Whether you are just starting your business, looking to move your business onto Amazon.com, or just want to make your account work better for you, a consultancy could be an option that will help you achieve results a lot faster than you could on your own. But there are a lot of options out there that claim that they can grow your business best. How do you know which one is best for you? Here are 10 open-ended questions that will help you understand what consultant will help you succeed on Amazon.
1. What can you do that I/we can’t?
If you are just looking into whether a consultancy for your Amazon account is a good idea, this question can help in two ways. Those that really know their stuff will help you understand all the nuances of managing an Amazon account that you have never even thought of. On top of that, it will show you differences between the consultants that really have the various specialized services needed to succeed on Amazon and those that have just decided to turn a hobby into a job.
2. What are your specific services?
Answers to this question will help you gauge how much time and energy it will save you and your organization to achieve the results you need from a consultant. The more concrete of an answer you can receive, the surer you can be that they know what they are talking about and the dedication they have for producing results for their clients. Be wary of answers that are layered with rhetoric and fancy overall percentages without the specific actions that the company takes to improve their clients’ Amazon accounts.
3. What do you specialize in?
If you need a specific kind of service for your Amazon account, or if there is one aspect that is particularly important to you, it is essential to pick a consultancy that sees your priority as one of their priorities as well. If you specifically need help in improving the content of your detail pages, but the firm you are speaking to specializes in optimizing Amazon marketing initiatives without even mentioning content, it might not be such a great match.
4. What makes you better than other consultancies?
Answers to this question will help you not only see where your possible consultants see themselves in relation to others, but you can also judge their knowledge of their own competition. If a company isn’t aware of what others in their industry are doing, how can they really know that they will be giving you the best services out there? It is essential for online retail consultancies to find and implement the best strategies as they develop, and this can even be learned from other consultancies. Make sure your consultant is aware of the changes and new techniques always emerging in the industry.
5. What types of results can we expect?
Getting results is the reason you want an Amazon consultant, and you need to predict the growth you can experience with any option you have. But business growth depends on a lot of factors. If you get a quick and simple answer that seems like it could be too good to be true, that could indicate a lack of understanding of all the complexities that help make an Amazon account successful. If their answer includes several “it depends on” statements and the like, you can be assured that they understand more of what they are talking about. If that is combined with examples and cases of other clients they have, you can have an even better confidence in their understanding and performance in the industry.
6. How many people will be working on my account?
This information is essential for judging the organization of the consultancy. If they say that you will only have one person working on your account, but have a list of services as long as your arm, how well do you think that single person will do all those varied tasks? If they say there is a whole team of account managers that you’ll be working with, how constant will that interaction between you and them be? If you have a primary account manager that is backed up by specialists in other fields of online retail, will that give you the stability yet variety of specialized services you need?
7. How many former Amazon employees work at your firm?
Answers to this question will help indicate the true understanding a consultancy has of the difficulties and issues that you encounter in managing your own Amazon account. People that have worked at Amazon know best the ins and outs of how to get things done for vendors and sellers, and they can teach those things to their coworkers.
8. How often do you communicate with Amazon?
Amazon continues to change and update as times go on, so what was true five years ago may be completely different now. Former Amazon employees may still be limited on current knowledge of Amazon’s processes, procedures, and best practices. But if there is a constant dialogue between your potential consultant and Amazon employees, they can stay up to date on how best to make an account successful. You’ll want to have a consultancy that continues to develop their relationship with current employees at Amazon to give you the best service.
9. What other channels do you manage apart from Amazon?
Favorable answers to this question will depend on your business needs. If Amazon is the primary monster you need to tackle, a consultancy that also works on accounts through Wal-Mart, Target, Google Analytics, and the like might not have the focused skills and specialization you need. But if you are trying to cast a wider net all at once, a consultancy that dips into multiple channels may be exactly what you need.
10. What is your pricing structure and how are fees paid?
Before signing anything, you need at least one concrete way to judge between different Amazon consultancies, and how much it will hit your wallet is one of them. In order to help control your own budget, you need to know how much you will be paying consultants for the work they give you, whether that is a fixed monthly fee or a commission on the sales they help you achieve. This number can help you judge whether the amount of work they will do for you is worth it. Just keep in mind, the better job a consultancy does for their clients, the more you will be paying, because they will help grow your business. So, don’t necessarily go with the cheapest option you find.