Sending The Elevator Back Down for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs
How Damian Prosalendis built a global e-commerce consulting firm for Amazon sellers through creatively building a niche and deploying a customer-centric approach
Constant innovation in your career path is a prerequisite to success in today’s dynamic world. Adapting to not just the competition, but towards the changing technical, financial and social environment can make or break an entrepreneur’s legacy. Creativity and Innovation put together, along with the courage to take risk helps an entrepreneur to fill the gaps in the market and build a niche. Building a niche helps a business to stand out, even with limited resources and makes you an expert at your craft in one particular vertical. To further elaborate, we can take the example of Damian Prosalendis, a self-made millionaire who was quick to find an opportunity and levy on it with a customer-centric approach. He is all the more noteworthy because his meteoric rise was accomplished without money, connections, or experience.
Damian began his career by providing article writing services on fiverr.com, an online marketplace providing an opportunity for freelancers to offer services to customers worldwide. Being an avid reader, he would often apply his new knowledge into the skill set for writing. In order to upgrade from article writing, he learned the ins and outs of the copywriting business and forayed into the more creative stream. He noticed that there was a huge demand and a separate section of customers looking for copywriting services for Amazon listings. So he picked on that niche and became the first freelancer to provide copywriting for Amazon listing service on the platform, building the first-mover advantage. A year and a half later, Damian’s brand SPXMAC, had become the largest global e-commerce consulting firm for Amazon sellers, with over 10,000 clients in 116 countries ranging from new startups to multi-million dollar e-commerce brands. Likewise, Damian continued to create a successful empire encompassing digital media, video production, business development, and real estate, along with a stellar investment portfolio in five years. With 76% of Fiverr sellers being Millennials, Damian was definitely in the right place and sees Fiverr as the perfect launchpad for starting a digital business because it lets him “ethically steal their traffic and borrow their infrastructure”. Fiverr also proved to be the perfect training ground, paying him while he studied and learned.
Damian describes his successful formula as redefining the generic customer service archetype in favor of focusing on customer satisfaction and word of mouth marketing. This customer-centric business model recognizes the consumer as the core of the business and provides “a customer experience encompassing every single checkpoint in the pipeline,” from tracking initial customer contact, to following through on customer reaction to purchases, delivery, and after delivery service. In the early business days, Damian drew inspiration from Zappos and Amazon, quickly learning how building relationships through customer satisfaction meant he had to be willing to lose money on the front end even if it “includes refunding to customers who didn’t have a case,” as long as they gave his business a thumbs up, or at the very least, “did not spread bad news.” Damian considers his no questions asked 100% money-back guarantee to be one of the unique selling positions and features of his company. “Making customers feel comfortable with the purchase, and knowing they have nothing to lose will reduce risk-aversion and encourage them to buy from you.” Damian believes businesses that are afraid to lose money once the product or service has been delivered can end up losing far more in the long term if the customer is not satisfied or the only party satisfied with the purchasing experience.
Damian cites early problems and failures as valuable lessons in finessing a customer-centric model, and readily admits to initially attracting few customer requests. After he determined his lackluster profile was the cause and revamped his image to a consummate level of professional presentation, the rebranding was an immediate success, drawing an exponential influx of internet users accessing his profile, and seeking services. Damian was on his way, but it’s no secret that data and its drivers never sleep, so he zeroed in on consumer data collected by powerhouse websites like YouTube and Facebook, and ran adverts to entice audiences to visit Amazon products. It was a win-win situation. Customers were coming to him in droves, and even if some chose not to buy, Damian still got credit for visits. Another plus factor was not having the pressure of start-up costs and initial investment. As Damian recalls, sweat is also an equity builder.
Once his enhanced professional profile brought in more clients, Damian drew on his rigorous athletic training; tapping into the power of confidence-building and self-respect to manifest incremental growth. “It’s what you do after your product is launched that determines whether you’re going to hit your sales target or not. Get your autoresponders set up immediately after you start selling.” Damian continued refining his customer-centric model by leveraging e-mail marketing to maximum potential, welcoming new clients, asking them to review the product, offering discount quotes, sending invitations to follow on social media, and remembering birthdays with sample offers- all calculated to drive more traffic by engaging the customer with the best possible experience, encourage repeat business and generate new referrals.
Prosalendis’s top tips for creating a customer-centric model:
Maximize sales velocity. This is paramount, even if it means initially giving away products at a discounted price; as long as it increases daily units.
Seek quality external traffic. Aim for broad visibility vis-a-vis social media sites and influencers to boost search results. Target visitors from similarly orientated websites, and pickups from referrals sending high-quality traffic.
Reduce negative indicators for potential current and future customers. Connect regularly with customers to receive input and use data to minimize refunds and negative reviews.
Reinvest every penny in the business to increase its strength through sourcing better talent and improve staff training including employee compensation incentives.
Damian’s popular Twitter page, states competition is “a concern of losers,” and recommends not worrying about anyone else as long as you serve your customer and direct your focus to build a business model that responds to their needs better and delivers more in less time with less hassle. “Customers will choose you if you deliver a quality product and maximize the speed of delivery over your competitors. To achieve that level of phenomenal success and stay ahead of the game, you have to follow through and never let up by constantly improving.” In his book, Conquering Fiverr, available online, Damian offers tips and insights to grow a viable passive income business that performs about the rest in delivering results. He promotes the advantages of networking and the book’s website reveals striking stats from Fiverr, including its estimated 33,000,000 visitors a month, and shares how others can make an estimated $40,000 a month he’s reported in sales.Damian’s final advice. Ideas remain useless without the right platform. Never stop improving, surround yourself with smart people you can learn from them, and focus your efforts on a business model that pursues continuous customer analysis and assessment to ultimately provide the best possible customer-centric experience.