Have Epic Time Management in Your Business - Amazon Business Tips with Paul Higgins (Part 1)
Have Epic Time Management in Your Business - Amazon Business Tips with Paul Higgins (Part 1)
Things we discussed in this session:
Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:
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Episode 95 transcription:
[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er, not and amy Wiis, [00:00:08] spk_1: mm Hey, what's up everybody? This is Andy or not with [00:00:14] spk_2: anyways [00:00:15] spk_1: And this is sell a round table number 95 and we're super excited and privileged to have Paul Higgins on today, Paul, thank you so much for being with us. [00:00:23] spk_0: Great to be here. [00:00:25] spk_1: So paul, what we like to start out with is uh, you know, we like [00:00:29] spk_0: to give people a [00:00:30] spk_1: little bit of background on our guest, so please, uh, let let us know. You can give us as much or as little as you want to share. But um, you know maybe where you're born, where you grew up, kind of, you know how you got to where you are today. [00:00:41] spk_0: Yeah. Well, uh, you know, I love everyone to guess where I'm from giving my accent. I don't think I've got one, but a lot of people tell me I do. So if you pop in the chat where you think I'm from, but I am from down under in Australia and I was born in regional Australia. So in the country and did You know hard yards 1st 5 years growing up on a farm and then I moved with my father and his career to the big smoke to the city, which is nothing like some of the cities you have, but you know around two million people here in Melbourne and uh dad worked for a company that most americans know and love, which is coca cola. So Dad worked there. So we sort of travel a lot with his work and it was irony that 18 years later I ended up all, sorry. Um, well it was, let's say it was roughly 18 years and then I worked there for 18 years. So I never thought that would happen. But yeah, you know, grew up in the country, moved to the big smoke, still a country boy at heart and had an amazing career at coca cola. After following in my dad's footsteps, [00:01:51] spk_1: awesome. Amazing. Um, yeah, so you, you've probably, so if you grew up in Australia, then you, you've had some of my biscuits, right? [00:02:02] spk_0: And what did I and Jack [00:02:04] spk_1: are nuts cookies. I always make that joke, isn't there, isn't there are those cookies in uh, in Australia? It seems like everybody, whenever, if there from Australia, they're like, hey, do you know the family that runs are not cookies? I'm like, no, I have no idea. [00:02:17] spk_2: Hello? [00:02:22] spk_0: I think it's actually owned now by an american company. So I don't think any of the large consumer goods companies here in Australia in our Australian owned, [00:02:32] spk_1: wow, crazy. Yeah. So, um, yeah, you know, we secretly bought them through a shell corporation in the Bahamas and so I don't share that very [00:02:42] spk_0: often. [00:02:45] spk_1: Yeah. Uh so uh, paul, some of the things that we cover here are, you know, anything that has to do with business, but one of the things that I love to cover, you know, I always love to have guests on where I feel like I need more work, right? Because it's selfish, right? It's like, well I need to learn systems better, so let's have people who know systems on, I need, you know, I need to know how to do accounting better. We have accountants on, you know, so I'm I'm a little bit selfish when it comes to people that, you know, that want to come under the podcast. So I'm super excited. Um I would love to, to start out with, you know, time, I feel like I have [00:03:22] spk_0: three small Children [00:03:22] spk_1: Under the age of eight. Uh Time seems like it, you know, I always tell people as I age, I feel like I'm a snowball going down the hill and every day is is you know a blink. So I would love to get some insight into, you know, time management and and uh you know, as running as a small business owner, everybody's always stretched then when it comes to time. Uh I would love to hear uh you know how how you how entrepreneurs should manage their time more effectively. [00:03:50] spk_0: Yeah. Well look, I suppose it starts with my mom, I mentioned my dad and his career, but my mom was a school teacher and she was incredibly planned and organized and I think I get my basic time management on my list, very much a list person now. It's great because it's on project management software, it's a lot easier. But I think I got a lot of my time management skills from mum. And then you go into the coke company. And that's a critical thing, especially when you go in as a salesperson, how do you better utilize your time? And a a quick example for me was when uh you know, time uh obviously when you put up a display of product, the quicker you put up the display, the quicker the product's gonna sell, right? So, you know, I started 1993 and mobile phones were, you know, just getting about. But the co company said, you know, we can't afford to buy around a mobile phone. I said, no problem. So I went and bought my home and then I got all my customers to ring me when the stock arrived. Right? I said, look, it's going to cost you 80 cents for the call. But I'm going to say, you know, make you a lot more money every bottle we sell. So you know, they kept wondering why I was winning all the sales targets. You know, they thought I got the job because of my dad, but I realized that maybe I was there for my own reasons and that I think was a great example of how you can leverage your time to get results. So that's sort of where it started and then franklin Covey. Some of you may have read the book called Seven habits of highly effective people. I read that about 90 for fell in love with the concept of personal effectiveness and personal productivity and that sort of just been something that I've done all my life. So it's been a combination of technology and how do you use the latest technology? Isn't it great that we've now got cloud and we're sort of in the the opportunity to do it and also leveraging people. And if I the biggest thing with time tip that I can give is I think every business owner should have a computer a phone. And the third thing is a virtual assistant. I think that is going to be the best combination to help you save time at a high level. [00:06:06] spk_1: So quick follow up on that in terms of uh you know having a virtual assistant. So many people you know they hear that idea everywhere right? And they go on online jobs that PHR up work or you know one of the various uh freelance platforms. And they um you know they they they get to find the V. A. And and then they get them onto like a zoom call or uh on Skype or you know over chat or howard is there conversing And then they just kind of stare. You know they just kind of stare at each other because this person you know has no idea of of you know they know they want more help but they don't even know where to start in terms of you know offloading some stuff. So what do you think people have to do before they even have that first interview with that via? [00:06:53] spk_0: Yeah look. Great question. I think the first thing is the mindset right? I think a lot of people go for, well a V. A. Is going to cost me $5 us an hour. As a rough rule of thumb. So they go that path and I think you know it's the wrong way to look at it. It's not what it's going to cost you. It's what it's costing you i what you're time is worth, Right? So that's the most important thing. So if you're making $500 an hour, it's a $500 decision, Right? It's not a $5 decision, right? So the gap is a lot greater. So therefore even at $20 an hour of $50 an hour, it's much better to get someone else to do the things that you should be doing. Then you're doing them at $500 an hour, or even at $100 an hour, Right? So I think that's the first thing, the mindset don't go for the cheapest person, Right? Just because everyone always talks about this $5 myth of a fantastic via. Yes, they do exist, but it's not where I go first. If you've never had a via before, there's really three key ways to get a via. So one is through up work or a freelance writer and I call that, that's I think that's good for specialist skills, but I think that's the ongoing via. So if you want a database tweet or you want something specific, I think that's fine. The next is that you go direct. So that's where you're hiring someone like you said, off jobs online, ph something like that. But I think, once again, you don't want that situation, put yourself in that situation where you're looking them and thinking, I don't really know what to do, right? I think the third option is going through a provider, an agency, right? Where they train the va's, they then also have an onboarding process for you and they help you get ready to maximize the benefit of the via. So, if you're looking to you've never used the via before, I'd certainly recommend the agency path, not the up work path or the freelance path. And I would look at it, what's the opportunity cost of your time versus going for the lowest common denominator of trying to get the cheapest person out there [00:09:10] spk_1: awesome. So um in terms of business models, um you know what, what are optimum business models to to scale fast work less, I assume that includes V. A. [00:09:23] spk_0: Yeah. Look, I think the best business model or they say that compound interest was the best thing that was ever invented. I think, I can always remember, I think it's Einstein that said that, but ultimately, I think a recurring based business is much better than a lumpy cash flow business. I project based. Right? So a lot of why people sell on amazon and e. Com is because you know, it's it's some form of recurring, so you can be asleep and still be making money, right? That's that's the ultimate thing. I don't call it pass it because you've still got to work for that at some point, but your work once and then you get that in spades and I think that's the business model I love. So a lot of the people I help with originally doing one on one consulting, which is great. So they build their ip, they build their knowledge. But I'm saying, okay, there's multiple ways you can now scale that knowledge. So one way might be to do a group program. Another way is maybe to create a membership, an online course. But what you're doing is it's no different to a gym membership, right? You pay the gym membership, you don't always go there. But when you do you get value. I think that subscription recurring based business model is fantastic because what a lot of people do and I must admit I started with this is trading time for money. But unfortunately that doesn't blend to your lifestyle, right? My company is called build live give because you want to build a business, but the businesses first based on what sort of lifestyle you want to live. Right? So the lifestyle, so if you've got a recurring model where you don't have to be there to make money, I think that's a great way to go. And then the third thing is Give, which is build live givers about giving back because you've got the time to do that because you've got the team, you've got the recurring income. So that's the business model that I recommend. It's not the only one out there, but I think it's a it's a great one whether you're selling Aecom or whether you're selling some other former service. [00:11:28] spk_1: Yeah, absolutely. And and my favorite recurring revenue stream is software, right? That's my bread and butter. That's what I really, really enjoy. Um and you know, I got the first taste of it. Uh you know, when people didn't know what, what android was, right, android phones, I had built a developed a bunch of apps for, for android and I remember sitting on, uh, you know, next to the pool in Mexico back when that was still running, telling my wife like, I can't believe like this is an actual thing. Like, you know, we were able to build something, grow it and then just kind of put it on. I mean, like you said, it still took some work, but in terms of, you know, having it make money while we were sleeping, while you're sitting next to the pool, while we were getting margaritas delivered, you know, I mean, it was absolutely amazing and that's when I was hooked and realized that, you know, the the recurring revenue model is pretty amazing and like you said, amazon does have a little bit of element of that, especially um if you've got those systems in place. [00:12:25] spk_0: Yeah, look, you know, I've advised some SAS businesses, I've always wanted to build my own and that's still on my bucket list, but I do advise SAS based businesses and yeah, I think it's fantastic and for me and the the key thing that drove a lot of these changes because of my health, I got an inherited condition, it's called polycystic kidney disease, but based on my kidneys failed and then I had to go on dialysis and sitting on dialysis. The reason I left corporate as I knew I was going to have kidney failure and sit on a dialysis machine. What I was doing was basically making money while sitting on a dialysis machine, right? And I think that's the power of a model like this. Yes, you can be on a beach for me, unfortunately, it wasn't as enjoyable as a beach was on a dialysis machine, but then I went for a transplant, but the whole time I had this solid stream of income coming in that it was spread across hundreds of people rather than relying upon a couple of clients. So I think for me personally, it absolutely deliberately set up that model because of my health, but it doesn't have to because if your health it can be for other great lifestyle reasons like you just spoke of. [00:13:36] spk_1: I love that you had the foresight to do that. That's awesome. [00:13:40] spk_2: Yeah, I think it's really great to think about right now. I'm reading the book the myth revisited and it's talking about [00:13:49] spk_1: how, [00:13:50] spk_2: you know, you really, a lot of us try to get out of our job because we're like, man, I'm really good at this, I'll just start my own, and what ends up happening is you start your own job, you're still a technician and you're not, you're not able to get over that hump of actually becoming a business owner, so you just kind of end up employing yourself and you can't get to the point where you're like the visionary and employing the team and all of that, so, you know, and I know that's something that every business owner struggles with, whether you're running an amazon business, whether you're a coach, whether you have software, whether you have a course, whatever you're doing, real estate, whatever you're doing, it's hard to not be really good at, you know, whatever you did before, and try and apply that, try to still be a worker bee in your own business. It's really, really tough. So as a new business owner, what do you think paul are the top five priorities? Um I should be working on every day. [00:14:56] spk_0: Yes. So the in short I wrote a book called Bill Live Given it sort of was my transition from corporate into running my own business. So I'll just quickly run through those five key things that I put in the book. So I think the first one is your time, right? So you really need to leverage technology, leverage those, those people that you can outsource to absolutely prioritize your time. So I think that's the number one thing. And what does that mean? That means that everything you do make a call is, am I the best person in the world to be doing this right? If the answer is no, please get someone else to do it right? And [00:15:40] spk_2: oh man, I have answered that question so many times this week, in the wrong way, I have said I should not be doing this, but I'm going to do it anyway because I'm not behind right now. I'm too busy chopping down trees to sharpen the ax. So, you know, yeah, I got you. Sorry, please continue. That was a good one. [00:16:01] spk_0: Yes, that's the first one. And I've talked about technology and the next is your ideal client, right? So I think this is so critical, it's a bit over overused, but I think, you know, just, I'm a big believer in niche ng down niche, niche, wherever you are in the world. I think it's really important that, you know, someone hit your linked in profile and they know exactly whether this is for them or not. There's so many of us and I use the Super Bowl just occurred and I use that a stadium concept where you're not trying to fill a whole stadium in some cases to begin with, you're trying to fill just a super box, right of specific people. So make sure that you're very clear on who your ideal client is. I think that's critical. I've got some great assets to help do that so people can reach out and get those. The third is a business model which we've covered. And I think that just makes it so much easier if you get that right. Well then a lot of the hard work is, a lot of people say I'm working really hard, working 50 60 80 hours a week, but it's like well are you working smart in that business model helps? So constantly challenge your business model and constantly evolve that business model? [00:17:16] spk_2: I think, I think if I can interrupt, I think that for e commerce business owners, private label sellers which is our primary audience here, I think that they can apply these same concepts because you talked about knowing your ideal client. I know many people that do not focus like when they first get started with a product brand, they try and just launch so many things in a million different categories and they end up spreading themselves very thin and then that leads to issues with their knowing really their business model and niche ng down, you know really, really mastering a niche and when, when we meet some of the sellers that have really, really done really, really well, it's because they've been able to just master and niche. So I think that those two things that you just talked about knowing your business model niche ng down and knowing what your time is worth and who should be doing what, which will allow you to scale faster and knowing who that ideal client does and not trying to sell everything to everyone. It works across any business that you're in, including e commerce. So that being said number four [00:18:35] spk_0: and sorry, just quicker on that amy, I think that was the power of the co company, right. A lot of people ask me why this coca cola been around for 150 years, you know Warren Buffett's made, I think he's 10% shareholder, made a lot of his wealth out of Coca Cola, why? And I said because they do enormous amounts of consumer research before they launch anything right? And I think that was the real parent and that is stayed with me. They make sure that they don't come up with a product and then fit it to a consumer. They asked the consumer, you know, they really research the consumer as much as they can. I know it's a bit of a cliche, you know, don't put the cart before the horse, but I think I definitely learned that. So the fourth one is sales focus, right? We've all got to focus on sales. So whether you're a Nikon business, a service based business, whatever you are, and to me, there's sort of five key elements to that, and I'll just quickly go through those. So, first is your marketing assets, right? Like what have you got this unique that draws you? So even from an economic brand perspective, what's your positioning? You know, what, what have you got that draws people to you, right? So that's the awareness piece the next is around your sales funnel, right? And you know, for Aecom obviously it's the customer journey for a lot of service based businesses. It's, you know, what a lot of people do I think is take the offline approach online. I'm like, no, no, no. You can actually digitize a lot more of your sales funnel now. You can have master classes. You know, webinars, you can have online quizzes and assessments. There's a lot of things you can do now to make sure that people like, you know and trust you rather than face to face the next one is why not mine, your existing clients like from an e. Com business at Cope, we used to as a rep, you'd walk in and what you do is look at all the products that they had, their demographic of who came in the store. You look at all the products they got, and then look at what you already had in your portfolio that they weren't selling, right? So that's a no brainer. Say, how do you sell more to existing clients? And I often just list all my clients or the products that I could sell them and just fill the boxes in. Right? It's a simple activity, but a lot of people miss that. Then new client acquisition, which you know, that is how much people will grow their businesses through that. I won't go into a lot of detail on that, but that's something that we do a lot of it for service based businesses off linked in and obviously there's different ways very common in the last one is your systems and your support, Right? So these days, If you don't have a sales crm, I think you're missing an opportunity, Google sheets is not a sales crm, right? I think you need a dedicated platform. And the other one is, like I said, 50% of sales is admin, get someone in to do it. And the last one is high performing team and that's really building that team because I think Michael, hi, it says it really well and you mentioned it before, amy if you don't have a team, you've got a job. [00:21:48] spk_2: Yes, I love that. And it goes back to what should you be spending your time doing And then something else that you said, you talked about you all the customer research that coca cola does before their launch. And I think that that is something that amazon sellers struggle with because what we have done in e commerce, what we teach in e commerce and not Andy and I don't teach this. But in general, what you learn in these e commerce courses is to start with the product, find a product to sell. Well that's backwards, you should start with the customer and find out what they need, right? And like you were saying, fill in the boxes as Grant Cardone says, I'm going to find my buyer before I do anything, I'm going to find my buyer, right? So I love that we're bringing it back to that constantly. And for e commerce sellers, if you're stuck in the product research phase, it might be because you're too focused on products and not focused enough on customers. If you do some customer research and you learn what customers in your niche, like you're going to discover opportunities like never before that aren't on the market for them that you can offer. And so that's just that's the basics. So [00:23:09] spk_0: speaking [00:23:10] spk_2: of linkedin, we all know that the power of linkedin, I use the power of linkedin to expand my sales beyond amazon. That's how I reach out to buyers. It's really a great easy way to do things. So what do you think? How how can people get quality leads from linkedin? [00:23:33] spk_0: Yeah. Well, because my name is Paula came up with the three piece. Right? So I'll mention them quickly and then I'll go into teach. So profile posting and possibilities. So there are three people. So I don't know Amy or Andy the last time that you went to search for someone, where did you go? So if you're about to have a meeting with someone, where do you normally go to research them? [00:23:58] spk_2: Um [00:23:59] spk_1: For me it's for sure, linkedin. [00:24:02] spk_2: Yeah, I look, I do google because I like to see what their web footprint is um and anywhere they've been mentioned and then of course I looked them up on linkedin. Yeah, I used the search bar at the top of linkedin. [00:24:16] spk_0: Great. And often on google, I know for many people they are actually linked in profile ranks above anything else. Right. So often now Eecom that may be different, but I know definitely for me, I'm in just in the top 10 of my page and I've got lots of assets, I've got my book, I got my podcast, but my linkedin profiles number one, so make sure your linked in profile is the window into your world, right? There's so many things that, you know, I talked to someone and then I look at the linkedin profile and like it's heckle. Um you know, you know what I'm trying to say, Jekyll and Hyde, it's, it's just completely different. So I think your linked in profile is such a powerful tool these days and you know, it used to be for corporate only and I think now B two B business, it's the place to be and, you know, Gary v, you know, 2000 and 19 and said, if you're not on linkedin for B two B business, you're not doing it right? So I think, you know, uh, and then your profile, I'll just quickly go through a couple of key things for key things first is if you're driving down the highway and you look at a banner right on the side of the road, you know how some are fantastic and some art, write what you want is the top of your linked in header, right? To be like a banner, just thinking that someone's driving past to create awareness, right? And I'll often look at it and it's got you planted all over it. Like coca cola doesn't have just a big bottle of coke all the time. They're promoting themselves. It's the same with your header, it's attracting your consumer, right? Or your clients. It's not about you. Okay. So on the head, I make sure that you, I've got my methodology on how I do things, but I've also got who I help, right? So I think it's really important to do that. And if you want to look at my profile, you just go to be LG profile dot com and we'll instantly taking on my linkedin profile, the next is the headline, right? So it's your key headline statement and I think it's simple, just people want to box you. So what are you on the sales mentor? So just make that easy for them because everywhere you go you're footprint they'll see that first. Then I help X through why to achieve zero, you do your version of that. But once again it makes it really clear who you help, who you're talking to. The next section is the featured, a lot of people miss this but there should be three key things in your feature one is your story. I cannot tell you how many people get on a call and say I love your story. It's amazing. It's one of the reasons why I'm having this conversation with you and you don't have to talk about yourself in the call because I already know it. So I think that's really powerful you can get from them. The second is a client testimony on the third is a really good post that is very similar to what you do and then the about sections the last important one and the about section is making sure that it is talking to your clients. I actually say thanks for coming to my profile. It's like when you first meet someone in a cafe, you don't go in and say would you like to buy this right? You have a conversation with them. Their about section is the conversation, right? And then the experiences where you say exactly what you do. So, I think on your profile, they are the key things. [00:27:36] spk_2: I love that. I just brought up my profile. I couldn't help myself and I got some great tips from you. And so I'm definitely going to be implementing those. So thank you so much for that. [00:27:48] spk_0: And I've got a blog download dot com. You can get I've got nine elements of your linked in profile that can improve. So you can go and get that. The next one is a post. So, uh ultimately with linked in the posting is based on an algorithm. Okay. And there's lots of views on the algorithm, But as we know it, it's 50 likes, 20 comments in the 1st 60 minutes. If you hit around those numbers, you're going to get much. So, for example, I've got about 16,000 followers on linkedin. I'll do a post just by myself with not looking to get the 50, and I might get 500 and 700 views. If I do it. Getting the 50, I will get anywhere between 10-100,000 views. Right? So on your posting, content matters don't get me wrong. Content matters in the way that you do it. But the most important thing is getting those 50 likes and 20 comments in the 1st 60 minutes, [00:28:59] spk_2: wow. So how do you recommend getting those likes and comments? Do you? Is it in the content that you're posting? So you're encouraging someone to leave a comment? I know. Andy sometimes on his linkedin he'll post little um he post little uh like surveys and to give a like or a heart if you agree or disagree with something. And so that's I think his hack to get more engagement on his post. But do you have any recommendations to help us get that? 50, [00:29:32] spk_0: Look, that's definitely one of them. And great tip. Like asked people to comment. I've always got a question. I recommend. Every post has a question, right? Because comments we think is worth double what I like is. Right? So the more comments you get, the greater the chance that your post will be shared within your own connections but be in the hash tags that you mentioned. [00:29:58] spk_2: What are the benefits to having more followers on linkedin? [00:30:02] spk_0: Yeah. So it's like when we marketed at Coca Cola, about 50% of your marketing works. 50% doesn't, but you don't know which 50, Right? And it's the same thing. So, I'll give you a quick example. I met a guy 10 years ago when I left coke or nine years ago. Great guy. He's now gone on to build a very successful investment bank in Australia. I wrote a post about questions you should ask in a sales call last year and he contacted me said I love the post. You know, why don't we work together And now he's a client of mine. You know, you just never know who's viewing your post. Not everyone likes, not everyone comments, but that viewership is an incredible power. And last year alone I've got 1.5 million views. It turned into over 100 and 50 new clients. So yes, some people say views are vanity, but to me you just don't know who's watching those posts and that's where the digital referral happens these days, rather than our word of mouth that was through networking. 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 sales and growth seller S C o dot com and amazing at home dot com.