Never Miss a Beat - Get Updates Direct to Your Inbox
Amazon Appeals Made Easy
In addition to Riverbend, Lesley is a Partner at Project Retail, a one-stop-shop for brick-and-mortar success and the Owner of Blackland Prairie, which operates as a third-party seller on Amazon. With over two decades of experience as a small business consultant, she leverages her expertise to advise clients on profitability and operational performance. She is also the author of The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [02:30] Lesley Hensell talks about why she began selling on Amazon
- [05:20] How Riverbend Consulting was born
- [07:05] The intricacies and challenges of selling on Amazon
- [09:55] Why you must maintain due diligence when using Amazon FBA
- [14:26] Lesley explains Amazon account management and escalation strategies
- [18:46] What are some reasons for suspensions or account take-downs?
- [21:23] The value of working with an agency to help navigate the appeals process
- [24:22] Why Lesley wrote The Amazon Incubator
In this episode…
Selling on Amazon can be lucrative, but it’s also one of the most challenging marketplaces to navigate. One misstep can lead to a suspension, deactivation, or block, which can be a nightmare for sellers. So how can you reactivate your Amazon account or ASIN when problems arise?
Amazon expert Lesley Hensell recommends hiring an agency that knows the ins and outs of Amazon policies and procedures. With assistance, you can appeal the suspension or deactivation and get your accounts and ASINs back up and running without facing all the hassle. Whether you’re a new or experienced seller on Amazon, it is crucial to have a reliable partner who can not only help you recover your accounts but also safeguard and manage them and assist you with other issues, such as FBA reimbursements.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Lesley Hensell, Co-founder of Riverbend Consulting, to discuss how she helps Amazon sellers reinstate their suspended or deactivated accounts. Lesley talks about the complexities of reinstating an account on Amazon, navigating the appeal process, account management strategies for avoiding problems, and how recruiting an expert can keep your business running smoothly on the Amazon platform.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Lesley Hensell on LinkedIn
- Riverbend Consulting
- The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One by Lesley Hensell
- Joe Zalta on LinkedIn
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light Podcast on YouTube
- Joe Valley on LinkedIn
- Pat Yates on LinkedIn
- Mark Daoust on LinkedIn
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. They provide trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations. So, your Quiet Light advisors aren’t your everyday brokers — they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on its website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!
What are you waiting for? Quiet Light offers the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.
Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Pat Yates 0:32
Hello, and welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m Pat Yates. Appreciate you joining us today. We have a great episode again today we got an individual entrepreneur that’s done a lot of things not only she a mother of two children, married and raising those children, I sort of messed that one up at the end. But she’s also the head of Riverbend Consulting, as well as she has now written the book, The Amazon incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One, coming out very soon. We have Lesley Hensell with us today. Lesley is just a great entrepreneur, she actually took some history in Amazon, she had herself some of the problems that she had. And she said, you know what some of the most important things to fix on Amazon is not necessarily your ad, it might be a problem that could shut you down or lose your account a secondary accounts you have that you never realized, you have an old account, they will let you have a second selling account on Amazon. Anything that you configure that can give you problems on Amazon or you can improve. She wants to help you through Riverbend Consulting and obviously wrote a book where you could get in front of it, to be able to learn those things. She knows a lot about the pitfalls that are on Amazon, people like to talk about all the great things that are there. Not a lot of people like talking about the difficult things that are there. But that’s what Lesley’s good at. I’m really excited to live and have Lesley Hensell to the Quiet Light Podcast. And again, if you need anything for your business, either actionable tips on being able to exit a year or two, or if you’re ready to sell your business, you can always reach out to us at quitelight.com. Or you can email me at [email protected]. I’m excited to have Lesley on the podcast. Let’s get right to it. Lesley, it’s great to have you here in the Quiet Light Podcast today. How you doing?
Lesley Hensell 2:05
I’m great. I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.
Pat Yates 2:09
I am as well. So for our listeners out there, you’re gonna have a great understanding of Amazon today. I’m sure no one’s ever heard of Amazon, no one knows you can sell products on there. It’s not very widely known. Obviously, it’s great to have anybody that’s an expert on Amazon. But the first thing we’d like to know is about you. So tell us a little about where you’re from and about family, friends, whatever you got, we’d love to know about you.
Lesley Hensell 2:30
Well, fantastic. So I am a Texas girl through and through. I have been selling on Amazon since 2010. And Amazon has actually really wrapped up with my family believe it or not, I am one of those classic mommy Amazon sellers you have heard about. So my background is in old school business consulting. And when I say old school that’s like working for an accounting firm redesigning people’s lines in their factories kind of old school. And I had two kids and one of them is special needs. And he was really struggling in school. And we decided the only thing we could do is homeschool him, and so we were gonna give up all of my lovely revenue and have our bills go up because we had to pay for this kid with all of his expensive therapy. Amazon is the way we did that I learned to be an Amazon seller, my husband would get home from work, I would hustle and source inventory. And on the weekend as a family down to the two-year-old putting stickers on inventory. We would get our stuff ready to ship on the weekends and ship it to FBA. And so now I’ve turned that into a whole new career and I’m co-founder of Riverbend Consulting, we solve problems for sellers and it’s a lot more like my old consulting job back in the day. But really the inspiration for my entire Amazon journey has been my two boys and being able to be a semi-at-home mom who works at home and can meet their needs, but still make an income.
Pat Yates 4:01
That is incredible. So you obviously carry a lot of hats as a mother and a business person to begin with. But you obviously had a background in e-comm before too so you’ve obviously owned Amazon stores you didn’t just happen into knowing this. Tell us about what you’ve done in the past and e-comm I’m fairly interested.
Lesley Hensell 4:16
So I have sold RA, I have sold private-label goods in health and beauty. A little bit of everything really. And then I did consulting for E-commerce and telecom before it was cool. So we’re talking big guys like Verizon and AT&T that are in my area that I did marketing projects with them when they were launching FiOS and just starting to get people free phones and all of the online stuff and all their online stores. So man, I’m really dating myself here, y’all.
Pat Yates 4:55
You’re not dating yourself older than me. I’ll tell you that. So don’t feel too bad about that. Well, it’s amazing. thing though, it’s funny because it’s funny how people have experiences in the past that turn into new business. So obviously you went through some strife and in Amazon situation that sort of made you think about doing this. Maybe tell the listeners a little bit about maybe what happened, was there anything that specifically happened that made you think about going into the Amazon business where you help people fix problems there.
Lesley Hensell 5:20
So when I had been selling on Amazon for a few years, I started going to some conferences, and seller conferences just to meet other people. Because anyone who’s sold on Amazon knows it can be really isolating. You tell people what you do for a living, especially 10 years ago, and they’re like, I don’t understand any of that. But okay, you don’t have anyone to talk to. So I’ve met a lot of sellers, who actually started calling me and saying, hey, my account got taken down, back then they didn’t take down ASINs. They just took down accounts. And so they would say, hey, my account got suspended. I don’t know what to do. And part of my background was writing plans of action and business plans for large companies. So why not just turn that into I can do this for sellers. So I started doing that over time. And then one day, I met a client named Joe’s Zalta, and I helped him get his account reinstated. And he wasn’t very high-maintenance, freakout kind of client, a calmed him down, wrote his plans of action, got him back up and running. And a few weeks later, he called and said, we should do this as a business, because I got all the sales background, you’ve got all the operations background, and now he’s been my business partner for six and a half years.
Pat Yates 6:32
Yeah, it’s funny how those kinds of relationships always sort of bear things out. I think what people realize, or maybe they don’t realize, so let’s say that our listeners out there don’t have an Amazon business. Some people think it’s just simple, that you run through it, and you just get the pauses. And people hear all the success, but they don’t realize behind the scenes, it’s very, very difficult to work with Amazon, it’s sort of regimented in a way, and you can get yourself in a lot of trouble, maybe talk to the listeners a little bit about how they can, first of all, not necessarily getting too deep, but make them understand there are problems that can come up and what are those problems.
Lesley Hensell 7:05
So back in the Wild West days of Amazon, you can just grab products off of the store shelf and list them and sell them and not many problems would come up as long as you fulfill the orders. Now Amazon is really expecting people to run their e-commerce business as a legitimate business where you’re maintaining records, you’re very concerned about product quality. If you’re very, like you said, regimented, and have a lot of standard operating procedures, it can be a side hustle, but it’s got to be an organized side hustle, because there are people who buy your products, and then they complain. So when someone buys a product, and they complain, whether it’s legitimate or not, whether it is you that made the mistake, or the Amazon warehouse that made the mistake doesn’t really matter what happened, Amazon’s going to ask you for invoices, they’re going to ask you for proof that this product is legitimate, that you bought it from a reasonable supplier, they are handling the product correctly. And if you haven’t had the very basic business processes in place of I maintain and store all of my invoices, I have proof of payment for all of my invoices. I have legitimate suppliers that I’ve asked them questions, I’m not buying stuff off the back of a truck. And Amazon is gonna say you’re not for us, and they will suspend your account. So they do suspend accounts and ASINs. Sometimes they just suspend products, and they want you to prove that they’re safe or to prove that they’re legitimate or that they don’t break the law for making a claim that you can’t make. But then sometimes they’ll take down an account. And unfortunately, there’s so much bad information out there, Pat. And it’s really hard for new sellers, and even sophisticated sellers to know who to trust and who to believe. Because they’ll say, oh, this drop shipping business, just give me some money. I’ll do it all for you. You’ll make a fortune. It sounds so attractive. But you’re breaking all the Amazon rules, or hey, I can get you a lot of reviews for your product. It’s really cool. Just pay me $1,000. Well, you’re breaking Amazon’s rules, and all of these can take your business down.
Pat Yates 9:15
It’s incredible. So a lot of times when I hear this from a lot of sellers, one of the things we talk about are Seller Ratings and things like that. And A to Z claims can come up things like that. Do you have best practices you tell people to deal with these because a lot of times I mean, everyone sees the videos now of these pallets, where all these Amazon products and someone buys a full pallet and gets all these different things that either were sitting in their warehouse or returned or lost or not delivered or whatever it’s going to be some of these things vendors are starting to really get frustrated about so what are the things that people that are selling on Amazon should be watching out for that they should be taking Amazon to be dealing with make sure there’s no problems that pop up.
Lesley Hensell 9:55
So the first thing I would do is avoid actually being one of the people who buys to the liquidated inventory out of Amazon’s warehouses, you don’t want any of that you can’t prove the provenance of any of that a lot of its damage. Amazon FBA is very frustrating. So if you use a three PL, a third party logistics company, and they fulfill your orders for you, and they don’t fulfill on time they lose your inventory. They don’t handle returns well, you have recourse, you have an account manager who answers the phone and talks to you and answers your emails. If you use Amazon FBA, it gives you flexibility, there’s all these wonderful things about it, there’s no accountability, so they will lose your inventory, damaged your inventory, steal your inventory and sell it on .com or warehouse deals. They will also accept returns that should not be put back into your full fillable. Or they will not accept returns that should be put back in your fulfill level. So you really have to be willing to take on a lot of due diligence. FBA is not like what was it Ron Popeil set it and forget it back in the day, you can’t set it and forget it. Even though FBA may be fulfilling your orders and handling a lot of the day-to-day for you, you’ve got to be in your account, you’ve got to be checking to make sure that they haven’t lost your inventory. You have to be on top of your returns processing and you have to have proof that you have new product, good quality product. So when Amazon makes a mistake, you’re not the one paying for it.
Pat Yates 11:32
That’s a great point. So what do you see come up more? Is it more ASIN issues, inventory issues, seller, issues with customer orders? What do you see as the top things that trigger problems and people’s Amazon accounts?
Lesley Hensell 11:44
Right now, there are some really interesting trends. It’s like we’re back to the future inauthentic had gone away as a complaint for a while. And now they’re actually taking accounts down again for inauthentic. That was not a thing for two or three years. So they are really getting aggressive about inauthentic complaints, a new thing that okay, I’ve mentioned it because the trajectory on it is nuts. It’s not a dominant issue yet. But it’s like, every month, it probably is growing by 50%, or brand registry problems. And this is key for anyone who’s private label, and they need to register a brand or they already have or they’re adding products. Amazon is suspending people’s brand registry, or taking away privileges like they can’t report a violation, they can’t add products can’t add brands. And I’ll tell you what’s really frustrating about that path. It’s really bad as far as a customer service, or seller service viewpoint on Amazon, the assistance and help you receive from brand registry two years ago, it was amazing. Now it is worse than Seller Support and worse than performance. And I think that is not actually the fault of the employees. The theory that I have, I’ve got a bunch of ex-Amazonians, who worked for me, we’ve had long discussions about this. And they think and I think that in brand registry, the people handling appeals or handling correspondence about taking away privileges, they don’t have well written SOPs, and they’re not really empowered to give to reinstate privileges, they just aren’t. And so the only way to get privileges back is to escalate within the company to other executives. And I think those executives don’t necessarily believe what we’re telling them in escalations, their technology is very broken. And I don’t think they believe that I think they believe their tech is good.
Pat Yates 13:37
We a lot of times it quite light, we get a lot of people in that transition accounts, we sell a company and they have to transfer the account someone which is not the easiest thing in the world to do. But one of the policies that we’ve had, when we’re dealing with people that can’t help with that transfers on Amazon is one simple thing. transfer me to another person, and then you recreate the conversation, that person may not know it, and you go to a third person, but eventually, you find the right person that you know the conversations going to work with. Is that a best practice in these kinds of situations? Or should you take a pause? Because a lot of times one thing to be cautious. The second portion of the question is you have to put a plan together to talk about violations of accounts. That’s way more important than just sending an email. Oh, I’m sorry, I’m gonna do this. That’s a detailed process. I really give you two questions there. How do you address those? And how much preparation do you think people should do in those situations?
Lesley Hensell 14:26
So the most important thing is the preparation. And as part of the preparation, you need to really understand where Amazon is coming from. You don’t have to agree with them. But you have to understand where they’re coming from, why they think a rule was violated, why they don’t believe your documents, why the person you’re talking to isn’t understanding and helping like in your transitions issue, or someone just isn’t getting it. So you really have to understand what team you need to get to and then what you need to communicate. And as part of that, if you’re in trouble not on a transition issue, but if you’re in trouble, you’ve already got an account taken down or some privilege taken away, you have to have a really honest understanding of where you may have made a mistake. And even if Amazon made the mistake, you have to find how you could have prevented it. So quick example. Let’s say you get taken down for condition issues. Because the expiration date, Amazon is saying you have expired inventory, but you don’t have expired inventory, all of your dates are printed on the package. And they’re all correct. Well, okay, what if you find out that actually, the dates are rubbing off, that’s the thing that happens, if they’re not printed? Well, they will rub off, you need to look at how you could have had a part in the mistake. And so then, so that’s the prep, you’ve really got to understand what the goal is, who you need to talk to, and what you can take accountability for without putting yourself at more risk. And then secondly, how to present it to Amazon. You can be aggressive, but you can’t spin. So like most of what comes to us, our client has already tried to fix it. Sometimes they haven’t. For most of them, they’ve already tried and they failed. So we go into escalation mode pretty quickly. And we really encouraged unless it’s a true emergency issue an emergency, I mean, you’re gonna go out of business and fire everyone, if you don’t fix this, I mean way emergency, we’re escalating once every four days or once every five days to a new party. If Amazon sees you just scattershot, you email everyone, they’re going to ignore you. Is it fair? No. But you’ve got to be deliberate in the way that you escalate or even asking to be transferred. There’s nothing wrong with transformative the right team. But if that team doesn’t necessarily react fast enough for you, you have to be very deliberate in how you approach that team.
Pat Yates 16:51
That makes total sense. I think, when I look at your services at Riverbend Consulting, and everyone again, we’re speaking with Lesley Hensell, from Riverbend Consulting, and I kind of missed your name out there, but Hensell. But I know that you also do work with Walmart. And I’m sure that it’s much different than Amazon, it’s not a probably a much different as far as appeals and things like that. Go tell us a little bit about how you approach Walmart as opposed to Amazon.
Lesley Hensell 17:16
Okay, so this is not the answer that you would have thought you got, it would get, I promise. It’s almost the same, because Walmart hired people from Amazon Seller performance to build its enforcement division. So they call them items instead of ASINs. And they have different team names. And they call it WFS instead of FBA. And besides that, it’s about the same, the way we appeal is very similar, Walmart can be a little more helpful, they can actually give you a little more detailed information sometimes on their investigations, what they found and what they want you to address. Excuse me, I don’t think this is going to last. Because the more fraud any platform has, the less hopeful they are. Over time, when Walmart sees as much fraud as Amazon does, they’re going to cut down on that. But it’s very similar. They want the same three part plan of action. They want you to take responsibility, they want you to say how it’ll never happen again.
Pat Yates 18:19
Yeah, so I’ve done these before, I’m not going to say that I’ve had an issue that I had to submit something for, but I might have had an issue to submit something for. So we’ll sort of throw myself on the sword. And I think preparation in that is so important, because you think it’s very easy and transparent how to fix something, but you got to think about the customer, as well as Amazon themselves. That’s great advice. I really liked that. So at Riverbend Consulting, you do a lot of different things. What is like the most appeal thing that goes on Amazon? I’m curious, what do people come to you most for?
Lesley Hensell 18:46
Related accounts is huge on Amazon. That’s where Amazon thinks that you have more than one seller account. And one of those accounts is prohibited from the platform. This can happen for a lot of reasons. So one reason would be let’s say that you were in college some time ago, and you used to resell your textbooks at the end of the semester, and one semester you decide to have a really good time after you finished your finals. And you sold your textbooks and you never shipped them. And then you’ve forgotten that happened. And so they shut your seller account down. You forgot that happened because it was a long time ago. And you might have had a few too many drinks. And so now you own a private label brand or you’re working at a company that wants to launch on Amazon and you’re registering that account. And they say no, they have linked you up with that account from back when you’re having that good time, doing beer pong, and so they’re not going to let you sell on Amazon. It also happens when you lived with someone they could be a blood relative, a married relative, a girlfriend or just a roommate. You don’t live together anymore. They sell on Amazon and they got their account blocked but you live together at one point Amazon knows this. So they don’t want you taking inventory. Let’s say you got busted for counterfeit or inauthentic. They don’t want you taking inventory from that account and selling it on another account. They also don’t want you to sell the same ASINs on two different accounts so that you’re manipulating the price or manipulating deals, that’s why they don’t allow that. So you can’t have more than one account. But they both have to be in good standing, and not selling the same goods. Unfortunately, Amazon gets it wrong a whole lot on this, there’s a lot of false positives. And then there’s a lot of unfortunate stuff like literally, my boyfriend from eight years ago got suspended from Amazon, it took my account down. We’ve had that with clients before. And it’s really hard to prove a negative, and they’re asking you to prove a negative. So that’s why we have so many clients come to us with this issue, because it’s very difficult. It’s not something most people appeal themselves and are successful.
Pat Yates 20:59
Wow, that’s what I didn’t really think about. I do know there’s people have issues with having multiple accounts. But it seems to me, sometimes those get fixed easier. So I’ll leave a lot of people out there thinking, what’s the magic, I can still file a case myself, I can go on Amazon and I can send them information, why pay an agency to do that, I can tell you that I’ve seen some of the problems. So I know the value. But if you’re talking to our listeners out there as to why they should call you versus trying to fix the issue themselves. What would you say?
Lesley Hensell 21:23
There are certain appeal types that if it were my account, and I didn’t do this for a living, I would never touch. So you should always hire an agency for review manipulation, or code of conduct. And the reason is, you have very limited chances. If you appeal and they don’t like what you say, they’re going to stop listening really fast. And you’re gonna go directly into executive escalations, and y’all don’t have those emails. And we have them and we guard them, because we don’t want them overused in the community. There are other things where it’s completely reasonable to try yourself, such as an ASIN, suspended for inauthentic or condition where they’re asking you mostly for invoices and to say how it won’t happen again. But if you get around your third try, and they still haven’t said okay, and lifted that suspension, it’s probably time to get help. Because you’re missing something, you’re not seeing it in the data. Some people have a hard time being objective, which I get. A lot of people don’t believe the customer complaints. And so we can look at the data patterns and tell you if the customer complain was just gonna say if you find yourself having a hard time with objectivity, or you can’t get past them, it really is worth the money. Also, if you’re very emotional and very upset, if you cannot be calm and having a discussion with another person about this, you need to hire someone because it is going to come through and your appeals, and you’re going to be defensive. And you’re just not going to do a good job presenting the information. If you can be objective, go for it.
Pat Yates 23:10
So I would agree with you on that. Because I think dealing with Amazon at times becomes even more maddening when you get into a province like they don’t seem like they’re listening. But sometimes detaching yourself from that would make a difference. And obviously, you don’t want to make any other steps. So we’ve talked about a lot in this. And obviously, Riverbend Consulting can help anyone, tell the listeners a little bit of how they can get in touch with you if they’re deciding to come in and work with you guys.
Lesley Hensell 23:32
So you can reach us at riverbendconsulting.com. And if you go to our website, we also have a phone number there. So we have actual human beings that answer the phone. And if you head on over to LinkedIn, you can also plug in my name and send me questions. DM me questions there. And I love to give people free advice. We do it all the time. And if it’s something that we’re like, oh, yeah, that’s really hard. We’ll tell you that too.
Pat Yates 23:59
That’s awesome. You got obviously a great business built up there. Riverbend Consulting again, folks, if you have issues with Amazon, and you’re having problems with your seller account, the ASINs anything that you’re having problems with, Lesley can definitely help you. So reach out to them at Riverbend Consulting and Lesley, I appreciate you being in the Quiet Light Podcast today. It’s been really informative. Anything else you’d want to tell the listeners where we go about Riverbend Consulting?
Lesley Hensell 24:22
So related to Riverbed, I have a new book launching it’s called The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One and you can find it at theamazonincubator.com. And we are launching it with a bunch of bonuses for people who are interested in selling or growing on Amazon. So this is kind of a remedy for what we talked about earlier Pat where we were, well, I was talking about get-rich-quick stuff out there. I am not a fan of get rich quick. I am a fan of creating a sustainable, calm business that can support the lifestyle that an individual person wants to have on Amazon. I don’t want to get you a Lamborghini unless you really want that. But I want people to really think about what they want, what their goals are, and how can we set you up. So this is kind of a primer on selling on Amazon plus some advanced information on things like brand registry. So check out The Amazon Incubator, and I think it can help some entrepreneurs to reach their goals.
Pat Yates 25:23
Well, let’s dive into that a little bit. We just have a few more minutes to be able to do this. So the book is coming out. And I know we’re gonna time this right at the time when the book is coming out folks who are recording this a little earlier, and we know the book is going to be coming out. So tell everyone, what gave you the motivation to actually do this writing a book is really not easy, like a lot of people think it is. I’m barely smart enough to read a book. So tell me what made you decide to do that, and how difficult that part was?
Lesley Hensell 25:48
I got really lucky because the editor that I worked with, saw me speak at a conference. And then he emailed me afterward and actually said, hey, I would love to have a book out there about how to sell on Amazon. But that isn’t a get-rich-quick. And that isn’t a, there’s nothing wrong with self-published books. But he was like, I don’t want self-published, I want like big name in print, are you interested. And my part of my background is ghostwriting, I used to be a ghostwriter and write other people’s books. So I think he saw me as a good target for this. And it was so fun, because oh my goodness, I’ve worked with 1000s of sellers over the years, probably more than 3000 sellers, if I had to guess. And I’ve had the privilege of working with four of the top five sellers on Amazon, all the way down to mom-and-pops who are working out of their basement, and just getting started. So with that diverse level of knowledge, it was so much fun to kind of pick and choose what I thought would really help a new seller out of the gate or someone trying to grow that business.
Pat Yates 26:54
It’s incredible, because one of the things you talk about on the Amazon page about the book is that if they do that preparation early, they’re going to understand those pitfalls. You encourage people to come in and do a consulting thing with you even if they don’t have problems to say, here’s the groundwork, you would lay to make sure you don’t come back to me where I’m having to pick up the phone to call Seller Central urgently. Is that something that the book will help you do is prepare for that and maybe have some less issues in the future.
Lesley Hensell 27:18
Yes, so there are sections in there about SOPs that you should set up for your business. So earlier, we were talking about invoices, for example, I teach you how to set up an SOP for storing all your invoices. And then how do you train a VA to handle it for you? I am really big on outsourcing and delegating. So the book has SOPs for everything from FBA to invoices to appeals, and then how can you outsource that or have a VA work on it. So you’re not a slave to the business?
Pat Yates 27:52
That’s really amazing. And folks get a chance if you’re obviously this book is sold on Amazon as well. I was looking that up myself reading some of the Synopsis The Amazon incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One. It’s really a cool title. And the book itself obviously is extremely informative. What can people expect to take away from it? Is it just a base knowledge of Amazon or the pitfalls, is this a view of you selling on Amazon? Tell us that.
Lesley Hensell 28:18
So it’s a base knowledge, it’s free problem solving to not have the problems, but it’s very personal to each reader. For example, in one chapter, I help people decide what their Amazon avatar is, what kind of seller do you want to be? Do you want to be the four-hour workweek guy who’s hanging out on the beach, just working from the beach and moving all around? So you’ve got to have a lot of great SOPs in place. Are you someone who wants to build a brand and be like the brand master and you’re married to that brand forever? Making those kinds of decisions, and then what kind of investment of time and money you can make, and then interpreting that into okay, if you’re this kind of seller, you need to do this kind of sourcing, you need to do FBA or not FBA or three PL just helping to make all those decisions to fit what you want out of the business. Not hey, I’ve got a program and everyone does it the same way. It’s more about how to custom-build your Amazon business for the lifestyle you want and the goals you have.
Pat Yates 29:23
That’s really incredible. I mean, so now what you’re telling us is you’re a single mother of two, you have Riverbend Consulting, which is an amazing business helping people on Amazon, you wrote a book that’s coming out on Amazon early 2024. You don’t have much going on. And you used to be an Amazon seller which you probably still are in some ways.
Lesley Hensell 29:41
I still sell on Amazon I’m a married mother of two because believe me I would never be able to do all this without my husband.
Pat Yates 29:49
I probably missed that part. I’ll apologize to him ahead of time but having to much children having had three sons who are all older now, I understand exactly where you’re at. So that’s great, but listen, Lesley, it’s been a great conversation. Congratulations on everything. So folks, you have a start to finish way to understand how to behave on Amazon and to be able to fix things on Amazon through Riverbend Consulting then obviously in early January of 2024 the book, The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One coming out. Congratulations, all the success Lesley. It has been amazing having you in the podcast today.
Lesley Hensell 30:22
Well thanks so much, Pat. This has been a lot of fun, you asked such good questions. So I hope this has been informative for folks and I hope everyone has an excellent 2024.
Pat Yates 30:34
Look, every one of you listeners out there knows you can pick up one tip that’s worth $24. Go give her a good review on the book right there on Amazon. Give her a five star review for The Amazon Incubator: Grow Your Business or Hatch a New One. Lesley, it’s been awesome having you today. I appreciate you joining the Quiet Light Podcast.
Lesley Hensell 30:49
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. And subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.