Marketing Your Amazon Or Private Label Products With Don Debelak - Part 1
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[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy Wiis yeah, yeah Hey everybody, how's it going? We're here recording a seller roundtable extra session and I'm here with my friend Donde Belic. He is an incredible guy with a lot of experience. He is an entrepreneur magazine columnist, he's written a bunch of books on marketing and business and he is also an inventor and a patent agent, so he has a lot to teach us today. He came and spoke at my Alamo inventors group and so I followed up with him. He's also helped a lot of people in our mastermind group but their patents, they are loving him everything that he helps them with. So I asked Don to come back and talk to us a little bit more about how to really get our products out there, how to market them done mostly works with inventors um and other entrepreneurs as well. Um so we're going to take the angle of private label today, talking to you guys about how to get your products out there. Besides on amazon, on amazon, you know how to run PPC know how to do all that, But Don is going to teach us a little bit today about how to market on a wider level, on a broader level. So welcome. Don. It's so good to have you. [00:01:28] spk_0: Thank you very much. Okay, [00:01:30] spk_1: well do you want to tell everyone a little bit about, did I cover everything about your background or maybe you want to just take [00:01:38] spk_0: I think so, but here I put a little bit of a slide up here. Um, so I've written for entrepreneur magazine and really, that's in a way the start of the talk today because An entrepreneur magazine, uh, there's a lot of people with a lot of products and a lot of them have been very successful. They, entrepreneur magazine wouldn't let me write about anybody unless they had over $1 million dollars in sales. And the people I talked to who were inventors. So I had an inventor column. But the thing that's amazing when I look at those inventions and there was 109 of them that I wrote about um basically their ideas are no better for the most part than the ideas I see every day from other inventors. So you know, it kind of led me to think, well what is it that these people did different is that their products aren't that much better, but yes, their success ratio is way higher. And so that's what I'm going to talk about today, What is it that these people who have succeeded selling their products into stores into um distributors and you know, very wide ranging um success in the market, What have they done that you can learn about? And due to. So I've also written for invention marketing books. But I've also written many marketing books. I think I've written 15 books and all right now I'm running the website one stop invention shop. I've helped introduced over 20 new products. And my last job that I had before I semi retired was I ran a $5 million dollar company based on a danish adventures product. And um I just tell you a little story before. So I've been involved in the venture in business for about 40 years. In the very first job I had I had was with an inventor who invented the first reclining dental chair. And basically he was a salesman for these, what they called straddle on respect in those days. And one sales, one of the dentist came up and said, oh if you could just make a dental chair to do this, this would be the greatest product in the market. Well what happened was he went out and he invented that product. It took him about three years to perfect it. And he started to sell it at you know little dental shows. And uh he didn't go anywhere well he did have some business but some guy said to him, walked up to him, you need the best salesman in the market, You know to be your partner and get this product out. So what he did is he asked around he found out who is the best salesman in the market. And he gave that guy 25 ownership of the company. That salesman came in and within about three years he was selling over $30 million dollars of products and he wouldn't have sold any without this help. And that's basically what I'm trying to communicate to you today is how to really get connected into the broader market, the market where you really can rack up big sales and then how to, and I'm going to be teaching you later on how to make these connections, how to find these people and then what kind of deals to offer them so that you can really have a lot of success. You're in a better position than most to do this because you already have ongoing sales. So what we're talking about is, okay, here's a market over here. I don't have any sales in this market. What can I do? What you can do is hook up with someone who actually knows how to deal with that market and they can take your product out and you can really jump start your sales to a high level plus you're in total control of your sales and um, I know a lot of you maybe are on amazon and I've tried to sell products on amazon. I've had varying success, but basically some categories, there's like hundreds and thousands of products out there that people can choose from and it's really hard to come to the top. Well, when you start working with these people in the markets who are actually in the industry or find out that they'll put you to the top really without a lot of effort on your part. [00:05:44] spk_1: Oh, I like it. I'm ready to learn. Don. [00:05:48] spk_0: Okay. So as I mentioned, I've written columns on over 130 inventors, all of them have over a million dollars in sales, all types of products, all types of investments. Some of these people didn't even have $5 and they were able to get out on the market and all types of distribution. Now, I'm not saying you can have a bad product and be successful, but you don't have to have a product that's run away better than everybody else is. You just have to have a reasonable product. And if you can hook up with the right people, you'll be able to be successful. Yeah. So the first thing I find out with inventors and new product, people trying to broach the market is, um, they don't know the retailer requirements, they don't know the industry discounts in pricing, they don't know how to how to package their product, they don't know what kind of certifications they need to sell the product, and generally they don't even know how to get a barcode, um, that the retail is required. They don't really know any of the key contacts in the market and they don't know the best distribution methods and they don't know the important trade shows. Now this, if you're marketing a product and I've marketed many, if you don't know these things, you're never going to succeed in this new market, you've got to learn these products are requirements. And the easiest way to learn them is actually from having an industry contact, but you really should be learning these things as you go just so that it doesn't sound like you're a total rookie and that you actually know something about the business. So we're going to talk about how to learn all these things and it's really not hard to learn. You can do it very easily with just a little bit of time and this will expand your opportunity, success. Great. So what are inventors are your three goals? one is you want to create strong sell sales, you want to have a strong market presence and you want to keep your marketing expenses low. [00:07:49] spk_1: And I think that's really, you know, as we mentioned, like some of us are inventors and some of us are bringing a new private label product. But private label by definition is unique. It isn't, it isn't a product that is a commodity copy of another product because that would be a white label product. So those of you private label sellers when you have something that is differentiated no matter what your product is, these are really great goals to have, [00:08:19] spk_0: right. And uh, I'm sure you've all learned online selling that, keeping marketing expenses low as a tough job. I mean it's really easy to advertise on any of these sites, google or facebook and ever and spend way more money than you ever recoup. And so, um, part of the goal of here is how do you learn how to enter, go into these other markets, which can be way bigger and way more profitable and still keep your expenses low. Yes. Um, and so the really, the, the way you can achieve these goals as you must rely on mentors and experience helpers from your target market, it's just very difficult to go out there and really succeed in markets where there's so much you don't know and what I'm going to be teaching you today is it sounds like, oh, I know what you're thinking. How am I going to get this mentor? Experienced helpers? Were you kidding? They'll never, I'll never be able to find them. Well, I'm going to show you how it's very easy to find them and how you can work and as long as you're willing to share some of your rewards with these people, you'll find that they're anxious to jump on your ship. So when you want to have, um, generate strong sales, but this is what the mentors can really do for you. They have contacts to make quick sales. You know, they know the retailers who the product fits into, you know, um, I get so many times, people would say, oh, Home Depot boy, that's going to be a great outfit, but you know, those that can be hard to get into. But there's other retailers throughout the country, like Ace Hardware who's quite easily to get into. And these people in the industry know that and they know how to get in it. They also know the distributors and other apps and over and they almost always know how to structure a big deal. And this would be, um, if you wanted to have a large exclusive sales arrangement or in the inventors case sometimes they like to sell their product out for a big profit. So all of these things, these, uh, you know, mentors or people experiencing the reps, they have all this to offer you. Yeah. Now, as far as creating a strong market presence, they also know how to do that. They know the key magazines. They usually, people don't realize this. But at trade magazines, those people who write in the magazines feature new products, talk about what's going on in the industry. They're very accessible, they're happy to talk to you on the phone, they're willing to work with you. And, um, most of these mentors will actually have a relationship and be able to get a lot of stuff in print for you. Um, the other thing is industry trade shows. Now, people don't know this generally inventors or no people in the market, but these industry trade shows, everybody kind of knows everybody once they've been around for a while. And so, uh, at an industry trade show, it usually goes from, let's say 10 in the morning till six at night. But all the action is really from 12 to 3 and everybody walks around those other hours since talks to everybody and they learn how to meet people and really learn how to make a lot of contacts. Also, these trade shows are famous for their after show, uh, party. So usually they'll have a little, um, you know, little food, a few drinks and stuff right at the show. But then everyone goes to the major trade are the hotels where the ratio was stationed and they go and have a lot of drinks. This is how they meet a lot of people. And so when you're talking about people in the market, they actually know everybody else. You know, you're going in there and don't know anybody. So you don't want to do that, you want to go in and you want to make some contacts. So you know, it it's always very amazing to me that like if I'm introducing a new product and before I even start, I go to the trade shows, I can meet a lot of people. They're very easy and immediate trade shows. And I learned a lot about the industry just by attending a trade show once as a guest and the trade shows will always let you in if you tell them that you're going to be introducing a new product and you want to see what the show is like. Um and so here it is a treasure trove of information people can access easily, but they don't do it. And I think the main reason they don't do it is they don't realize how to do it. The other thing the mentors can do for you is uh and this is what the sales manager did for john not met the dental chair I told you about earlier, he created an nationwide sales force in like a week. He knows the people, he can recruit the people and he really got a very strong sales for us to go and sell the product. Yeah. Now the other thing these mentors can help you with tremendously is keeping your marketing expenses low. Um Trade shows are pretty expensive, you might have a $2 or $3,000 booth and the show itself might cost you four or $5,000 if you're exhibiting. Um Although you still get a lot of benefit just by attending, but usually your mentor can help you join with other companies for trade shows so that you, you know, you cut your expenses, they'll also know what programs don't work. I mean a lot of uh new product people, they run out and spend a lot of money on product brochures, a lot of money on advertising and um a lot of times those programs don't work. Most businesses when you get outside of the um selling online are really done, person to person. They're really, it's a personal business and it's uh knowing how to do that, especially when you're starting out small and you're not able to go after like walmart or target, but you need to build up your sales. And the other thing is just by knowing what kind of packaging you need, how many samples you need. Also things like that, the mentors know that you don't and usually a new person trying to introduce their product will really fall down on their initial offerings to companies [00:14:39] spk_1: and that's because they're mostly not ready. Right? So you're wanting, it sounds like what you're encouraging us to do is first kind of figure out who those mentors are, what you're going to be, showing us how to do, but then really try and learn what kind of packaging is required, what kind of what the industry is doing and where you know where to kind of look for these things and then get asked those mentors to help you get set up with that. Salesforce with the marketing, um, things that you need to be able to present at a trade show and do well or get those products into the store with the right packaging, the right outer outer presentation. Right, [00:15:29] spk_0: right. You need that. I'm going to be going into a, I guess the first primary station, I'm just trying to convince you that a mentor is darn handy to have. I will be actually going into a little bit later and actually how to find these people and get them and get them to sign up, you know, to work with you because um, you know, it's a step by step plan, but right, you just can't go out ignorant into a market. I mean, I see people go to a trade show, they never even went to the trade show before. They have no idea how the trade show works, they don't have any idea what the people are looking for, and of course they fail, you know, so getting your ducks in line is very important if you want to be successful. So when you're looking for your best helpers, um the best helpers are our first are independent sales reps, and the reason that there can be very handy, they know what's going now. These people all work on commission so they don't make sales, they don't eat, so they they have a lot of moxie to them and they have a lot of experience and they really have a lot of contacts with other reps, so they can be very handy. Another group is when you go to a successful inventors in the same market, in your case, it's just successful people who introduced their own new product. Um these guys are extremely helpful. They're usually bend over backwards to help another new person come in, they'll tell you what mistakes they made, they'll often give you a lot of contacts who you can make early sales for now, all of these people only are going to sign up with you or work with you if they like your products. So, you know, I'm not saying that the product is not important, but I'm saying that if you do have the product, you still the people who succeeded, the people who get out there and make these connections, retail store managers can be very helpful. I mean I've known people who have worked with the store manager at a walmart and the walmart store manager like his product, he put up a display, they ran test programs and when the product was successful, he helped that person, you know, move out into other markets so they can be good and and marketing people at companies, they're also extremely good helpers. They also are a God of experience, industry. No, a lot. And they can do a lot to help your product. So these are the kind of people we look for. People have two things in common. One is they know the market and two is they're looking for an angle to really do well. You don't make a lot of money. Um So when you're talking to these people, they're not talking to you to be nice to you or to be friendly to you, they're looking at you as a way to make a lot of money and if you present that opportunity to them, um you know, they're going to be very interested in talking to you. So what do you do? You're going to go out and start talking to people. Um These are so we haven't found our reps of our mentors yet, but we want to be prepared to go out. One is you really should have an honest X closure agreement or patent or provisional patent And in your case where you may have e products, what you want to do is have some type of an exclusive arrangement with the manufacturer or your manufacturing. So people just can't go right around you and um approaches ever supplying you and get the product without you. You need to have some kind of protection. So that doesn't happen. You just need a sales flier for your product. It's very helpful always to have the competition for your product, you know? So in other words, you're going to sell your sales flying, then you're going to sell uh here's a competitive product sales flyers. And you should be able to talk about why your product is better than those. You want to have a targeted sales product or a sales price. And if possible, you want to have a model or prototype. But in your case, if your e sellers, you would have that product already available. [00:19:40] spk_1: So just to break it down, we want to have an agreement, um, a nondisclosure, especially if their product is not on the market yet, but also before we enter into any kind of deal with somebody. We want to make sure that we have that. And then we want to have sales flyer. We want to um, even a digital sales flyers. Okay. You guys can use canvas to make that. There's lots of providers on fiber and stuff like that that are great to make flyers for your products. Digital flyers are great to send out. And then you said that we also want to have, we want to know our competition because we want to know, I'm sure whoever is going to be selling this product for us or buying this product from us wants to know why they should care, right? Just like we create product listings, they want to know why they should care and then contract with our suppliers. If you're getting your product from a trading company and anyone could just search, search that trading company up on Alibaba and find your product and just buy it themselves. What's the incentive for them to get it from you? Did I sum that up. Okay. Don [00:20:48] spk_0: definitely [00:20:50] spk_1: got it. Okay, [00:20:52] spk_0: and I just um we're going on to the next. How do you find these key contexts? Well, the first thing you do is obtain industry trade magazines. Now, you can just do a trade, a google search for trade magazines and then let's what your product is. And they'll come up now, a trade magazine is a magazine that goes out to manufacturers, retailers, marketers or in that industry. Now in those industry, trademark magazines, they have articles, they interview, um marketing people, they'll interview sales reps, they'll do all kinds of things that let you know who those people are. Um The trade magazines are also the ones who usually run the big trade shows and they'll often have trade show directories and those trade show directories or list of different types of products. And they'll they'll list people you can contact to find out more information. All of these people are potential key contacts. If you can find them on google, you can also go on online to Gail, Source of publication and broadcast media and they will also list um you know, they're all this the different kinds of trade magazines that you can look up. It used to be almost always had to go to Gail's, but now a google search will turn up most of them Now, All magazines have new product sections. Now, this is the real golden area for you. You want to send away for all new products that are even remotely connected to your product. And when you get that, what's going to happen is they're going to respond, they're going to send you an email, they're going to give you a person's contact name, they're going to send you what their product is and um those people's names are what you want. Because those are the people you can call up and talk to about, tell them about your product, ask them what to do. And also, um I'll go into this a little later, but tell them that you have attractive offers for industry people that they know, people would be interested in helping taking on a new product. A lot of the uh literature you'll get will also have sales reps on your product literature, so not just coming from the company, but there will be a local sales rep. Um These are the people you really want to connect with and go to lunch with. These are the people who are anxious to make a lot of money. They're also have a lot of knowledge and they can provide a lot of help for you. So, uh You know, if you get if you get, let's say 10 pieces of literature, there's 10 sales reps on them, you should take every one of them out to lunch, not altogether, but on different times and talk to them and see show them your product, see how they respond to your product. Um going back to the competitive section that we talked about last time. Um One thing I found really helps with sales reps is to do a little uh little focus group with your friends, family or at church. Like I've done this. Sometimes I give speeches to uh you know, groups of Like singles or whatever. And what I usually do is I bring like seven or 8 different products or flyers and I passed them out to the people and then I asked and I divide people up into groups of like four or five, and I asked them to rate every products for uh Which ones they think they like best are most likely to buy which ones. Um and then rank the products by the price range. So what happens? That's very helpful because if they if they rank your product in between a product that sells for $12 and one that sells for $10, you can say that People think my product is worth $10-12. Um because that's always one of the questions. You know, you tell them your price point, but they like to see some substantiation about um why do you feel that price point is adequate? Uh So, but but this is stuff that you can go over with the sales reps will be, the more you prepare. You know, the show, you know what you're doing, the better response you get from the sales reps. Sometimes he's uh sometimes a lot of the product literature comes from inventors or from other new products people. And if they happen to be in your area, you should go meet with them too. Um So, so basically this is one way to get contacts and, and and also you can use linkedin if you like it. But I found this is much better linked in off and has, you know, people who are from two bigger companies and it's sometimes, you know, you're talking to them out of the blue, but when, when you talk to them because they're calling you up hoping to sell you a product, I found them to be a lot more receptive. [00:25:49] spk_1: So don do you have any advice for a lot of our listeners as well as a lot of our community is actually located overseas. They're located in other countries and they've built companies and they're selling products and private label brands in the United States. So do you have any advice for those that might not be able to hang out in the US and go to these trade shows? And can they still make the connections? [00:26:17] spk_0: Yes, they still can. In fact, there's no better era than now because now people are, well, it used to be when I was a lot more active, Skype was the prevailing, but now it's really uh you know, zoom or there's really four or five and a lot of the people now use that, I think it's WhatsApp, so they can go on the, you don't have to use your computer, but you can use your phone. Um but then you have to really be ready. Um so you have to have a way to kind of show in a show. Like here's the product, here's how it's used, you know, here's the things about it, you you just can't talk right, you've got to have a little sales pitch with a little bit of visual aids, all set. So when they're looking at you on your phone and you have to have this kind of tight um you know, so, so what you have on all these calls and I've done a lot of stuff with companies in china too, is you have, you have like a minute to start, right to get their attention and you really need a power packed visual in a minute to convey that. Then if you get their interests then you need like a five or six minutes to kind of where you can reveal more, but you just can't call them up on Skype and talk to them. You better be prepared with your materials to show, talk about your product. [00:27:45] spk_1: Yes, in our retail master class, we talk about this, we talk about how to create what's called a brief before even the brief you want to be able to get their attention with not something. So sales e because everybody gets all these messages, these family messages, but first just connect and then next give them a little, a little taste, something that's going to make them a little more curious and want to have more of a conversation and then be able to wow them with different things like teaser decks or, or just even a really cool short video of the product, something that they're able to see right there in their message right there virtually. But you know, you're kind of opening up the conversation and that's what we really focus on because so many people just send these massive kind of spammy emails out to everybody instead of really like you're recommending don to focus in on a few key contacts and develop those relationships and then show them what you have to offer in a really great way. [00:28:54] spk_0: Yeah, I would like to, I don't know how many people here I've ever watched, you know, one of these videos from the investment community where you know, they go on there like an hour long before they ever tell you what you want and those don't work at all when you're talking to these people, they want to see something in like a minute. And, um, there's nothing better for that one minute. Not only to show your product to show though, the other products that you compete with and why you, you know, I develop my product because this product X and this product, why they have these problems, they don't work or they're too expensive or they have some major flaws which gave you some opportunities that, um, you know, it doesn't hurt to say if you show them a really good selling product, they they actually know what these good selling products are, right? You don't have to tell them and say, look, this product doesn't do this, this and this and mine doesn't, you know, so I find that showing competitive products to these people who are in the market is good, and, um, plus they'll respond to you if you say, well, this, this and this product, uh, don't have this and I have this, they couldn't, you know, you're gonna, and this is the greatest thing that can happen is they're going to give you feedback and he says, yeah, but their product does that, do you do that? You know, and they'll, you'll get a dialogue going, that really gives you a chance to explain your product better. And, you know, they won't be really nice. You know, if they think you're products got flaws, they'll tell you right off the bat, if they think you're price too high, they'll tell you, I mean, so they're just looking to make money. That's what you have to read as they don't, they're not trying to be nasty to you, but don't expect them to be you know, oh it's not like showing this to your mom or something and they said oh what a nice idea you have, they don't do that and I think that's better for you, it's getting that dialogue going. And again that's why I'm so much in favor of uh sending off for product literature because that person is calling you up and he's interested in talking because he's hoping to sell you something and you really can do a dialogue and um I don't know what's best overseas if zoom really works or a Skype is better, but uh everybody out there who's overseas probably knows what's the best thing. And I think most american companies or people they would have that, I think it's whats app on their phone [00:31:26] spk_1: or [00:31:27] spk_0: zoom but a lot of them still might have Skype, but you know because Skype isn't so bad for one on one. You know, if you're just talking to one person, [00:31:38] spk_1: thanks for tuning in to part one of this episode, 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 [00:31:52] spk_0: sales and growth [00:31:53] spk_1: seller S c o dot com and Amazing at home dot com.