those less fortunate in our communities and how we’d like to help them, especially with the agricultural economy in its up and down cycle. We are busy paying our own bills and trying to provide a nice holiday for our families. However, if we come together with our coworkers, friends, a church group, or another organization we can make a difference without breaking the bank.

One thing that BioZyme® did during November is gather food for community food banks. That’s right; employees across many locations including St. Joseph, Mo., Haskell, Texas, and Area Sales Managers and other remote workers gathered nonperishable food items for local food banks. Between the St. Joseph and the off-site workers, employees had the potential to donate to 30 banks in 16 different states from Pennsylvania to Texas to Montana to Missouri.

One employee visited a local grocery store where she purchased two cases of canned vegetables, four cans of chicken, a large tub of peanut butter (think non-perishable protein), a box of crackers, a jar of meaty spaghetti sauce and a box of pasta for less than $25. If each person gives similarly, that can feed several people for several meals. And in that employee’s mind, that is two trips through a fast-food drive through for her family or roughly four “foo-foo” coffees for when she gets to the big city – not a major sacrifice for others that are truly in need.

Perhaps your town has a local soup kitchen. Those places are always looking for volunteers to make and serve a meal. Would it really hurt business to shut down to a skeleton crew for a few hours one day to go and serve the community? Perhaps leave a few employees at the store to serve your customers but take the rest to the local soup kitchen or homeless shelter to help prepare and/or serve a meal. The gratitude levels do vary, but your personal satisfaction in knowing you made a difference will soar.

Several organizations typically have an opportunity to “adopt a family” by providing gifts and holiday meals for families that might not otherwise have a nice holiday. Adopting a family as a company might seem daunting or not in the budget, but if your company and its employees work together to adopt a family it can be a little easier on everyone’s checkbooks and make a lasting impact on a family. I remember when I worked at another company, we adopted a family with four or five kids one year, and they all needed winter coats and wanted bicycles. Well, we worked with the local Wal-Mart and K-Marts in town to get bikes at reduced rates when we told them what we were doing. Several of my male co-workers who didn’t really want to “shop” all pitched in a set amount – probably around $20 – and we made sure that family had bikes and warm coats. I signed up to help with the delivery that year. And even though we contacted the mom to see if she wanted to have the bikes be from “Santa” she refused. She wanted her kids to know that kind people gifted her kids those bikes. I’ve never seen 7 and 8-year-olds cry tears of joy for coats and bikes, and it was truly one of the best Christmases I’ve ever experienced.

Giving back. It is more fun to do as a group and the impact is often greater. It doesn’t have to put a big hit on one person or company’s checkbook if we all work together to make a few sacrifices to give to those less fortunate. And together, we can do so much more.

Get Involved in the Community

For business people there is no better way to receive recognition within your community than to become involved in the community where your business is located. That is especially true if you are a smaller or specialized business that not everyone might have a purpose to support on a regular basis (like a feed mill or feed and farm store.)

Taking an active role in your community is important for a number of reasons. Here are 5 ways we encourage you to get involved in your community, year-round; not just during the holidays. You might just meet some new customers while you’re at it.

Community Boards. Most communities have a plethora of boards that are always looking for people to serve on them. These can include school boards, hospital boards, extension boards, 4-H boards, FFA alumni boards, cattlemen’s boards and the list goes on and on. Remember, pick organizations that you are truly passionate about helping, and don’t spread yourself too thin. A volunteer that has too many irons in the fire is often not as helpful as one would like.

If you have never used the hospital and you are a normally healthy person who doesn’t think you’ll ever be in the hospital, perhaps that board isn’t for you. However, if you are a cow-calf producer, trying to educate consumers on the benefits of eating healthy, lean red meat, then perhaps a role on the county cattlemen’s board would be ideal.

Volunteer. Volunteering shows that you are willing to give your time – one of your most valuable assets. You might volunteer with the local ag groups like 4-H and FFA to help them with educating youth or running a judging contest or clinic. Or you might volunteer to coach youth wrestling, teach Sunday night youth group or help with a cause like Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Whatever you volunteer for, make sure it is something you are passionate about doing and have time to make a priority. No one appreciates a volunteer that is always “too busy” to meet their commitments.

Build partnerships. If you are getting involved with your community, building partnerships would seem logical. Perhaps you are building a partnership with a local feedlot to run a mineral trial. Or maybe you find a way to build a partnership with a local high school ag class. The opportunity for agricultural businesses to partner, share promotions and advertising budgets and even costs for producer meetings are endless.

Offer internships. Young labor is typically inexpensive and hardy. Are you looking for someone to help in the store after school and on weekends? What about one of these young “techno-kids” that could help you with your social media presence. Young people are always looking for “real-world” experiences, and often are willing to work for little money or the experience they can list on their resumes.

Host & participate in events. As livestock nutrition suppliers, it would make sense that you would host and participate in events, like judging clinics, livestock shows, barrel racings and ropings. However, you chose to participate in these events, be sure to get your company name exposed as much as possible so others in the area know who the title sponsor is.

Getting involved in the community – it’s probably something you do anyway. Take the time to make a difference in someone’s life and the future of your community. You might just meet a new customer along the way.

December 2018 – Letters From Lisa

Lately, I have been reading about the nine dimensions of a healthy community as developed by the Blandin Foundation. Interestingly, what I have discovered is that many of these are the same dimensions of a healthy business. One of those is a focus on “environmental stewardship.” In my opinion, environmental stewardship equates to an ethic that embodies responsible planning, management and the use/sharing of resources to ensure global (defined however you desire) well-being.

Stewardship begins with ensuring individual well-being, transitions into a focus on team effectiveness, and ultimately leads to a need for global stewardship. At an individual level, stewardship focuses on promoting well-being for each person. A simple but impactful example of an act of stewardship occurred when a group of college classmates developed a social initiative to make their campus a happier place. They dispatched club members to go open doors for students as they entered major buildings around campus. After piloting this initiative at various locations, they discovered that their dedicated focus on individuals had a profound effect. Within a few days they could already notice that people on campus were happier than before. Preparing for the prolonged vitality of an organization begins with a focus on individuals, but leaders should continue their stewardship approach by acting at the team level. Leaders are stewards at the team level whenever they work to ensure individuals within the organization interact well with each other.

Once individual and team well-being has been addressed, our focus as a business leader needs to switch to the well-being of the global “community” that we are a part of on a daily basis. Investing in the people and causes that are important to build/support that community should be important to every business.

At BioZyme® , two of our causes very close to our hearts include youth involved with livestock and veterans. At first glance one would say those two groups of people have little in common, but that is not true. Most of the veterans are young and some were involved with livestock when they were younger. The young soldiers (veterans) chose to defend and protect the rights and freedoms that we enjoy in this amazing country. Our youth in livestock are the most comforting future leaders of this great country. Both are groups with harmonious tasks and roles. Sharing our resources with these two groups is an important blessing we cherish at BioZyme.

During the holiday season, more than at any other time, our hearts go out to others. I encourage you to give now, but to also give what you can regularly to the things that make a difference to your “community” and its global well-being. You may be surprised at the benefits you reap!

Dealer Spotlight: Megan Souder

PROBLEM SOLVING IS MEGAN SOUDER’S PRIORITY

Even though she’s been a BioZyme® dealer for just over a year, Megan Souder doesn’t consider herself a salesperson. She likes to think of herself more as a problem solver, and customer service is the key to her success in her first year.

Prior to joining the dealer network in September 2017, Souder, from Mount Holly Springs, Pa., spent 18 years in the pet industry, serving as a company representative selling cat, dog and other small pet products to stores across Pennsylvania. She also cared for her own animals, a mixed herd of sheep, goats and alpacas.

But, when a trusted friend and mentor suggested she shift gears and start selling BioZyme and Umbarger products, it was the nudge she needed to become her own boss and help her friends and neighbors with their livestock, too.

“I just don’t hand out the literature. I go over the product with them, I don’t assume they are going to read it if they take it with them. I attend livestock shows and 4-H meetings, anything that a customer asks me to attend. This is where I grew up, so I’ll attend any event I’m invited to,” she said. “I also make myself available to answer any of their questions. If I don’t know, I’ll get the answers from my sales rep or someone from inside the business, but I don’t fake those answers. I also use all the resources available to me from BioZyme like literature and all the trainings that I can, so I can inform the customers about the products.”

Souder conveys her knowledge to customers and potential customers. She uses the Online Dealer Center and has completed the Master Dealer Training Program. She shares links to the YouTube videos about the products, so her customers have every opportunity to learn and hear others’ testimonials. She also relies on the Outreach Support Center to help provide her the supplies and information she needs.

“Jen Miller has been fantastic to get me anything I need from the inside to help me represent the products,” Souder said.

Another reason Souder says she is successful is because she is able to focus on limited brands and products, giving her attention to just two companies’ product lines.

“I only carry these two lines –BioZyme and Umbarger because I’m a specialized store and I think the focus is key. I want to be excellent at a few things rather than good at many,” she said.

Her “store” is more of warehouse located close to home. She doesn’t keep regular hours, but her customers know she is just a call or text away if they are running low on product, need something specific or are in the area in the evening and need to “drop by” and pick something up, just another way she can provide excellent customer service.

As for her customer successes, she said each one has their own success story, and it pleases her when a customer calls, texts or emails her with a photo of their animals and their results. She often shares these results on her Facebook or Instagram for others to see. She said the goat breeders who use both loose mineral and stress tubs, have claimed to see decreased toxemia in their does during kidding time and also have higher conception rates and better egg counts when they do A.I. Sheep breeders and exhibitors who have used Sure Champ® Climate Control say their sheep are less stressed and breath better during the heat. And, cattle people love the Vita Charge Stress Tubs to quiet down the fresh-weaned calves and calm down new arrivals.

“My customers are awesome and every one of them have their own success stories. My customers want to promote these products because they have worked so great for them,” she said.

Listening, solving problems, and being available for her customers have helped Megan Souder achieve dealer success in her first year. Yet, she said she doesn’t really look at the tonnage sold, just the number of people and animals she’s helped.

“I started with a blank canvas. I just look forward to what my future holds. I make changes daily to how things will go to best utilize my time,” Souder said.

Marketing Will Wow Your Customers

Chances are you wouldn’t be selling the products you offer if you didn’t believe in them. In fact, the 2017 Dealer Survey results show that 82 percent of BioZyme® dealers already use the products they sell. So, that personal experience is one way to share your story and tell how the products work in your operation or on your companion animals.

However, a plethora of animal nutrition products exist on the market. And even though we know that our BioZyme supplements are unique due to the Amaferm® advantage, sometimes the best way to WOW your customers is by focusing on your service attitude versus constantly talking about your products.

“My best advice to produce the most effective results is to advertise to your customers where they are, when they are there,” said Ashley Fitzsimmons, Regional & Partners in Performance Marketing Manager for BioZyme Inc. “Fall is a busy time with weaning, harvest and this year’s weather! So, meeting customers where they are whether that is taking out meals to farmers, being present for conversations at your local cattlemen’s meeting, the sale barn on a busy day, your state/county fairs, etc. really is the most effective tactic.”

Being present where your customers are is just one way of providing service marketing. If they are harvesting, they probably haven’t taken time to think about their cow herd’s nutrition prior to calving or even thought about placing a mineral order. But, you probably have. Reach out to them with a sack lunch or an afternoon drink while they are harvesting with a gentle reminder of how many days are left in this year and a list of the mineral they purchased from you last year at this time – making their lives simplified, and potentially making a sale for you!

Another service you can provide is to simply listen. This is a great time of year to host producer meetings. However, the interaction shouldn’t always be about the dealer talking about new products or special promotions. Take time for an open discussion. Hear what is on the minds of the producers and end-users of the products and see how you can provide a service you haven’t already thought of.

“No one knows your customers and your community better than you do, which is what makes local dealers so incredibly vital and important to our company. If anyone ever wants to bounce ideas back and forth or see what tactics have worked best in a community like theirs I’m always available via email,” Fitzsimmons reminds the dealers.

Providing a service and listening to your customers – you have just turned two traditional customer service tactics into marketing plans to help you reach your customers in a way that will WOW them. Everyone likes to have a service provided to them, especially when it is unexpected. And, when a customer is listened to, it makes them feel more like a part of your team. Use these two marketing tools to wow your customers this fall and see your sales grow!

Make an Impact on Others

As the calendar year-end draws closer, many individuals and businesses look for charitable causes to give to. With the holidays near, it is in our hearts and on our minds to give to those who might not have the same advantages we have. But have you thought how you can best make an impact on others?

First, you need to select just a few worthy causes to donate to. Your dollars will make the biggest impact if you don’t spread your gifts too thin over too many charitable organizations. Determine how much you want to spend, and then decide if you want to give all of that to one group or split it two or three ways.

Next, determine how your funds will be used. Does your donation really go toward helping others or will it go to administrative and further fundraising fees? Ask the organization outright. You might be surprised to learn that only 25-percent of your donation goes to the cause. If that is the case, determine if that is a cause worth supporting or is there another charity or individual you can give to? If you are unsure, visit www.give.org and search for your organization, to learn more about the cause and their spending.

Then, choose a cause or organization that is near and dear to your heart. Does someone in your family suffer from a disease that you are passionate about? There is most certainly a group that is raising money for research for a cure to that ailment. Do you care about helping kids whose only meals are what they get at school? Perhaps you’ll want to learn more or donate to Snack Pak 4 Kids™. Maybe you were once involved in 4-H or FFA, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, or another local youth organization in your town. It’s always nice to give back to an organization that made a personal impact on your life.

Perhaps you are new to your area, and don’t know where to donate, but want to keep your gift local. Talk to local clergy, someone at the bank or even local law enforcement officers. They are likely to know of local programs like “adopt a family” programs, “shop with a cop”, shelters or food pantries that always appreciate extra financial help around the holidays.

It doesn’t take a big check to make a big impact. If each person donates what he or she is comfortable with, those donations do add up. Pick the organization or groups you would like to help this holiday season and share your joy with others. Make sure the cause you are supporting uses your funds for its programs, and give with a glad heart.

Customer Service that goes Above and Beyond

Just like your customers and their personalities all vary, so do the ways that they like their customer service provided to them. But one thing is certain, everyone likes to be treated with respect and courtesy, especially when paying for a product or service.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking face-to-face, over the phone, via email or through a hand-written letter, there’s always ways to show that you care for and respect your customers. Using key words and phrases are just one way to make sure your customers feel appreciated.

Just like our parents taught us at a young age, “please and thank you” will go a long way. Here are some other key phrases to use when serving up top-notch customer service:

• “How else can I help you accomplish your goals?”
• “Are there other products or services I can help you with?”
• “I’m not sure how to answer your question, but I will find out the answer.”

While you are putting these key phrases to work, make sure you are using them on all your customers and potential customers, not just a select group of customers. You never know when going above and beyond or out of your way to contact someone who hasn’t bought much lately might just sway them to start doing more business with you. Or, perhaps they have been considering changing their mineral program, but didn’t know how to ask about VitaFerm®. By making that investment in time, you further build your relationship and watch your sales grow.

It is impossible to talk to everyone every day, or every week for that matter. Make a schedule of who you will reach out to and when. Sometimes we reach out too often, so find a way to track your conversations and when you last reached out to each customer. This could be in your database management software, an excel spreadsheet, a calendar or even in a notebook. Just make sure to contact everyone regularly.

“The Outreach Support Center reaches out to customers every 45 days, either by phone, email or mail. When we contact dealers, we make sure everything is going well, ask if they need literature, answer any questions they may have and update then on any new products or any changes that may be occurring. BioZyme® lives by the motto, ‘Care that Comes Full Circle.’ I believe we are doing that in the Outreach Support Center by reaching out to the customers to let them know we value their business and we are always there if they need us,” said Jennifer Miller, Director of Outreach Customer Support.

A few unpretentious words. A handshake and a smile. Regular contact with your customers. All of these might seem simple but use them in conjunction and on a regular basis, and you’ll provide customer service that goes above and beyond. You might just “wow” your customers.

November 2018 – Letters from Lisa

WOWING, verb: “overwhelm with delight or amazement.”

A verb by its nature implies action and at BioZyme ® , we encourage action that drives a WOW, so it is wowing. Wowing things are unexpected and have a strong, pleasurable impact. After a wowing thing happens, the receiver mentally thinks WOW. That’s exactly what we want to do; quietly do things that we hope wow our team (that’s you) every day in every way. My letter this month shares six wowing moments. At this thankful time, I give thanks for all wowing moments. What are yours?