Where’s Our FOCUS This Week? Vol. 233

For weeks now, you’ve read about the FMG crew preparing for the upcoming fall sale season.

We’ve begun taking photos and videos for sales later on this fall, but don’t have any sales on the calendar for a few more weeks.

But, in the meantime … we wanted to share a few ways for YOU to reach your customer base.

Recently, #FMGcrewmember Robin Kleine went to a presentation entitled “The Impact of Generational Differences on Volunteer Involvement: Differences in Marketing, Recruiting, Engaging, Supervising and Recognizing” given by Ken Culp, III, Ph.D.

While we interact with volunteers in many instances throughout the year at various shows and events, we thought understanding generational differences could help you (our customers) reach out to others when marketing your livestock.

There are 6 American Generations currently on this Earth.

  1. Civics / Greatest Generation / Builders (born 1901 – 1929). “Civics are motivated by altruism and community needs; they want to be useful.”
  2. Meditating / Silent Generation (born 1929 – 1946) “Meditators focus on stability, being helpful, serving the community, and contributing to the greater good.”
  3. Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) “Boomers are goal oriented with priorities that include putting their jobs before their personal lives.”
  4. Generation X (born 1965 – 1981) “Generation X’ers are intensely private, individualistic, highly educated and often underemployed.”
  5. Millennials / Generation Why (born 1981 – 2001) “Accomplished multi-taskers, Millenials are able to accomplish a great deal through electronic communications and social networks.”
  6. Generation Z / iGeneration (born 2001 – today) ” They are the first truly mobile-first generation, so they place a big emphasis on personalization and relevance.”

Source: Ken Culp, III

As breeders, you need to be able to connect to representatives from each age group to meet their expectations. In some families, it’s grandpa and grandma who are selecting the cattle for their grandchildren. In others, it’s mom and dad or an older sibling. Don’t forget about the junior exhibitors either, be sure to show them some attention and ask them questions when they walk through the pastures. They will remember the personal attention you show them.?

In his presentation, Dr. Culp shared the “Seven Deadly Sins of Volunteering.” We took a few of these lessons to another level, and thought they were certainly applicable for livestock breeders trying to reach out to new junior exhibitors and families while selling their animals and advertising their sales.

Expect announcements to get results
People want to be personally invited. You can’t rely on social media or print ads to bring in customers to your sales. Personally hand out flyers at state fairs, mail out postcards, or send a text message inviting returning and potential new customers to view your offering.

Go it Alone
Build networks and partnerships. Often, having a friend consign a lot or two to your sale can help you utilize their contacts and social media following to get buyers to the sale.

Recruit only volunteers making long-term commitments
Building relationships with long-term, repeat customers is always a goal. But, as a breeder selling livestock to families in uncertain financial times and junior exhibitors with a variety of interests, you cannot expect everyone to come back next year. You must foster the relationships, maintain a positive attitude and hope the juniors remain interested in their projects.

Assume that “no” means “never”
There are THOUSANDS of show steers and heifers sold every year. Just because a family didn’t get one bought on your sale last year, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking again this year. Invite them out to look at this year’s set of cattle and take the time to show them around.

Recruit any old B.I.T.C. (“Butt In the Chair”)
Yes, you have to get these cattle sold. But, we recommend recognizing the families that are dedicated to their project and willing to put in the hard work necessary to get to the backdrop.

Source: Ken Culp, III, adapted from J. McKee & T.W. McKee, (2012). “The New Breed.” Group.com