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401 : Andy Slamans – Amazon brand building today is different, it takes being different from your many competitors
12th August 2019 • eCommerce Momentum Podcast • eCommerce Momentum Podcast
00:00:00 00:56:52

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Funny how this conversation started out. Discussing employee and contractor retention. Have you figured out what you would lose if your key employee left tomorrow? Do you have a contingency plan? How about instead you treat them right now? You check in with them? You ask how they are doing? You give them more money? See retaining your staff is almost always better than getting new untrained help. Sure they might get it eventually, but the lost institutional knowledge you lose will never come back.


Andy’s previous episodes: 1, 101, 201, 301

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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.

Andy:                                    [00:00]                     Oh, you know, what, what are you doing different? Uh, you know, like, like if you look on Amazon right now, there is probably six pages of silicone spatula sets. Uh, and so you probably don’t want to do a silicone spatula set, but I bet if you search that keyword on Amazon, if you just put in spatula set, you might see some new or unique, uh, variations on different kitchen utensil sets that look a little different. Um, whereas you might see probably 50 listings, right, of ones that look the same. And so, you know, if you search that term on Amazon, look for the ones that look different, that’s a seller who is doing it right.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:43]                     Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling. Today. Here’s your host Stephen Peterson.

Stephen:                             [00:57]                     Hey, wanted to take a second and talk about Gaye Lisby’s Gary Ray’s Amazon seller tribe and their daily lists that are put out, um, and incredible stories that you can read if you go out and check out, uh, amazing., forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. I know that’s a lot to put in there. Amazing. forward slash momentum dash Arbitron and you’re going to get 14 day free trial, no money risk, no, no challenges. You don’t want it when you’re done, you get out. But imagine getting list. I’m as grateful as like to call it mailbox money. I love that term. Mailbox money. It’s where you can work from your house, buy things online, have them delivered to you and then sell them on a various marketplaces. But imagine you can have somebody else do that for you. So you want to buy time, you want to control, uh, what they’re buying.

Stephen:                             [01:53]                     Well, you take these lists and you can join multiple lists if you’re interested and then you can segregate them for the merchandise you want and send them to them. They can make purchases for you on your behalf. Have it delivered to you or delivered to them for prep. Boom, sent into these marketplaces and you could sell. How about that? Wouldn’t it be awesome? I spoke at their conference and there were so many million dollar sellers just using online arbitrage. It’s still available. And again, 14 days. The only way you’re going to get 14 day free trials if you come through my link. Um, it is an affiliate link. Uh, they do pay me. So I don’t want to mislead you in any way. Um, I would appreciate it, but I’d like to see you try the 14 days. I’ve had so many people that have joined, have so much success.

Stephen:                             [02:36]                     It’s very exciting to me and you know, quite humbling to me, um, that they trust me to recommend this group and I 100% recommend this group. I’ve seen the results. These are great people that will also teach you to fish. This isn’t just a, hey, here’s the list. You’re on your own. No, this is, hey, here’s why that wasn’t a good deal. Or here, hey, there’s another opportunity and you get to join their groups. And it’s just a phenomenal of people. Um, just great, great, uh, leaders in that group and these lists are phenomenal. So again, it’s amazing., forward slash momentum, hyphen arbitrage, amazing., forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. Use that get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it drop out, but give it a shot if you want to add that to your business. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast.

Stephen:                             [03:25]                     This is episode four oh one Andy Simon’s. Yes, it’s an oh one. So it has to be an Andy Salmon’s. Um, and, and this one I tried to take it a different direction. We ended up a lot of conversation about, uh, employees and vas and developing them and seeing them stay with you. Because you know, some of the retailers that we talk about, a couple of them, they’re the biggest challenges keeping good people, right? If you have a business with employees, we have employees here and it’s a challenge keeping them. They never leave for one reason. It’s a myriad of reasons, right? There’s always a, they used to call it a death by a thousand slashes. So you want to pay attention to it and he gets some really good advice about connecting with people. And I think that that’s so powerful. I forget it. Steve Forgets it.

Stephen:                             [04:06]                     So think about it and take a look inside your business and have this conversation. Take this and let him listen to it and say, Hey, is that me? You might not like what you hear, but the good news is once you hear it, you can do something about it. I think that’s a good piece of advice. Um, the other thing we talk about is brands. How different launching a brand today is than what it was maybe even like four or five years ago on Amazon. Um, or lunch, Egon, Walmart, um, at Walmart, brick and mortar. How cool was that? Let’s talk about that. Um, so not so cool. Um, you much better launching on Amazon and then, um, he talks about advertising really the three phases, launch, optimization, and then maintenance and you know, where do you put the gas pedal down and where do you back it off?

Stephen:                             [04:49]                     I think those are all powerful things. Um, and we final, uh, close with, we talk about retail, Arb and online arb and then getting in the right groups and trying to figure that out because it’s such a good cashflow thing, especially as Q4 is coming. So I think it’s a really good conversation. Let’s get into the podcast. And welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. A excited because I’m back to a number one every time I do a number one number one number 101-TWO-OH-ONE-301 number four oh one I have Andy Slamon’s on. Welcome back, Andy. Thanks the as great to be here again. Well, it’s, it’s fascinating when I look back over the years at number one number two or number one oh one now you know, each one of those, how, how our conversation has changed because not only is Amazon Amazon changed, the marketplace has changed and that is that crazy when you think about that? Yeah. I mean, and it just feels like maybe it’s because we’re getting older, but it just seems like the change gets a little faster. It definitely is getting faster. I saw a story, I guess it was yesterday, that Lowe’s is gonna

Stephen:                             [05:58]                     lay off a couple thousand employees. The retail apocalypse, as they call it, that’s not slowing down. That hasn’t changed in the last four years. Would you agree? Yeah. You know, it’s funny that you say Lowe’s. I’ll hopefully, I don’t offend any listeners here, but I think we had this conversation last Q4 a because I was actually doing some buys from both home depot and Lowe’s. Lowe’s resign on Amazon and I think my words to you were, you know, I don’t think Lowe’s is gonna stay in business much longer. I just think the organization, when you compare them to home depot, they just, it just does not run as well. Hmm. My experiences, as you know, I have a house so I’m dealing a lot with these places. My experiences, the depth of knowledge. Home Depot has been better at retaining trained employees, you know, skilled. To me those are, I mean everybody works in those places, have some skills right there.

Stephen:                             [06:55]                     They know the business somewhat, but you know, it kind of, it’s a challenge for us. Right. I mean you’ve got a ton of employees too. It’s a challenge to keep good people, isn’t it? Yes, absolutely. And I think Lowe’s has not done as well of a job as home depot. One thing I say about my, my little home depot here in town here, it’s the same people. When I go in, they’re always there. So that’s kind of cool. Interesting. Yeah. It has to be strong for your business. You know, think about that. You’ve guys got 40 plus people in your organization, if not more by this point. How do you retain them? How do you guys work to retain those people? Yes, we were really fortunate. Um, some of the original VA’s that we started with, um, have now become our lead VA’s, uh, and are just tremendous, uh, employees and have really taken the lead on fostering, um, team.

Stephen:                             [07:51]                     And, um, and really that has probably been the biggest difference, um, for us being able to retain, you know, continued, uh, employees, uh, for the various services that we have. And then the second piece is we have two folks here in the u s my wife being one of them. Um, and uh, and then another close friend who does really well working with the VA’s that we have. So those two things probably have been the biggest difference. You know, this is gonna sound very sexist and I don’t mean it this way. Do you think because they both happen to be women nurturing, caring, not blunt guys like you and I, um, they get to show the compassion, the understanding and communication. Let’s face it, they so much better communicators. Um, do you think that actually plays into it or am I just pulling in a a hundred percent.

Stephen:                             [08:42]                     So, I mean you, you were in the corporate world for a long time. Uh, I work for a very large organization for 15 years and I always said if I’m ever, you know, if I ever built my business, uh, you know, and again, I may be wrong in saying this, but this is just my personal experience. I would look to hire females in some of the top leadership positions and that’s just because of ones that I’ve experienced and in my work life who have been tremendous. So I don’t know what your experience with that is. I’m 100% with you. Um, I, I just, the, the communication I think is the hardest part. Cause I’m too, you know, this about me, I’m direct, I don’t pull any punches. I say what is right. And they have a filter, they have a way to communicate. There’s an understanding.

Stephen:                             [09:28]                     And I think that’s because, um, you know, just environmental, um, they, they just understand it so much better than we do. And hence we’re the weaker sex. All right. We understand that. I’m saying I own up to it. I had my wife last one, I said, but it’s the truth. I get it. I mean that’s the God’s honest. True. All right, so, so building a team, so communication, um, nurturing. Are you investing in training those people that have stepped up into leadership roles where they would they have, is it a training issue? Is that what led you there and then you recognize it? Or maybe Nate recognize the, the skillset and the at, um, um, maybe the aptitude or something like that. Well, you know, it’s both. So you know, it’s training, but it also comes down to compensation. Ah. And so, you know, you, we’ve been friends long enough, you know, you know me that I think of a worker does his work, then he’s worth his wages.

Stephen:                             [10:21]                     And so we definitely, um, you know, try to connect on an emotional level with those, with those lead folks. But we also, you know, we compensate them very fairly, um, for the work that they do. And I think they appreciate that along with a performance bonuses. So, uh, you know, we were just talking about that the other day when we were in the warehouse. Um, it just makes sense, right? People are going to be motivated, um, when, when they see that their work, um, is going to make a difference on, uh, their potential pay, the stake in the game. You actually have some, your stakeholder, you’re truly a stakeholder, not just a, Oh, you know, widget mover, right? Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, the organization that I worked for, it was a unionized environment and you know, unfortunately, similar to government work, um, you know, it just doesn’t motivate.

Stephen:                             [11:14]                     You know that, that’s one great thing. I know there’s a, a lot of negative things, but one great thing about capitalism is it can really motivate you. Um, and that’s the same way in the workplace. Um, you know, um, it just, it’s a great motivating factor I think compensation’s important to talk about because I think that there has to be competition for the best vas out there, right? I mean, we think about, you know, trying to keep trying to find, yeah, we always talk about life about where I live at Carlisle, there’s five Amazon warehouses, and if you, if you are certified and you can do all these different things, you can make $28 an hour in a warehouse right here in my little dinky town. Well, competitively, that’s very difficult to compete against, right. For a lot of businesses in town, right? The same thing has to be happening for key level, uh, vas right there.

Stephen:                             [12:03]                     They have to be in demand because there’s so many people that need them. And so you have to pay attention to where I think a lot of people have kind of set it and forget it kind of mentality. You agree? Yeah, absolutely. And you know, that’s one of the things like, so with, with um, our other u s um,...





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