Barzona Bulletin A Publication of the Barzona Breeders Association of America How Do You Sell Cattle in the Information Age? By Lee Leachman, Leachman Cattle of Colorado
“I can’t hear you, there is too much noise!” That is the world we live in today. Whether it is from tele- vision, printed news, email, pod- casts, social media, online videos, texts or voicemails, most of us receive more information each day than we can ab- sorb. As breeders trying to sell our cattle, this creates a huge challenge. How do you get your message to your potential customers? Effective sales and market- ing requires that you clearly identify your customers, that you convey a compelling advantage, that they believe your mes- sage, and that you close the sale. Who is your customer? Most breeders spend too little time thinking about who their customers are and what they want. Rather, we tend to breed cattle we like and then hope that someone shows up to buy them. Most other industries invest substantial resources trying to discover who potential consumers are and what they want. The first step is finding the low- hanging fruit – who are the most likely
buyers of your bulls or females for sale? This is the short list: 1. Past buyers 2. Ranchers you know 3. Local ranchers you don’t know This is a pretty short list, but I kept it that way because we often overlook these three categories. These are the most likely people to buy your products. I would guess that nearly every breeder fails to look in their own backyard for customers. You should have a list of all of the ranchers who fit on this list (and any other potential customers). Your goal should be to have a working relationship with every person on your list. By definition, this requires that you talk to each of them individually. It helps to set a goal like talking to each of them four times per year or more. You should ask them questions to understand what they need to help improve their herd, their ranch, their business and their way of life.
You will find a wide variety of factors that motivate their purchases. When your products and services meet their needs, you’ve found a potential customer. What is your comparative advantage? Your potential customer can choose from hundreds of breeders. Why should they buy from you? You should be able to answer this question without even thinking. Your comparative advantage is made up of the traits, reliability, services and/or pricing you deliver compared to your competitors. If YOU don’t know your comparative advantage, then you probably don’t have one. Obviously, the comparative advantage you develop must fit your customers’ needs and wants. As an example, high-carcass-merit animals are not highly sought after by ranchers who sell at weaning. Some ranchers want convenience traits above all other attributes. Other ranchers might be Continued on page 4 ›
By Dodd Carmichael, Wild N Grazy Farm, BBAA President
I t’s been a nice winter here in north central Texas. With the pastures beginning to green and the first calves hitting the ground, moods are improving with the length of the days. If you are farther north, hang in there. Spring is not far away! I’m always impressed with the Barzona’s ability to handle the variety of winter environments in which they live. From the ex- pansive range in the West, to the cold Midwest, to the muddy Southeast, Barzona cattle adapt to the stresses they encounter. That isn’t overly impressive until you see them thrive in the op- pressive heat of the Southwest and high humidity in the South- east. I’m thankful to have that adaptability in cattle that have strong performance in fertility and meat quality, as well.
You will have the opportunity to see some of these cattle at work in the heat and humidity of the Southeast at our 2020 BBAA Annual Meeting. Raymond and Ethel Boykin have agreed to host the meeting at their farm in Montgomery, Ala. Raymond has been raising Barzona cattle since 1986 and has developed a great herd of cattle with genetics from as far away as Utah and as near to him as Florida. I have personally benefited from his careful selection and herdsmanship. I have purchased several of his bulls for use in my breeding program over the past 20 years and I’m glad that I did. The meeting will be held June 18-20. More details will follow. Have a great spring. BB
Raising Quality Barzona Cattle for 46 years. Bulls & Females Available Two-Year-Old Bulls Available Now F & F Cattle Company
Hampton Cattle Company
Breeding Purebred since 1973 Fertile Range Cattle Steve Hampton P.O. Box 134 • Kirkland, AZ 86332 (928) 442-3438
Mike & Pat Fitzgerald 130 Fitzgerald Lane, Mosquero, NM 87733 (575) 673-2346 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 | BARZONA BULLETIN
From Our Association Secretary
By Alecia Heinz, Golden Hz Farm, BBAA Secretary C alving season is right around the corner, if you’re not already in the middle of it. That also means bull-buying season is coming up
as well. Before you go right back to using your normal guy, let’s talk a little about the significant influence bull choice ac- tually has, and where dams and Mother Nature tend to affect your end product. 1. Fertility. We can agree that a bull has one job, and he better be good at it. Fertility is a very im- portant factor when looking at bulls. Many breeders will look at scrotal circumference and while this has validity in the big picture, it’s not everything. You also must become familiar with your breeds. English breeds like Angus and Hereford will naturally have larger scrotal circumferences compared to breeds like the Barzona. That does NOT mean Barzonas are less
fertile. It is merely a breed characteristic. You should also consider things like semen motility, morphology and vol- ume to help determine a bull’s overall breeding success. 2. Calving ease. This is also a huge factor, especially on heifers and it’s not just about birth weight. I know sev- eral ranchers who look specifically for small heads in an attempt to regulate calf shape. However, if you look at I always figure you have to start with your goal and work backward when picking a bull. the streamlined shape of Barzona calves, they are nar- rower at birth from nose to tail. That shape, combined with a smaller size, will keep it to where they practically fall out. A Kansas rancher made a special effort to weigh every calf out of his small Barzona herd, and the range was from 57 to 64 pounds. Don’t let your packer panic, that shape will get broader with age, typically really wid- ening at maturity after a year of age and leaving you with a perfectly marketable animal. 3. Growth. Here is where the influence starts to get a lit- tle sketchier. Yes, genetics are important. If calves aren’t coded to grow well, they don’t stand much chance. But even a well-coded calf for growth will gain less if their dam doesn’t milk well (for a variety of reasons), if they
get sick at a young age, or if their overall environment just isn’t friendly. Birthing early or late in the season can affect growth, again relating back to environmental in- fluences. When evaluating your bull at the end of the season, don’t forget to account for some of the stresses that have influenced your herd over the last 18 months. From experience: a hard winter during that pregnancy will negatively affect weaning weight, and it had nothing to do with my bulls. I always figure you must start with your goal and work back- ward when picking a bull. You should know where you are go- ing in order to know where to start. When it comes to adapting to your middle ground, you must know your environment. You need a calf that is born alive and stays that way. One that can grow in your environment and make it to market. You need a bull that can do the same, is easy on the eyes and easy on your cows. A bull that can get the job done and not cause a lot of trouble. #Barzona BB
Golden Hz Farm Barzona: The breed for busy people
These cows take care of themselves!
Breeding Stock Available
Matt & Alecia Heinz 2432 250th St Greenfield, IA 50849 email@example.com (641) 745-9170
Alvin & Karen Havens 2429 Orange Ave. Greenfield, IA 50849
WWW.BARZONA.COM • WINTER 2020 | 3
How Do You Sell Cattle in the Information Age? Continued from page 1
totally motivated by the services you provide. Believe it or not, in every breed, there are successful breeders with vastly different comparative advantages. Consequently, picking your comparative advantage is not the key to success. The key is to have advantages that are matched to enough customers to buy all of the cattle you wish to sell. Most breeders claim their cattle have an advantage, but few have breeding programs that move their herds significantly past breed average on economically important factors. The only way to do this is to use expected progeny differences. Track your herd average. Then, select sires that dramatically improve your herd for the traits you and your customers want. Every day I see advertisements making claims that are not, and often cannot, be substantiated. Nearly every herd now claims to be “maternal,” “profitable” and to have their focus on the “commercial rancher.” These vague claims are far less effective than advertisements with specific, measurable claims. Who do they trust? Not surprisingly, ranchers, and today’s consumers in general, are highly skeptical of advertising claims. They have heard it all, and they know it cannot all be true. Why should they trust you? You are trying to sell them something. This is where “relationship” is key. Sales studies show it takes around seven touches to sell to a typical, new customer. In other words, they don’t buy new products from strangers. If you think about most of your marketing efforts, you will quickly see that you spend most of your time trying to sell a new product to strangers. This is a well-proven strategy that DOES NOT work. A strategy that does work is to let others tell your story. Most things you buy are bought because someone you trusted told you the product was good. Your existing customers are your best marketing tool. Ranchers trust other commercial ranchers far more than they trust claims from seedstock breeders. Get your commercial customers to tell your story for you. This proven strategy DOES work. How do you get the word out? This is the biggest hurdle to a successful marketing and sales program. Today, you must start with the understanding that there is too much noise. Because of all the noise, it is very difficult to get potential customers to read your materials. You must have a strategy that goes well beyond printed materials. Here are some of the top strategies we use: • Allocate 3 percent or less of your expected sales to print advertising. • Allocate another 3 percent to direct-mail pieces that go to highly selected potential customers on your list (see above). • Have a great website and social media presence that articulates your comparative advantages. • Use online videos to communicate your advantages. • Talk to your target customers, ideally by visiting their operations. You’ve heard the phrase that the best fertilizer is the owner’s boot print. Well, the best sales strategy is your boot print on your customer’s ranch. Most ranchers get few visitors. One of
Ad Index Bard Cattle Co.. ................................................ 6 F & F Cattle Company....................................... 2 Golden Hz Farm................................................ 3 Hampton Cattle Company................................ 2 Raymond Boykin Jr............................................ 5 Weichman Feedyard L.P.................................... 5 Walking Stick Ranch.......................................... 5 WildNGrazy Farm.............................................. 6 their greatest joys is to show you their place and herd. Your goal is to be a good listener. You must learn the key motivators that will help you earn their business. Don’t bombard themwith your sales pitches. In fact, it’s best not to bring them up unless asked on the first visit. Remember, a major goal of your marketing strategy is to build relationships through all you do. How do you close the sale? In sales, you seldom get unless you ask. You have to ask for the business. If asking is highly uncomfortable, then it’s generally a sign you have not built enough relationship. When you ask, be prepared for a “no” answer. Usually that is their way of saying, “I still don’t understand or believe in the advantages you are offering.” Good salespeople know the road to a “yes” is paved with “no’s.” If your advantages match the potential customer’s needs, don’t give up, just double down on your future efforts to establish more relationship and gain their trust. If you practice these proven strategies, you will have success selling cattle to ranchers in the information age. BB
4 | BARZONA BULLETIN
SAVE THE DATE
RULES FOR ADVERTISING REIMBURSEMENT • Current paid full membership (can be paid anytime prior to reimbursement) $75. • Must include a receipt and a proof copy of the ad. • It MUST have the assocation website on it ( www.barzona.com ). • BBAA will reimburse half of the advertising fee, max of $100 annually. Can be done on multiple ads if the maximum is not reached. Contact Alecia Heinz, BBAA Executive Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
June 18-20, 2020 Hosted by Raymond and Ethel Boykin Montgomery, Alabama Check the BBAA website barzona.com or email email@example.com for more information. 2020 Barzona Breeders Association of America Annual Meeting
Weichman Feedyard, L.P.
REGISTERED, PUREBRED BARZONA Breeder since 1986
We have more than 30 years experience finishing cattle and more than 10 years experience finishing Barzona cattle. We offer a value-based marketing systemwith a history of premiums on Barzona cattle. Give us a call (620) 874-5231
Purebred Barzona Bulls Virgin 2 year-olds and yearlings, perfect for improving your herd by cross-breeding with Angus, Hereford, Limousin & Charolais. Hybrid vigor resulting in superior preformance calves with LBW and rapid growth. Heat tolerant, disease resistant, hardy with gentle dispositions, guaranteed. Will work with you on delivery terms. Walking Stick Ranch Ron & Peggy Erjavec (719) 947-3645 • www.walkingstickranch.com Boone, Colorado Raymond Boykin, Jr. (334) 430-0563 • firstname.lastname@example.org 8727 Lydia Lane • Montgomery, AL 36117
4030 Highway 83 North Scott City, KS 67671
WWW.BARZONA.COM • WINTER 2020 | 5
Barzona Breeders Association of America 604 Cedar Street Adair, IA 50002
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID BRIGHTON, CO PERMIT NO. 51
If you’d prefer to receive the Barzona Bulletin by email,
please contact Alecia Heinz at
(614) 745-9170 or barzonabreeders@ gmail.com
Wild N Grazy Farm
FOUNDATION HERD BREEDING STOCK Since 1974
(254) 205-0360 • email@example.com Bynum, Texas Dodd & Sonda Carmichael
Selling bulls private treaty. Yearling bulls available now.
ADVERTISING RATES The Barzona Bulletin is published four times per year by the BBAA and is mailed to more than 600 Barzona enthusiasts. Full Page Ad. ................................. $350 per issue Half Page Ad..................................$200 per issue Third Page Ad................................ $165 per issue Quarter Page Ad.............................$135 per issue Eighth Page Ad................................ $75 per issue
Semen available on a number of older bulls. Females available periodically private treaty. Foster, OK 73434 (217) 649-5616 Bard Cattle Co. Nancy Bard Nunn 18800 E. County Road 1603