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Marketing Your Amazon, CPG, Or Private Label Products With Don Debelak - Part 2
April 13, 2021
Marketing Your Amazon, CPG, Or Private Label Products With Don Debelak - Part 2 Part 1 Part 2 Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table: Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at Try the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at
[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the seller roundtable [00:00:03] spk_0: e commerce coaching [00:00:04] spk_1: and business strategies with and er not and amy Wiis. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Right. Yeah we do a lot of messaging and back and forth. It's just about it's about the phone calls still work really really well too. So it's like messaging first and then following up with a phone call and being able to send that digital file luckily at least in our retail masterclass my co host in that class is from Israel and he sells in the U. S. So it's retailers in the U. S. So he's used to having to overcome those barriers and that's why we kind of focus on that. So you know use all of these tips that Don is giving you to find these key contacts but then also make sure that you're ready to present your product in a way that isn't Stamey and that you know is helping you just kind of have a conversation and like Don says send away for it so that they're wanting to sell you something and then you're making the connection at the same time, [00:01:04] spk_0: right? And be sure your presentation works on the phone. Yeah. You know, you don't always get a big computer screen and there's nothing worse than having all your words too small to read. You know, you know, they it should work on the phone with just the normal uh you know, view screen. So what are we going to do when we we have a new help? So you've got a guy, you had some reports, you've told them uh you know, he told you about your product and you say if you say to me listen, um can I just tell you I'm trying to introduce the product too and get some feedback from you and what you think about it, And they'll probably, you know, they'll probably say yes most of the time they say yes and we'll listen to your short time and then explain, you have a new product to introduce in the market and here you go now if you're overseas you can't really take them to lunch. But what you can do is set up a time, you know and don't go for an hour meeting, you know like can I have set up a five minute phone call for you know or WhatsApp or Skype or whatever with you and set up a time. Uh A lot of times they'll tell you you can do it right now, but it's I think it's courtesy to ask them if they prefer to set up a time And you can't be saying too long, you know five or 10 minutes because otherwise there they're afraid of getting caught in a, you know droning on presentation that they're really not interested in. Um, and and and then you can ask the people for their feedback. You know, uh, if you're setting it up and you could ask them, even before you ask them, if you can set up a meeting, what is your feedback, What do you think of this product? I mean, uh, are you familiar? I always like to say, are you familiar with the competitors? And I list them. So I say this product in this product, and sometimes they'll, if you've done your homework right, they'll know the competitors, but sometimes they'll say no, and they'll say, but I am familiar with these products, these are the three products, I see that sell best in my market, and uh, that gives you a chance to ask for feedback comparing your product to the competitor product and you um what's going to happen most of the time, of course, no matter how brilliant or your presentation is, they don't really understand your product and they don't know all the features about it. And the best way to tell them about those features is for them to ask you questions. You know, well, I let this competitive product really sells well because it does this or this, and they usually can tell you or they have an opinion by the competitive products sell well, and you can then, you know, feedback. Well, this is what my product does. Instead, this is why I feel this is better and I mean it starts a dialogue going back and forth that helps you communicate your product. I found, you know, when you're dealing with this, trying to get help, because this is a person to person thing and you, the more person to person type conversations you have the way much better off you are. I mean, if you just drone on for five minutes and don't get questions about feedback or what they think, um, you know, I find that it doesn't work so well. Um, and and the questions you can ask to get feedback are so simple, like what do you feel are the best, the top competitive products to mine? Which what products in this space, they all like the word space for some reason? Uh, do you feel uh, you know, are are the top sellers and why do you feel that way? Any questions like that? They'll, they'll usually respond, and you can also tie this right back into their product. You know, I see that your product is going into this market. What competitors are really competing with you in there? What are their products, like who's the best seller? You can get them talking and starting the conversation by asking them about their product to which which, you know, you're just trying to establish some report and something to say that you're a pretty decent person, you'll be easy to work with. Um, I think if you're an e seller and like in a lot of your people, if they're overseas, there's always going to be a reluctance on the american people, uh, that maybe this will be more difficult to do than I would like. And, um, the best way to overcome that is in an ongoing conversation where you don't try to just keep talking about your product, but just to show that, you know, you're easy to get along with. Um, here again, I think it's it's wise. Uh, so we're not really talking patents or patent offers a non disclosure agreements, but it really helps if you can get an exclusive like if you don't actually manufacture the product yourself, if you can get an exclusive with your with your manufactured or some kind of an agreement that doesn't let people go right around you. [00:06:34] spk_1: Yeah and you know when you go to sell your business we had we had a session about selling your business with y'all call billy and from fortunate and that was one of the main um main factors in how much you're in your business valuation when you go to sell it is actually having um contracts with your suppliers because again if anybody can just source that and there's no kind of protection it just it devalues your business a little bit so make sure that you guys get an attorney wherever you're sourcing from. Um So if you're sourcing from china, get an attorney in china. If you're sourcing from India, get an attorney in India, if you're sourcing in the US, get an attorney in the U. S. And have them draw up contracts before you enter into agreements with your suppliers so that you can ensure you're actually protecting your supply chain because your supply chain is all you have really. If someone else can find your supplier and you don't have any kind of protection agreement with that supplier, you are kind of at a loss. You know, and there's a lot of really savvy people that can do that if you're if you don't have the proper contracts in place, so really good point on. [00:07:53] spk_0: And you should also have your contract um cover future products related to this product. So if they develop a new product that you maybe have the right of first refusal, I mean you can't just get everything for you and if you do have an agreement, you'll probably have to commit to some type of sales levels to, I mean, companies will say, well, if you want an exclusive, you've got to guarantee so much sales and and so there's a back and forth there. But, um, yeah, I mean, and really in the old days it was hard to find somebody in china, but today china has all these trade shows, they have trade fairs, you just so you just go over to a kitchen trade fair over to china and everybody has got all their products right out there, and it's not that hard for them to find your source. [00:08:45] spk_1: True import records are public. So they could actually just search your company name and and find out who your suppliers are. So, if you don't have contracts with those suppliers, those suppliers will actually bring your products to the trade show because they don't they don't have a contract not to why not? They're showing off what they're making. So [00:09:08] spk_0: that's another reason. It's good to have that contract and you know, I'm not in the past, I've been in markets where people have to pay tariffs even though it's a minor tariff to come into the country and documents and those are public records. You can actually uh find the category your product is that and get all the tariff records and you can see what people are bringing in um and the volumes are bringing them in and you can see what the other manufacturers are. I used to do that for a sneaky reason as I wanted to know how strong the chinese company was, you know, how, how big a market presence they had and I could tell that, so there was a product category and um, you know, and they have a number for it, you just have to figure out that number is and then you if you're, if the company you're dealing with doesn't sell hardly anything into America, well that puts you in a much stronger position, but if they're a real big, you know, they have a lot of people they're shipping to, well then your positions a lot weaker. So I think those records are good. Yeah. So when you're just talking to someone, you know, I think you're perfectly free to pull out as much information as you can. You can ask them about the reaction to the product. What do they think? What do they think about competitors? And not only is this good information for you, it's a good way to develop a report with the person. What do they think is the best way to sell the product? You know, you can ask them key contacts in the market, you should focus on. Now not everyone is going to give you all this information, but I found um you know usually they're they're more than willing to do that um you know explore their interest in helping you see if they really are willing to help you. Maybe they'd be interested in striking a deal with you and if not them, do they have suggestions of other people who might help them? Um Now one of the things if you have overseas sellers um the kind of uh get over is american business people do not jump right into the topic usually, you know, they like to have a little chit chat before and I found that and they also are very informal. You know, I found that sometimes overseas sellers are very uh they're not informal, they're very formal, they're very stiff and uh it really works just like you're talking to a person you sat next to in college class. You know you just say what where are you from, what are you doing and things like that? And so asking questions. Well hi how you know, how long have you been with the company? Just a little report about, you know what your like your background is and but but learn to talk so you're don't sound stiff, I guess it's um and you and you can practice with each other on that. I think. I think I'm sure you you must talk to people a me and try to help them if they're [00:12:19] spk_1: Yes. Well we do this through our podcast all the time and my facebook groups definitely send gibbering our facebook groups right now, talking and sharing And yeah, the big thing is, is B b a good um a good partner, right? Because there's a lot of people that will just reach out to you and kind of be takers, right? Instead of trying to, like you mentioned, Don, you said, take the time to actually ask for their opinion, ask for their advice. Don't just throw your stuff in their face, right? Like I have this product, can you help me, you know, take the time to say, I'm just trying to connect with others in my industry and talk and learn and contribute. And so I just a relationships are all about give and take and not just one or the other, so I love to learn from others and then also try and contribute wherever I can. And so that's my advice to any of you guys who find some of these key contacts, um, take the time to actually just develop that relationship instead of just automatically asking them to basically help you, right? And you'd be surprised how far someone will go out of their way to help you if you do that [00:13:46] spk_0: right? Basically. This is how like a trade shows and, and the way Amy and I are talking is exactly how we talk to any customer. You know, we wouldn't be having any different type of demeanor. But when you go to a trade show and they're, they're a 10 in the morning, um, and they've got no one to talk to. You know, they're very happy to talk to you forever and explain all this or they give you five or 10 minutes easily. And, and what you'll find when your people are calling you up, sometimes they don't have a lot of time And they might not be that helpful. But many times they they can spend five or 10 minutes talking you easily and always after about five minutes, you should always ask them if uh you know, you could set up if they would like to set up another time where you could go into more details even though most of the time they'll say no. Just let's just talk now. I think it's courteous and it's good to do that. [00:14:49] spk_1: Yeah. And then you're also getting their information right where [00:14:53] spk_0: you're getting their information and they might often think of new things to tell you. That's another reason I like the way you're talking to them right on the spot. People don't always think of everything, you know, right the first time around. But if you give them a day or two, they'll think about a lot of other things that they could maybe help you or work with you on. [00:15:15] spk_1: Yeah. Maybe offered to connect on linkedin or I love to invite people to virtual t because right now we're all kind of stuck virtual to your virtual coffee and be like, hey, do you want to have a coffee next week over zoom or something and just, you know, I can send you my calendar, you can pick a time that works for you and we can just chat and I can see how I can help you and vice person. Let's just network and people love to network. And especially right now during Covid when we're all stuck in the house and um a nice, nice little zoom chat or a Skype chat, just something real informal and hey, let's both bring a cup of coffee and just just connect. [00:15:55] spk_0: Yeah. The other thing you have to offer people is, you can ask them if they, I would like to know more about how to deal with a chinese company. How do you find chinese suppliers or, or wherever you're from? Um, you have knowledge that they might like to know too and you should ask them, you know what they, what they might like to know from you and, and many times they'll have questions about supplies or you know, not necessarily related to your product, but they have questions in their normal business dealings that you could maybe answered. [00:16:32] spk_1: Yeah, like selling on amazon, selling an e commerce, different things like that. Like you guys don't forget, you do have a skill set that they may gain something from. So that's, that's really awesome, [00:16:47] spk_0: right? So you can share that. And also like I'm amazed, uh there are markets where facebook groups are just fabulous, you know, like baby mothers of new babies, you know, and if you have products that can go and in this uh facebook groups, you really can do well. So those are things to, you might know know that they don't know um that could be of help to them. So once you get going, you've got someone who's kind of interested, um you can ask for a commitment, um you don't have to have this big commitment, you know, to really do it. But uh you could explore now. This the first one is really for someone who wants to license their product and um but but you may be talking to people who could fit their your product into theirs. So for instance, if I if I have a product line of kitchen products and you have a product that's not in my line, you know, I might want to add it to my mind, you know, and this is a different, it's a private label to that company. And um you, that's one thing you could approach with. There. Is there some way that your company, this might fit into your company's line where your company could benefit? We could both benefit if you sold the product and usually they'll do that without payment. I'd always like to ask that first because that is a really when you're talking to this person, uh and they're going to take a product idea up to their management. You know, they're in a no lose situation. So let's say they go up and take the product and the management says, oh, I don't think it'll fit in. It's not going to work out that person still looks good, it's a goal getter, trying to find good things for the company and, you know, the company likes to see that and if it does go through, then he even does better, but there's no way he's losing. No. If he brings an idea to the company about taking your product and insert into their line, um the company is never going to think poorly of him for doing that. It can only help him other things, like if it's an independent sales reps. Uh and again, this is trying to license the product. Um you can offer 15 25 of royalties if they want to help license it, and this would be more of a sale of a product line if you wanted to sell it. Um but you could also offer people, if you would come on, I would give you 10-15 in that sales, you know, um if they like your product, there's all kinds of commitments that they could make to you. Um you know, that would really get them on board to help you. Well, my wife just dropped something, I don't know if you could hear that, there was a big bang there, so [00:19:48] spk_1: um [00:19:49] spk_0: but you, but you could ask them, you could really start this conversation, but listen, um I know your kind of interest in the product. Would you like to explore with me ways where maybe um you could make money with my product and we could work together where we could both win. And um they if they're interested and I found that at least half the time they if they have expressed interest in your product, well, they'll say something like, well, what are you thinking of? Uh you know, so you you just are throwing out a comment that's very vague and they'll come back. What are you thinking of it when they say that? Um Well there's you know, there's several ways to go. You you could get a commission on internet sales, you could come on board and have a share of the company. Um You know or whatever you know, you're willing to do or explore. You could just come back with him and make that offer. But it's always it's always best and say, you know I'm just it sounds like you're just surprised, would you just be interested in um looking at some ways that maybe we could both win and maybe you could make some money off of our product. And I I found that a lot of times they'll say you know they'll be interested. Not always though. Some this is one reason I like independent sales reps. And um sometimes retail store managers, they're they're looking to get ahead and other people are more comfort orient, they just want to stay in their job and they're not really interested in trying something new. So um but unless you ask them, you'll never know where they stand. [00:21:30] spk_1: Makes sense. And [00:21:32] spk_0: also you should always after you kind of explore things, always ask them if you can send them an agreement. So there is no confusion on your offer. Uh This is very it's always been on to me. But you go and talk to someone and you you list, I don't know what goes through their head. I think I'm crystal clear, but they have a totally different take on what our conversation was. And so um [00:22:00] spk_1: and don how would you suggest getting the right wording for those agreements? [00:22:06] spk_0: Well, I don't like them too. I like using a memorandum of understanding. So it's not a totally formal agreement. It's more just the listing of concepts of what you're trying to work towards an agreement. So you can look on online and they have a lot of memorandums of understanding agreements. [00:22:30] spk_1: So I looked it up the templates for it [00:22:32] spk_0: and there's lots of them and it's only like about two or three pages. So it's it's not full of a lot of legally stuff and it's really a some saying this is we're going to be working towards an agreement with these kind of parameters is really what it's saying. So it's not it's not full of legalese, you know it's more just a simple letter that and and then [00:23:00] spk_1: like a gentleman's handshake [00:23:02] spk_0: just so that you know they kind of have a good idea so it's firm on what you're trying to offer. Otherwise I don't know um without something written up to follow up, I find that people just come away with meetings with totally different you know perceptions of what was said and um [00:23:24] spk_1: but [00:23:26] spk_0: if you send an mou then they can respond. So I thought we said this so I thought you said this and you know you can kind of work it out but the M. O. U. S. Um it's just a memorandum, it's not a firm commitment. It doesn't really mean anything. But it lays out the terms of what you're thinking of pursuing. So I usually don't even do them with a lawyer. [00:23:49] spk_1: Makes sense. [00:23:53] spk_0: Sure. You know and I also like always to have a follower. Uh I like to promise what I'm going to do right at first and now you have to remember this doesn't all happen on one meeting. This is this could be over three or four or five meetings but once you kind of have a tentative agreement, you like to tell them first what you're going to do and then you should set a schedule for what they're going to do. Yeah. Um And and then you should follow up to advise of the rep all the time, maybe once every two weeks or so or whatever works into the schedule about how you're meeting your goals. And then if you tell them how you're meeting your goals, you are you know, you can ask how they're doing, meeting yours. So uh don't just follow up, you know the reps supposed to do this, this and this, what's he doing? Is he getting it all done? Blah blah blah. You have to you have to put your own, you know action schedule on the line to and you have to meet your schedule. I think it's very imbo three very important to have both because this is a partnership. You know it's not just you're just going to do everything yourself [00:25:15] spk_1: got it. [00:25:19] spk_0: So to be follow up you shouldn't really have an action list. That's more than 60 days, 30 days at best. And you can have new action list you know as you go on what what excuse me? Uh but 30 days is best when it expires keeps to go and have a new list and of course I don't like too long a list too because so many things change your original action, this might not be relevant um as you go along and really make sure you meet all the steps of your action list. And the other thing is don't be bugging the person. You know calling every few days if you have a 30 days action let's call after 30 days. Um Nobody likes you to be a pest. [00:26:07] spk_1: Yeah. [00:26:09] spk_0: And so uh mhm basically the key is just to um mm you know, just find the people and I find the trade magazine setting off for literature going and and if you can go to trade shows, that's a great way to meet reps to or people who are interested just walking around booth to booth. I'm not sure if your people ever go to trade shows, but it's not necessary to go to have a booth. You can just be an attendee and I think it pays to go so they can see what other products are out there. I know that a lot of uh foreign companies go there and they find ideas that they can modify or change or duplicate and make their own product. [00:27:00] spk_1: Yeah, Well, a lot of people go to camps unfair in china for that. We have a china trip and you know of course right now with Covid a lot of stuff to stop with trade shows. But you know there's so many really great trade shows, not just in china, not just there's great trade shows in europe. If you live in europe, there's great trade shows in Australia. Um all all around Canada south America trade shows everywhere. So definitely even if you are overseas, you'd be surprised how many global companies are at trade shows in your area. So don't think that just because you're selling in the U. S. Market and you're an overseas company that you can't go to your local trade shows in your area and still make excellent connections that can help you worldwide. It's just it's an incredible opportunity so make sure that you're doing that. Another hack that we use is you can also register for trade shows and as an attendee and even if you don't go to the trade show, you often get the list of attendees and present presenters. And that way you can at least go on the website, you can get key contacts, you can follow up that way, you can see what products they were they had at the trade show. Most of that stuff has gone virtual now, so it's a really great thing to at least know what trade shows are relevant in your industry. As Don mentioned, know what industry magazines are relevant. I mean, done, you gave us that hack at Alamo inventors and I followed up and I'm connected with all of the industry editors and editors in chief, I'm linked in and I'm making those connections and just building out my list because, you know, like you said, there's all these people that want better products and amazon has so many great products that aren't known anywhere outside of amazon yet. Amazon is less than 5% of all of retail. It's grown recently to a bigger chunk of e commerce, but e commerce is only 10% of all of retail. So it's like you guys, you're missing out. There's so much opportunity there. You are just barely scraping the surface on amazon. If you have a product that has gotten Don mentioned saturated on amazon, you would be surprised how much opportunity there is beyond. Um, so just there's, there's so many great products I know of clients that I have that are saturated on amazon now, but the local stores, you cannot find those kind of products and they're great products. So just imagine if you make some of these key contacts and you get sales reps and you're able to get let them build the salesforce for you and let them make some sales for you. Imagine what that could do for you as the manufacturer really getting your products out there. I mean that is a game changer. Think about it right now, you're only accessing a tiny corner of the market. So use these tips that Don has given us graced us with today and really come up with a game plan of how you can make some more contacts and how you can get out there and find some helpers in the industry to make a difference for your business because you know, you can't do it alone and there's people out there that are happy to help you. Am I right? [00:30:34] spk_0: Right, [00:30:36] spk_1: Good stuff. [00:30:38] spk_0: And I should also mention that, you know, being in the store, get you a lot more sales on amazon too. [00:30:44] spk_1: Yes, I recently signed my first wholesale vendor contract and my sales at launch on amazon triple that had my biggest sales day ever. I was like, oh my gosh, okay, this is powerful. So, you know, it really is. It's so great to have that brand trust, you know, um, it's having the retail packaging and all of that. It just customers see that and they're like, [00:31:11] spk_0: oh, have [00:31:12] spk_1: I seen that summer before? I think I can trust that brand. I'm going to buy that. They like that. So it's good stuff. All right. Don do we have any more slides before we wrap it [00:31:22] spk_0: up? [00:31:23] spk_1: Okay, Well, I'm gonna, I will hit the stop sharing button and right before we go, I just want you to tell everyone how they can get in contact with you, how they can learn more. You're a patent agent as well. So, if you guys need to help patenting something done is amazing at that. So where can we find you don? [00:31:48] spk_0: Well, you can find the most easily on uh one stop invention shop dot net. [00:31:55] spk_1: Okay, one stop invention shop dot net. It's funny Don while you were talking, I was multitasking over here and I was searching for sales reps for independent sales reps for pets because you guys know I'm in pets. And the first article to come up on google organically, of course was Dons article from one stop invention shop. He actually has an article on there about sales reps for pet products and he walks you through stuff by stuff and he even has some stuff about petsmart and Petco, which I've been trying to find information on. So thanks Don. It was great having you Don, thank you so much. We appreciate you. I'm sure all of our seller roundtable listeners are going to really appreciate this and if you're listening right now on the podcast and you want to see Dons presentation, you can head over to our facebook page, facebook dot com slash seller round table or you can view it on our website, seller round table dot com and join us every Tuesday live on zoom as we interview more amazing guests and learn more really cool things and you can register free at cellar round table dot com slash live. Thanks everyone for being here. Thank you Don for your awesome presentation, helping us get our products out there in a broader market and we will see you guys next time on the seller roundtable. Bye [00:33:29] spk_0: bye bye. [00:33:31] spk_1: Thanks for tuning in, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon [00:33:44] spk_0: sales and growth [00:33:45] spk_1: seller s c o dot com and Amazing at home dot com.