I’m talking about e-commerce guru Curt Anderson in this Manufacturer Profile because he won’t talk about himself.
Consider the words of Sam Gupta, ERP expert and the host of WBSRocks. Sam was talking to me about the experience of having Curt on his show, and he was flat-out gushing.
“He was amazing,” Sam said. “And you know what was so great about him? He didn’t talk about his book at all.”
I wasn’t surprised. Curt Anderson doesn’t talk much about his book, Stop Being the Best-Kept Secret: Manufacturing eCommerce Strategies, because he’s too focused on making sure YOU are not the best-kept secret.
Curt will introduce you to potential connections. He will suggest great podcasts for you to appear on. He will take time out of his day to help you with a tactical problem you’re struggling with. He will relentlessly help you, and that’s truly the secret to his success — and yours.
From student to master of the digital storefront
Curt’s goal is to help manufacturers make the leap to e-commerce, and he will definitely tell you what you need to do to make it happen. But in his approach, he is also showcasing how to make sales happen online and stop being a “best-kept secret.”
Before we dive deep into the approach, let’s dig into how Curt got here.
Curt’s own foray into e-commerce began in 1995. His wholesale business was struggling to gain traction, and his sales were suffering. Then this new-fangled Internet thing came along, and with it, e-commerce.
Curt became a student and soon a master of the digital storefront. His company became an Internet Retailer Top 1000 E-commerce company for three years in a row.
With his proven approach established, Curt decided to help manufacturers achieve the same success. His first client launched an e-commerce store in February of 2013. Within the first week, the company landed a $9,000 order.
His next client, same thing. Within the first month, they landed a $40,000 order.
Curt could see there was a huge opportunity for manufacturers. That prompted him to create the $1 Million eCommerce Club, with the goal to encourage as many manufacturers as possible to join the exploding B2B e-commerce market. The secret was out.
Leading by example: Showcasing how to market for e-commerce
There are many strategies and tactics to ensure your product shows up first when people search for you on the Internet. That includes publishing great content about your products, such as specs, videos, photos and reviews.
So why doesn’t Curt talk more about his book or his business, B2Btail, where he helps manufacturers launch their own e-commerce solutions?
Why, in a recent phone call with me, did he spend almost an hour sharing his connections and brainstorming ways I could grow my business?
Because Curt understands putting up that e-commerce store is just the first step. The e-commerce store is at the bottom of the funnel. To get them to your product page, they have to know you exist. And that’s where Curt is leading by example.
Curt follows the proven formula for sales
There’s an old sales adage that goes like this: People will only do business with you if they know you, like you and trust you.
That’s where Curt excels. Whether it’s a by-product of his personality or a calculated strategy (or likely a combination of both), Curt is first and foremost a master of getting you to know and like him.
He’s visible on LinkedIn, always sharing great content in his stream and organizing the amazing “Manufacturing eCommerce Success Workshops” on Fridays. Along with expert Damon Pistulka of Exit Your Way®, they are giving you every opportunity to share your secret.
Once you know and like this guy, Curt helps you. Relentlessly. When someone does you 2,368 favors in the course of 24 hours, you have no choice but to trust the damn guy.
And that’s the biggest lesson for e-commerce: Sure you can put up the site. But if you don’t get people to learn about you and your products, that shopping cart will only sit empty.
Why Curt is often shirtless
I want to make one thing clear: Curt is much more than just a great connector and a hell of a nice guy.
When I read his book (the one he won’t talk about), I was amazed by his thorough understanding not only of e-commerce but of manufacturing overall. It’s brilliant — one of the best business books I read in 2020.
Beyond that, this guy generally cares about people. He’s easy to pick out in a crowd, because he’s typically shirtless. It’s likely because he’s given someone the shirt off his back.
Now you might get cynical and say he’s just doing it to grow his business. But even if he is, who cares? If marketing is less about screaming out your message and more about helping others, then isn’t that a good thing?
I’d say so. Which is why I like working with Curt. Connect with him, and you will too.
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