11.11 Sales. How We Did It ? - Part 2
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Dear readers, I don’t sell anything. I am not the seller. I am a humble part time employee for my employers which are the eCommerce Entrepreneurs. But then I am not the normal employee because the seller didn’t instruct me to do anything. Instead we discuss a lot of things, and it is really up to the employers to accept it or not. And if their performance improves, they paid me token of salary. I still need money to eat economy rice.
I am also not running co-working place like those mushrooming in KL, renting workplace in profit. I am organizing a real humble CO-WORKING COMMUNITY in Ipoh which is different. This happened due to a real issue faced by my first member, Miss A. Let me put back the graph again. Notice that there was a sharp drop in April, and subsequently it takes us 3 hard months to grow more than April sales. Why?
In end of Mar, this humble startup was still only used by the first member with one workplace. But Miss A need a well-deserved holiday for not sleeping well for quite some time. She went for a holiday, close the shop on holiday mode for around 10 days. And when she was back, we got SHOCKED that her listing was disappearing on the first few pages, with our competitor taking our place on the marketplaces!
In companies, the business does not stop if an employee went holiday or missing. We thought the marketplace served the seller, allowing seller to take a holiday and business as usual when the shop reopen. Wrong! Marketplaces are brutal. If you stop business for 10 days, your orders will be replaced by another seller. When your competitor took your orders, in the marketplace algorithm, your competitor marks increased and will have more exposure and traffic then you. Customer forget about a seller very fast in marketplace. You will have to claw back your marks and turf inch by inch when you are back from your sweet holiday! In fairness, we can’t ask the customer to wait for our holiday to be over right?
From this event, I learned that this is a very BIG RISK for single entrepreneur! Luckily this is a holiday. What if she (touch wood) caught Denggi? I can’t even imagine what will happened if the shop close for few weeks and her business gone while she is in the hospital. There are so many other possibilities that might takes her out of action! That’s when this idea come in. How about few entrepreneurs join together in this place as a community? We had the space. We can even share the rental, Internet, and other utilities expenses. If an entrepreneur is taking leave, she can ask her fellow entrepreneur in the same community to help him cover the fulfillment.
We meet the landlord again, because at first, we informed him that it is for a single eCommerce business, but now we wanted to have a community. Again, I prepare my presentation about co-working and explain to him. He agreed! And this time in return, he wanted to invest in this community! We got our funding source just like that haha! I guess he was impressed by Miss A performance when we shared the performance with him.
We setup a company under KK ECOMMERCE. Why KK? It supposed to be KITA KONGSI ECOMMERCE, but this is a long story which I blogged already. We furnished the whole house, allowing eight entrepreneurs, with a meeting/photo room and fulfillment center. Coincidentally, I am fascinated by content marketing and social media marketing, so what else then learning by doing it and your support are priceless for me. REALLY!
Soon we had members. Miss A also had taken some leave to attend courses and talks. No problem, fulfillment was supported by the new members. We are a community, a loose family whereby we try to take care and HELP EACH OTHER as much as possible. When Miss A business spiked and peaked at 11.11, no issues! All of the community member was packing happily, with new members aiming to do it same next year. Of course, the Miss A paid those which helped packed. The FORCE of KITA KONGSI is strong here.
So dear readers, if you are alone, please think of this, seriously.
Now, let’s go the important question to many, which question Miss A asked, like new members always asked, like many readers always asked, like I asked also when I start to do sales.
What are the product you are selling well?
In summary, I received 3 types of reply.
A) I still remember the day I got embarrassed like hell. These were my Sifu words, not my words ok. Please don’t get offended. The reply was “WTF! You think I am your father ah. You just come in, I have to give you a good selling product/job, you no need do anything and can sell like some hot shot lah. Now if you want to know, take this slow-selling product, and if you can sell well, then only ask what is selling well”.
B) I also had listen to people showing me all their bestselling product. They even had people crying on stage that its their life best decision to paid huge sum of money to buy some wonderful products. Most important you must get more new members or entrepreneurs to join. You are on a destiny to be rich in future. They even show more impressive Bank Check, Holidays and Ferraris than Part 1 photo.
C) The third type of reply is “All my products is cheaper than what selling on website. Good Quality One. You no need to buy, just list it and post it and sell, and we ship the product to your customer house. No Risk, No holding cost” That is drop shipping my friend.
The WORST is B) because it is a Get Rich Quick Scheme. C) Is ok, because some drop shipping is OK, but there are a lot of skills inside. I had a member who listed hundreds of drop ship products, and yet no sales. Alternatively, now we have seller drop ship from our community. We know because they call up to ask us to remove our logo and marketplace logo.
But the BEST LESSON OF MY LIFE was A). I was given a task to sell Huawei Modem in TM because I am new. In corporate, a new comer would not get a sweet account unless you were connected. Normally you will be given a hard bone to bite. Some of my friend said, Telekom, a GLC, dominated by Malays, me as a Chinese sure no chance one. There are so many other Malay competitors. Can type resign letter already or prepare to receive the firing letter.
At the end, I did get the letter, and below is the letter.
I just didn’t give up. I just keep fighting. But this story save it for later part.
My Sifu then pull me aside, and tell me this, and now I give you the answer for your first question.
A GOOD PRODUCT FOR YOU IS NOT A PRODUCT WHICH OTHERS ARE SELLING WELL,
A GOOD PRODUCT FOR YOU IS THE PRODUCT WHICH YOU CAN SELL WELL !
Because at the end,
So I now share my TOP SECRET with you haha. Don’t flame me for this.
But actually, to answer this question directly, it is really not hard to know the hot selling products in eCommerce. Just go to any online marketplace, type in a keyword, example baby milk, all those listing will appear. Those with the most reviews and ratings for long period of time is the star product of the seller. If you want to know what other product the seller is selling, just click on the seller store. It is even easier than to go to a market to observe what is selling hot offline.
I think the right Question should be:
What is the product I can sell well?
Alright, now we are on track. Please let me answer you by asking you a question.
What do you love to buy? Or What do you love to do? (Allow 10 minutes to think about this)
That’s was a day in a blue moon, I went shopping with my wife. Bought three underwear in a bundle for RM29, because it was on promotion. Then went searching for my wife.
“Honey come come, this Bra nice or not?” My eyes wanted to pop up. RM299 for 1 bra! My face turn sour, and sensing it, my wife said: “See Lace one, very pretty. Also, this ah, got firm support and memory technology, so firm yet so soft and conform to my curves. Normally sell for RM499, now RM299 so cheap!” She continued with more jargon of Bra.
Come on, I am a sales man, such tactics don’t work on me. Feeling my coldness, She finally came out with a killer Tagline “Honeeeey, I wear for you to see only mah? Tonight when you naughty naughty, you can tear my old bra roughly in roleplay, because I had new bra already”.
Take All My Money!!!
Buy What you want to Buy!!!
Because selling what you LOVE to buy or do is the best way to start. This is because Market Research comes effortlessly when you love a product, and always buying it.
You love the product because you buy it - PASSION
You know all the aspect of the product, the good and bad – PRODUCT CONTENT
You know what problems it solved which is important – VALUE PROPOSITION
You know where to buy and when to buy when it is cheapest – COMPETITOR INFORMATION
You will know what tagline to use for your target audience by hitting on their pain point –
MARKETING & POSITIONING
Then why just buy it and not SELL IT? You get lower price for what you love to buy. You sell to your friends / customer and helping them getting the best deal! At least you if you lose to the competition, you still have the stock of what you love. Haha! No harm done. Read more here. But then, it is still not enough and there are risks in such approach. Anybody can share what the risk are?
Sorry guys, already more than 1800 word count. Please If you like this part 2, please like and share. It means a lot to me. Any feedback and opinion, please send to me to help me to be better writer. Our community facebook is https://www.facebook.com/kkecommerce/
Lastly, it is HARD To Be A Startup Seller. I used to look to this video when things got tough. I share it so that hopefully it helps you. This movie makes me, a cynical salesman cry when I watch it for the first time.
Keep Fighting, Keep Taking the Hits, as this is how WINNING is done.