This article was previously published in Bird Breeder magazine and is reprinted here with permission of the author.
Marketing at the End of the Season
by Laurella Desborough
Selling Those Youngsters
It's that time of year when you expect most of the young birds in the nursery and the weaning room to have been sold or have deposits on them. If you find that you have a large number of unsold and uncommitted young birds, then you have to review your marketing and sales practices. Do you usually sell to local markets and you have an excess for those markets? Do you need to expand your client base? Have you established a relationship with several local pet stores? Are you advertising through bird club newsletters? If you are trying to reach a national market, do you have continuous ads in the major magazines? Buyers feel much more comfortable with breeders who consistently advertise. Are you looking into advertising birds on the Internet? This provides immediate access to one segment of the buying public. Are you utilizing reliable local brokers? These people often have nationwide contacts through lines of communication different than is available to many bird breeders.
Are You Using Marketing Tools?
Buyers are looking for a good price, but generally more important than the price is quality. Buyers want healthy, happy birds that will become good companions for themselves or their clients. Are you informing your client of the quality of the birds you are raising? Are you telling them about the handling, the socializing and the veterinary screening or health care you are providing? Do they know you stay current through attending seminars and conferences? Do they know you work with an avian veterinarian to maintain flock health? Have you generated an attractive brochure or flyer that provides basic information about the birds and how they are raised?
When you have an advertisement, buyers will often ask for a price list. Along with the price, you will be more likely to make a sale when you provide incentives. A well-produced brochure gives visible evidence of the quality of your bird business, as well as provides additional information about the birds and your business. Potential clients across the country need the reassurance which is provided by continuous advertisements and well-prepared brochures or flyers. These marketing tools should contain specific reference to your guarantees if you offer any type of guarantee and your contract. They should also provide information about crating and shipping if you will ship birds. The more information you can provide in written form, the less time you will have to spend on the phone.