Riding Shotgun – 10 Rules
As we travel the highways and by-ways of the Limousin family and breed we often cuss and discuss the cattle business, sports, politics, great cheeseburgers and most of the time, the promotion and marketing of Limousin cattle.
Through “Riding Shotgun” we invite you to join us in the right-hand seat, so that we can let you in on what we find to be our marketing pet peeves, shortcuts and some of the favorite habits of top-flight professional producers. Grab a cup of coffee and take the ‘shotgun seat’—we are pleased to have you riding along.
It’s that time of year when many of us look back on our faulty exercise routines, cluttered desks, stuffed closets and spend time further procrastinating with the traditional New Year’s Resolutions. In the spirit of the season, we spent some time coming up with a list of Riding Shotgun marketing and management resolutions. Feel free to borrow all that apply, hopefully only one or two need attention.
1. REVISIT YOUR COMPANY LOGO.
Get a new one or freshen up the company logo and image. Make sure it looks like your image, that it contains all the pertinent information, including name, phones, email, etc. Use it to establish your exposure. When people see it, they should immediately think of you and your program.
2. GET A FARM SIGN.
Make sure people know how to find you. If you have a sign, freshen it up, cut the branches around it. Make sure that you set a positive impression when people see it.
3. BUILD A PICTURE PEN.
Tomorrow’s marketing is based on a digital presentation of you and your product. In the cattle business, your product must be contained and enticed to pose to capture the best image. Talk to professionals about what your pen needs—how big, what lighting problems it has, what is the best slope, can you easily work cattle in and out. It needs to be easy to get pictures or videos. It makes all the difference in today’s marketplace.
4. GET YOUR PEDIGREE WORK DONE EARLY.
Tomorrow’s marketing is going to be more and more driven by DNA and proper documentation. Get that work done so you are ready to sell when the iron is hot. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is as a marketeer when someone tells me about the great calf they have for sale, only they don’t know his EPDs, his sire or his homo polled status. Odds are you’re going to do it sometime, why not do it early and have it done.
5. VISIT YOUR TOP FIVE CUSTOMERS.
You are in the genetics business, but you must also market your product. If you have sold bulls or females, go see how they worked for your buyers. You will be able to get in front of any problems, but you also may start the next sale. They will appreciate the visit. Then go visit the five operations you would like to sell to. See what makes them tick, what they need and if they fit your operation.
6. UPDATE YOUR MAILING LIST.
Do you have all your customers in one place? Organize their name, address, phone, cell phone and email. Make it easy to add names and to access them.
7. THANK THOSE THAT SUPPORT YOU.
Your feed company, your veterinarian and your mailman. These people are helping you and are possible fieldmen for your program. Showing them you appreciate what they do for you makes it easier for them to tell others about your program.
8. JOIN A INDUSTRY GROUP.
If you haven’t noticed, the cattle business and agriculture in general is under fire. Nobody can support your industry better than you. Get out there and help, you will meet good people.
9. SMILE, BE POSITIVE, ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
10. Those of you who know me, know my grading system has no 10s.
See ya down the road.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Mark A Smith