EECO Asks Why Podcast

244. Idea - eCommerce Strategy for Manufacturing and Distribution

February 06, 2023 Electrical Equipment Company
244. Idea - eCommerce Strategy for Manufacturing and Distribution
EECO Asks Why Podcast
More Info
EECO Asks Why Podcast
244. Idea - eCommerce Strategy for Manufacturing and Distribution
Feb 06, 2023
Electrical Equipment Company

83% of B2B buyers prefer an e-commerce or digital experience, as opposed to picking up the phone!

Let that sink in for a minute.  The digital experience for those in manufacturing is here and the businesses that are making the investments now will be the ones carrying the flag in the future.  Curt Anderson is the expert in all things eCommerce (he literally wrote the book about it) and in this insight packed conversation he shares all the salient truths that will put any manufacturer on a path to serving the market like never before.

He walks through how the desire to digital self-serve is making such an impact and in order to meet the changing customer demands this is no longer a nice feature but rather a must have capability. 

Curt gets tactical on steps you can begin taking to move the needle and he even reviews the metrics to measure to gauge success.  One thing you will quickly find after spending any time around Curt is his passion for what he does.  He has an energy and drive that is contagious and his success is driven by his desire to serve.

No matter where you sit on your eCommerce journey there is a ton of wisdom and practical insight to start applying to make an impact.  

Remember to keep asking why!

Guest: Curt Anderson - eCommerce Evangelist for Manufacturers at B2Btail

Stop Being the Best Kept Secret: Manufacturing eCommerce Strategies

Industry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!

Host: Chris Grainger
Executive Producer: Adam Sheets

Show Notes Transcript

83% of B2B buyers prefer an e-commerce or digital experience, as opposed to picking up the phone!

Let that sink in for a minute.  The digital experience for those in manufacturing is here and the businesses that are making the investments now will be the ones carrying the flag in the future.  Curt Anderson is the expert in all things eCommerce (he literally wrote the book about it) and in this insight packed conversation he shares all the salient truths that will put any manufacturer on a path to serving the market like never before.

He walks through how the desire to digital self-serve is making such an impact and in order to meet the changing customer demands this is no longer a nice feature but rather a must have capability. 

Curt gets tactical on steps you can begin taking to move the needle and he even reviews the metrics to measure to gauge success.  One thing you will quickly find after spending any time around Curt is his passion for what he does.  He has an energy and drive that is contagious and his success is driven by his desire to serve.

No matter where you sit on your eCommerce journey there is a ton of wisdom and practical insight to start applying to make an impact.  

Remember to keep asking why!

Guest: Curt Anderson - eCommerce Evangelist for Manufacturers at B2Btail

Stop Being the Best Kept Secret: Manufacturing eCommerce Strategies

Industry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!

Host: Chris Grainger
Executive Producer: Adam Sheets

00:00 Chris Grainger

Welcome to Ecos y. Today we have an idea episode, and we're gonna be talking about e-commerce strategy for manufacturing and distribution, and I brought in the man the myth, the legend, Kurt Anderson, he caught actually on his LinkedIn profile, says, E-commerce evangelists for manufacturers. I'm excited to talk with you today, Kurt.

How you doing? 

00:25 Curt Anderson

Hey, good morning, Chris. Man. What an honor and privilege man. I just, I was, I've been up since like three o'clock this morning. I've been so fired up to get together with you. So thank you. Long time coming and I appreciate this opportunity. 

00:37 Chris Grainger

Absolutely, absolutely. So looking so forward to working with you today and, and learning from you and.

Let's just, let's just go to, uh, break it down for us. You're in, you're in a high school or middle school? I got, I have a seven, a seventh grader at my house. So let's say we're, we're in her classroom and we're trying to define for all the students in there what e-commerce is. How you gonna break that down for 'em?

01:00 Curt Anderson

Dude, that's a great question. So, you know what? Hitting middle, you know what I actually, I, I, your, your daughter would probably explain e-commerce better to us than we do. I have a harder time explaining it to the baby boomers and Gen X and the digital immigrants. You know what I mean? So, right. So the thing is, if we were in the, your, your daughter's classroom, they'd probably be mocking me.

Be like, Hey, Mr. Anderson, man, we just, we bought five things before you even walked in the room. Right? So, But, but, you know, point won't take, let, you know, let's say it's a, a bunch of, uh, baby boomers are in the room and we're trying to explain e-commerce, but e-commerce is, um, you know, it's, it's challenging and I know you, you guys do a great job with distribution on your side.

Dealing with manufacturers, it's a little bit different because they struggle. When we think e-commerce, you know, electronic commerce, you jump on your mobile phone and next thing u p s driver's at your door the next day with an Amazon box, right? Correct. And so in the manufacturing, you know, you and I work heavy duty in the b2b.

It's a little bit different cuz a lot of manufacturers, like they make different widgets or different parts and they're thinking, well, we're not traditional direct to consumer e-commerce. You know, we're b2b, you don't get it. We don't understand. So what we're trying to do is like, we're trying to help those manufacturers, uh, you know, understand that e-commerce is for everybody.

You know, it's not just for the directed consumer and things that your spouse or somebody else is buying for the house. But anyway, talking to those middle schoolers, I think we would have a great convers. Um, I, you know, a lot of entre. I bet your daughter has a bunch of entrepreneurs in her classroom and they would give us a blood of ideas on how to make money with online.

What do you think? 

02:31 Chris Grainger

I think they, they definitely would. They're all, and, and you're, you're, you're all over it. Cuz the whole world has shifted to that e-commerce strategy. I mean, Amazon, everybody wants that Amazon type experience from distributors to manufacturers. And I guess we're gonna get there. And I'm curious for you, you know, you have that B2B tail, what's the goal?

You know, how are you trying to serve others and help 'em in that e-commerce strategy to get. 

02:53 Curt Anderson

Yeah. Thank you. Um, you know, great question. So the name of the company, B2B Tale, it's a little play on words instead of retail or b2b. We just kind of threw it together. So it's B2B tale. That's our, my little, my little tagline there.

So again, you know, it's just trying to help these, uh, B2B distributors, uh, trying to help, uh, manufacturers. Trying to create a digital presence, you know? Mm-hmm. , and it's, it's very daunting, challenging where, you know, traditionally a lot of manufacturers like, oh, this internet thing's a fad. Uh, you know, my nephew did a website for me in 2005.

We're just gonna leave it. But I think, you know, with everything that's, uh, trans transformed in the past couple years, you know, we're constantly hearing like this digital transformation, if you will. Uh, now, you know, e-commerce is no longer a nice to have. E-commerce is a must to. And so that's kind of our mission at b2b.

Tells we do a lot of like, webinars, workshops, training, uh, educating, uh, folks, entrepreneurs, manufacturers on how to figure out this whole e-commerce, uh, jungle, if you will. How's that one? 

03:51 Chris Grainger

Yeah, I mean, cuz I mean the, the whole technology enablement, you, you have to be playing this game. If you're not playing this game.

If you're not in it at this point, it's almost too late to get it. I mean, you really, there's a lot of catch up work. 

04:03 Curt Anderson

There's a lot of catch up work, and I know, you know, uh, you know, again, my respect and admiration for what you guys do is goes deep and like, even like this podcast here, you know, in a way is e-commerce.

You know, like you're getting out there. You're, you're, you know, you're doing, you know, I'm so blessed to be here with you today. You're letting me, you know, kind of express what we do. And same regard, like you're sharing your expertise week in, week out. You know, we have a bunch of mutual friends that have been guests on your show, Joe Sullivan, Jeff Long, and you know, Ashley, we could go down to the Walters, we could go down the.

You know, you do an amazing job and in a way, like, you know, this is e this is, you know, e-commerce in a way. You're not really trying to sell anything, but you're trying to help your ideal buyers out there, educate them on bringing different subject matter experts. So like, even in a way, what you're doing on a weekly basis, Chris, is, you know, could be argued, is, is, you know, you're delivering an e-commerce educational experience, if you will.

04:54 Chris Grainger

Amen, man. Hopefully the executives are eco listening to that part. Kurt, thank you. I'll, I'll slide you a 20 later. . 

05:00 Curt Anderson

You want me say it again? I'll say it slower. So Chris, you know, we did a great job that you do. You're the greatest guy on the planet, so just 

05:09 Chris Grainger

all good, all good, bro. Thank you so much, Kurt, man, it's great.

I am curious you, cuz you, you deal with so many different manufacturers and businesses. What are you hearing out there these days? Uh, so far as the top priorities? 

05:21 Curt Anderson

What, what is coming? Yeah, great. You know, uh, a term, I'm gonna be honest, I'm not taking a credit at all for this term. New term that's come on my radar that's really resonating with folks like in your space, distributors and manufacturers, digital self-serve.

Okay, digital self-serve. And so the thing is, like a lot of times, and again, like I, so I, I do these webinars and workshops and, you know, the, the headline will be e-commerce. And, uh, once again, kinda being a little redundant here, but you know that manufacturer's like, Hey, wait a minute. I've bend metal, I cut steel, I make things for other people.

I make parts that go into an airplane. I make parts that go into a car. Why would I get into e-commerce? But the thing is, there's a study that just came out recently. Uh, I know like our, our mutual friends, Jeff Long and the, and Joe Sullivan, they talk about this, uh, Gartner came out with a, a study in June of this year.

83% of B2B buyers prefer an e-commerce or a digital experience, as opposed to picking up the phone. I mean, just like, let that sink in for a second. 83. And the number one complaint of B2B buyers, I can't get enough information on your website, so what happens? I'm now gonna go to your competitor. I'm gonna go somewhere else.

So like, again, having that footprint, establishing and building that trust and, and you know, I'm starting to throw it out again. You know, like what you're doing right here with your podcast is like, Getting yourself out there, building that trust, but creating that digital self-service experience. I know we were talking about e-commerce at your company before we went online, you know?

And like when you take that step, you're demonstrating that, that commitment to your customer. Hey customer, I know you're busy. I know you're slam today. You've got like 80 things to buy. You've gotta get to a soccer game after work today. And you know what? I know you're busy. Come on our. We're gonna remove the friction.

We're gonna make it super easy. You don't need to pick up the phone. You know, you need to call us. Bam, bam, bam. Check out. We've got your back. Move on to the other 30 things you need to do today. Get that soccer game tonight and we've got you. You know, so like you're, you know, when you go in e-commerce and that digital self-serve experience, you're just demonstrating to your customer like, Hey, we got you.

We know how stressed you are. Let's do this together. 

07:32 Chris Grainger

Now that 83%, that's a, that's a big number. Obviously, there's a, there's a lot of data behind that. Now, maybe speak to the salespeople who are working for distribution or trying to get out and be in front of the customers, and they just heard that, wait a minute, 83% of them, they don't want to see me.

Maybe give them a real pep talk. What do they need to be thinking of? How, how can they serve and, and still provide value? 

07:53 Curt Anderson

Yeah. Well, hey, a dear friend of ours, Greg misk does an amazing job. He preaches what's called the digital twin, and I know a lot of times we think the digital twin, you know, uh, you know, more on the engineering or maybe automation side, but he does an amazing job preaching the digital twin on taking that leg.

You know, like take the sales rep that's been going at it for 10 20. 30 years, they just have mm-hmm. multiple information. Know the industry inside and out. What we wanna do is like retract that information outta that sales rockstar, that Sales Hall of Famer, and get that on your website. Get that into a video, get that into a podcast, get that into, you know, a, a white paper, a blog series, whatever.

You know, the how to, how to use our product, why to use our. Safety, sustainability. Get that information on the website because again, you're allowing that customer to build that trust without you being on the phone and what you're doing instead of the salesperson answering that same question over and over and over.

Now, that data, that information, that research is now on the website, you're able to establish that trust, that ideal customers staying on your website. They're not going to your competitor. Then by the time that they get on the phone, you know, when Chris, when you know, because of this podcast. When somebody picks up and talks to you, like, you know, I've, I've caught a bunch of your podcast episodes and I know, you know, you and I are new recent friends, right?

And brothers here. Right? But I've like, I got to know you because like you've interviewed Jeff Long, you've interviewed Joe Sullivan, you've interviewed Ashley, you've interviewed a bunch of people that I know, like, and trust. And so now that establishes an immediate relationship I have with you. That's it.

09:28 Chris Grainger

I mean, and then the relationship, you know, I think at the core of business relationship is still very important. I'm curious, in the last couple years, covid changed the game, big time for distribution. Did it ramp, when with that, did it ramp up the importance of e-commerce? I mean, is that, have you seen that, you know, work from home, everything else that impacted industry over the last couple years?

Was that a big. 

09:49 Curt Anderson

Huge. Just absolutely huge. I mean, like anybody, like, uh, I, you know, I hate some people say like, Hey, somebody in e-commerce actually started this little covid thing because like when you, you know, whenever like, you know, tragedy creates opportunity, right? Right. So, man, I, uh, because like, again, the folks, the ma you know, fo uh, again, I'm, I'm, I'm a Gen Xer, so I'm kind of throwing us, you know, I'm a digital immigrant, if you will.

Those of us born before 1980, so I'm kind of throwing us Gen Xers and baby boomers under, under the bus, but say pre covid. You're like, you know what? We don't need this e-commerce thing. We don't need LinkedIn. We don't need social media, so and so forth. You know? Then all of a sudden when trade shows were gone, sales reps, couldn, go on the road.

Now all of a sudden they're like, Hey, wait a minute. Again, not a nice to have. This is a must to have, you know, like you and I are creating a great friendship here. How, how did that happen? Linked. If it weren't for LinkedIn, you and I would've never crossed paths. Right. Is LinkedIn a nice to have? It's how I make a living.

It's how you make a living. LinkedIn is Abso like, I wouldn't know how to do business without LinkedIn. That is e-commerce, 

10:52 Chris Grainger

right? Yes. Right. I wanna also pull a little bit, first of all, thank you on that LinkedIn comment. Cause I think too many businesses out there are not really leaning into that. Luckily at Eco we are, we're we, we're full on board with post engagement and things like that.

Well, well, Kurt, speaking to the, the, the LinkedIn area and the importance of, of creating content and getting your, your subject matter expertise out of your, your subject matter experts and on online, since you can serve digitally, I have a. I rule if I hit, if I get a question asked three times, I'm gonna make that into some content, and that's gonna either be a blog.

A short video. I'm gonna try to do a podcast with someone like you. Yep. What, what? What's your advice? Okay. Cuz we do have these experts at Eco. We have salespeople who have been here 30 years and they have tons of insight. What do we need to be doing to try to get that out? Like you said, extract it and put it out there so that we can serve a broader audience.

11:46 Curt Anderson

Oh. Chris, phenomenal question, dude. And again, I love what you guys are doing at go with everything as far as product, e-commerce, podcasting, what have you, what, so a hundred years ago, or certainly feels like I had an e-commerce business. Okay. Back in two thousands. Mm-hmm. and like, you know, social media was kind of brand new at the time and the, we had a running joke and the joke was, How could we get the phone not to ring?

How could we get the email not to dig? And what that meant was every time the phone rang, I literally, I'd run up the customer service and I'd be like, what did they ask? Why did they ask it? And, you know, I wasn't that aggressive, but like, how, where and how can we get that put on the website to answer that question?

And email would come in. What did they ask? Okay, well, hey, size, color, safety, sustainability, whatever the question was, we're like, so every time the phone rang, every time the email would ding, we would be like, Hey, let's get that information on the website. So maybe it's content, more product information, uh, maybe a spec sheet, maybe it's a video.

A how-to video. So my tagline, so I do a bunch of training webinar webinars, as I've pointed out, and what our preach is. How can you help your ideal. Make a buying decision on a Friday night at midnight without having to wait for you to open up your doors on Monday morning. Mm-hmm. . So the thing is, when you can create that 24-hour digital self-serve experience, you know, again, like in retracting that information from that subject matter expert, like, you know, the guys on your team as you're describing, 

13:13 Chris Grainger


And pull that on there just a little bit further. There's a great book out there. I think I've recommended it before we're on the show, but they ask you answer. I mean, it really did. You know if you, if you get that right, if you just apply that simple strategy, you know, and, and I, I really encourage people to lean more into the video.

Yeah. But hey, blog written, written form content still has its place, but. Again, just service that. I love how you say, so Fri, what'd you say? Friday night at midnight, they can make that decision, but don't have to wait for you to open up on Monday. Exactly. 

13:42 Curt Anderson

Right. And, and, and, and so the funny thing is, so I, you know what?

As a matter of fact here, right here live, Chris, like I need to have you, I do a LinkedIn live twice a week. I need to have you on as a guest and my partner is Damon Pasta. Damon is phenomenal. Incredible. He's a, gosh, what a great, uh, man he is. And he, he'd be a great guest for you here, but he just, on our program last week, we were interviewing, uh, I think it was Paul Van Meter from Pro Shop and yeah.

Just said, guys, we need, uh, uh, they asked you answer. Right? Is that the title of the book you just mentioned? Right. Right. You just brought that up just the other day. And so I agree. They ask you answer and I'll tell you. So let's, let's go there for a second. So, I work with a lot of digital immigrants. Okay.

Gen X, baby boomers and like, you know, digital resistant. And so here's a great, this is a great hack for anybody out there. What we do is we take that person and we're gonna, we're gonna interview them, so we've got 'em on a Zoom, and we're gonna hit the, we're hitting the record button. And man, these guys, women, men, you know, men, women, whoever it is, they can talk about their product in their sleep, right?

They've been selling this widget. Mm-hmm. , like we have somebody that sells covert antennas. We have somebody that does like forging, you know, all these different manufacturing. They can go down and dirty, but they're not gonna sit there and type out a blog post. It's just never gonna happen. Right, right.

You'd see me with air before you're gonna see this person type out a blog post, but by re by, by getting that recording from the person. What we do then is we use Otter. What is Otter? Otter is a free transcription tool. Okay. Absolutely love it. I just blogged about it two weeks ago. We use Otter. We get the transcription.

So now we're pulling out all that subject matter expertise from the person that's been doing it for the past 30 years. We use Otter, and now it's a copy and a paste. So now we have a video of the subject matter expert. We can get that on the website. We can post it on YouTube, we can post it on Vimeo, we can post it on social, LinkedIn, wherever.

But then we're getting the written cop copy because now we're going after SEO rankings, keyword rankings. And so now we have the written text. But you know what, this person dedicated 30 minutes of their life to talk about what they would talk about and, uh, and gladly, right? They would talk about it in their sleep.

We get the transcription, copy and paste it videos, social blog posts, SEO rankings. Man, we're like, we're, we're just, you're really maximizing that one little juicy piece 

16:02 Chris Grainger

of. Absolutely. And it doesn't take a whole lot, cuz I think a lot of times we can get just, just, just overwhelmed with, hey, we've gotta do all these videos, all these blogs, all this stuff.

Like, look, just chill. Chill. It's okay. Yeah, it's okay. One step at a time, you know? But from a technology enablement standpoint, get the basic core items in place to serve. And then, but, but dens, from a marketing standpoint, you got to start leaning in and having these types of conversations and creating this type of content.

That's what's going to pull people to you so that you can serve and leave more. 

16:34 Curt Anderson

Absolutely. And if you don't mind, I'm gonna, can we reverse roles for one for half a second? I would love to hear Absolutely. Maybe your, I dunno if your crowd or your audience knows, and maybe it's been a while since they've heard it.

How and why, what inspired you guys to start your podcast? Like did you guys have an aha moment or was it a team like, Hey, what should we do? Like, tell, just share a little bit like, what inspired you guys to go this route? Cause a lot of B2B distributors, this is not their jam. Like, hey, we're not gonna go here.

But you guys did it. You've been doing it for a long time. You have hundreds of awesome episodes. Share, like, how did you, how'd you get, how'd you tip that? Tip? Your toe in that water? Yeah. 

17:08 Chris Grainger

For me, it, it was a crazy pitch from yours truly to our executives. Uh, cause I mean, I was basically riding, riding around, listening to a lot of podcasts and I was following Gary V pretty closely.

Yeah, yeah. And I think about after the 10th time of hearing Gary v saying, if you don't start a podcast to support your business, you're an idiot. And I really cleaned that up for those that listened to Gary V. Right? Yeah. Right. And I was, it just, it just makes sense. I went to our chief operating officer, I said, I think this is where we need to start leaning in to, to be an innovative leader in distribution because no one else is doing it.

And to your point, We're almost three years into this now, several hundred episodes, and we have so much content that we're now, we're going back through and pulling out a lot of that gold Yeah. From those conversations. Yeah. And we're making that into more content to serve in, in different areas and we're, we're leaning into reels and trying to make little short, you know, more short form type videos as well.

But it just, it, it all snowballed. And it was so funny cuz some of the technologies that we want to get into, Our CEO came up and, and, and we're, we're, we're getting into this technology around this, this software platform through the podcast. And, and the, the, the ability, the network that I've been able to create, just serving others and trying to help eco get better, I was able to connect with the chief technology officer for the company that we're actually, you know, gonna be working with and we're recording together.

So it's just like, it's a door opener, but it's a great way to serve and you just get a, a positive message out and, and, and it. That's why we try to focus on this show. It's not, it's not sales, it's people and ideas over products. And if we can just keep that focus and keep trying to get the good information out there for those in, in industrial manufacturing, they're gonna keep coming back.

18:50 Curt Anderson

Yeah, dude, that, I mean, you know what, and I think a big word that's like, just kind of like jumping off the screen to me is you keep saying. I've described, you know, digital self-serve. You're talking about, Hey, this podcast is our opportunity, it's our vehicle to serve. You know, so I mean, so anybody out there listening, you're like, man, you know, I feel behind.

You're not behind. You are not behind whatsoever, like this whole digital world. We're just getting, the party's just starting. So you're not behind on e-commerce. You're not behind. If you're like, well, hey, uh, if you know, if Chris can do a podcast, why can't you do a podcast? Right? I do a LinkedIn live. If I can do one, you could do one.

You know, so like, you're absolutely not behind. But I love what you're saying, Chris, is that we're, if you focus on serving, things are gonna fall into 

19:29 Chris Grainger

place. It definitely does. That's what it's all about. I mean, too, too often we, we think about ourselves, but look, we gotta serve others. If we serve others and do the right things, put the right messages out there, that's it.

It will make an impact. I'm curious. Five, you know, go back, Kurt, if you could talk to yourself five, 10 years ago. Hmm. Any advice around this E-commerce? What, what would you, what advice would you give yourself back then? 

19:51 Curt Anderson

Oh gosh. I would've gone all in. So I've been, you know, I've been, I've been kinda singing this praise, you know, that e-commerce evangelist, as you mentioned before, you know, I've been doing it mm-hmm.

you know, for the past 10 years in different capacities. And so I guess, you know, if any of us kind of saw this little covid thing coming, you know, that's a, that really just escalated the hold of b B2B e-commerce. So, I dunno, maybe, you know, I hate to, you know, we're big guys in faith, so I hate to like look in the rear view mirror.

I always like to look out the windshield, but, you know, I'm sure there's a ton of things I could have done different, but God has a path path for us and I'm just, I'm just a servant following that path. How's. 

20:25 Chris Grainger

I love it. I love it. Well, one o, one thing I am curious about regarding e-commerce. Mm-hmm. , you know, being in a distribution world, we know what metrics are important to us, but what metrics are important to evaluate if your e-commerce strategy is actually working?

20:40 Curt Anderson

Yeah, great point. So like, you know, uh, you know, as a distributor, odds are, you know, you're selling e maybe other OEM products or you're, you know, you're buying a widget, selling widget. Right? Right. So there's not necessarily, you know, I, I don't, you know, if we wanna call it a commodity, but there's not a particular value add, per se.

But, you know, if you're an OEM or you're a distributor, you're selling products, you know, I, you know, I'm gonna go old school county 1 0 1 profitability. Right. Let's look at what, you know, what are the profits Now, I know there's other metrics we can look. You know, get out your Google Analytics, what are your traffic, what's conversions?

That type of thing. But I think, you know, when you're the C E O C, or, you know, let's take, uh, you know, most of the folks I deal with are small entrepreneurs. You know, 20 employees, 30, 50. I mean, these are small, you know, roll up your sleeves. Amazing. You know, American made in usa American making great products, right.

So, you know, they're, they're, you know, man, they're out there, their challenge and, you know, what's, what's, uh, what's an admirable like, you know, and our, our buddy Adam on our, on our call here today, we're talking about like the, the risk it takes to take, to transition to a new e-commerce platform or e R P, or it could be a new counting system or like making that plunge.

And the challenge is, you know, I was just reading an article, you. Nope, I'm just reading a devotional, Chris, actually. And, and the person was talking about like, you know, directions, like, you know, especially us guys. I'm gonna talk to the dudes out there, right? Who, who out there loves asking for directions, right?

Chris, do you like asking for directions? I like, I'll drive around for an hour before I admit I'm lost. Right? That's right, that's right. For Siri and gps and all these other things. Cuz they now, they, you know, they show, they, they help our, our poor, fragile, little delicate, delicate male. Because now we don't have to ask for directions anymore.

And the reason that guys don't like asking for directions is we don't wanna made to look like the fool. You know, Hey, can you, you know, stop. Mm-hmm. I'm old enough to remember we'd have to actually have like a big map or stop in a gas station and say, Hey, can you tell me where this is? Well, nobody wants to feel like the dummy, right?

So the thing is, when you're making a big technology change, nobody, it's like asking for directions. Nobody wants to be the dummy, you know? So you're trying to line yourself with, like you talked about, like what? Look at what this podcast. , you interviewed the CTO of the e-commerce platform you're gonna use, you built that relationship.

Now you have a trusted guide to help you get onto the other side of that technology, you know? Right. So I think the big thing, it's very intimidating. Um, if you work at a bigger company. Do you wanna take that chance or that risk and potentially lose your job? What if it go, what if the e r p installation goes wrong?

What if you picked the wrong platform and everybody's blaming you? So there's, you know, there's a lot of risk there that goes behind making those big decisions, you know, if the, if you will, right? So getting back to your metrics, if you will, you know, for, uh, when it comes to distribution and, you know, OEM product.

You know, I'm a bottom line guy, and I know there's other metrics for the custom manufacturer that they don't have that proprietary product. You know, uh, e-commerce is receiving a quote. Having submit, uh, somebody submit you a drawing, somebody requests a conversation, you know, on your website. Get your Calendly link on there.

Let's get out of the, Hey, Chris, are you available next Tuesday at nine? No, I'm busy. How about Thursday at two? No, I'm busy. I'll have my people get to your people. Let's just get our calendar, like, that's e-commerce, right? Like right. Let's make it as easy if, if we'd like, remove the word e-commerce and just let's replace it with Kiss.

Keep it super simple and let's make it as easy as humanly possible to do business with each other. Then e-commerce is secondary. It's not first you, you, you 

24:04 Chris Grainger

see what I'm saying? You're all over it, man. And I mean this and simple things, like you said, Calendly. Why does not every salesperson in the country have Calendly in their email signature?

And I mean, on their websites. I mean, you have to make just grease the skids, take the friction. And all those things. Take the friction out, man. That's so good. So good. Well, well, Kurt, we, we always wrap up with the why on e Eco Eco s y, and I'm curious, man, why are you so passionate about e-commerce? 

24:34 Curt Anderson

You know, uh, I, uh, a hundred years ago I had a, uh, I had a wholesale business and, uh, this was in, I don't know, you're probably in diapers, Chris.

I was, this was in the nineties, and, uh, I'm, I, you know, so I had an e I had a wholesale business, and this is a, god, this is a true story. Gospel's True. Okay. My accountant told me I was the biggest disaster that she had ever met. How's that for her? How? That's a mic drop moment right there. Right? I was the biggest disaster she ever met.

I had this wholesale business, man, I tried everything. I, you name it. I was just young, relentless entrepreneur, J And when I say relentless, like probably dumb, just trying to figure things out. So in 1990, There was this, like, this whole e-commerce thing was coming out like, like America Online was sending out little DVDs.

People probably don't even know what these are anymore. Remember this? They were sending out DVDs from the Super Bowl commercial, trying to get people on the internet. We had like dial up modem and I'm like, I'm like, I'm 20, I'm in my twenties. I like, I'm gonna try this. And so I sat there and a also like, we'd get an order.

We'd get an order, we'd get an order and I'm like, I can, I can, I can do what I just preach. I can sell something on a Friday night at midnight without having to wait for me to open up the door on Monday. Are you kidding? And here's the great thing about e-commerce. Anybody out there that's like, you know, I'm a little, listen to e-commerce, get this one, especially you, Mr.

Or Mrs. Manufacturer, you get paid before you ship the product. Mm-hmm. . If you're a manufacturer and somebody pulls out the credit card and pays you, you get, I have a, I have a manufacturer right now, I have multiple manufacturers, but one in particular, they get paid before they even make the product. How's that for cash flow, right?

How's that for cash flow? So why I'm so passionate about it, it completely changed my business. I was no longer my accountant's worst client. Uh, she actually helped me sell. I sold the business years later. We were on the inter internet retailer, top 1000 companies three years in a row. So, uh, you know, we finally turned the ship around.

It took me a long, long, long time. But we finally turned it around. And so when I sold the company, I felt my purpose, my passion, my drive, was to help other digital immigrants or other folks in this space to help them navigate of what I, you know, don't go through all the challenges and make all the thousands of mistakes I made.

Let me help you. And so that's my passion and my why. 

26:43 Chris Grainger

I absolutely love it. So, Kurt, where should, should people go to connect with you? To learn more, to engage and, and to get. 

26:49 Curt Anderson

Yeah, uh, man, I'm, you and I are super active on LinkedIn. I would love to connect with anybody on LinkedIn. And my website is B2B tail, so it's letter B number two, letter B tail, like little retail.

So B2B tail. We have a free website audit that we auto, uh, offer for manufacturers. Again, digital self-serve. You can just go right on the website, you put in your, your domain name and no, no strings attached. I'm not gonna call you, email you, but you get, you receive a, a free. And it just kind of helps you tell you where you stand, uh, on your website.

So yeah, I'd love to connect with any of your listeners and uh, that would be 

27:21 Chris Grainger

awesome. Absolutely. Listeners out there, go to the show notes, we'll make sure we have links for everything Kurt just mentioned as well as his book. I'm Hold, I'm holding up right up up here for those that are watching on YouTube.

Gotta get this one. Stop being the best. Kept. Manufacturing e-commerce strategies. This is a wonderful book. I enjoyed it. It's a lot of fun. And so that'll be in the link as, uh, the link as well, so you guys can get you a copy of there. So Kurt, man, thank you so much for everything you shared today on e ecos y.

27:49 Curt Anderson

Hey Chris, you're a blessing, my friend. Thank you for everything that you're doing and God bless you 

27:53 Chris Grainger

dude. You too, brother. That was a wonderful conversation with Kurt. Learned so much about e-commerce, the strategies there, how to implement things we need to be aware of. I'll tell you what, that digital self-served, the way he talked about that, the, the importance of that.

If we're not, if you're not doing it now, you need to jump into the game. And I'll tell you what, learning from someone like Kurt and the, and what he's doing at b2b, There's so much wisdom there. So again, go check out the show notes. It's a great way to connect with him, learn more. And again, if you're enjoying the ecos y I would encourage you to share this with others.

Give us a five star rating. Write a review that makes all the difference in the world. Keep coming back. You know, we're gonna come in week in, week out, trying to give you the people and ideas over products that are going to really make an impact in your business. So just remember, keep asking why. Thank you for listening to Eco s y.

This show is supported ad free by Electrical Equipment Company. Eco is redefining the expectations of an electrical distributor by placing people and ideas before products. Please subscribe and share with your colleagues and friends. Also leave comments, feedback, any new topic that you would like to hear, to learn more, or to share your insights.

Visit ecos 

29:12 Curt Anderson That's e. E. 

29:15 Chris Grainger

A S ks w h