Distributor Interview with Patrick Birmingham of Stunster
Kim: When did you start your business?
Patrick: I started Stunster.com in September 2007.
Kim: Why did you get started with Safety Technology business?
Patrick: It really all started out of curiosity. I had just started building websites as a hobby, then one day someone told me about a free open source ecommerce software platform called osCommerce.
I downloaded and installed it and started playing with it. Then I decided I needed to sell something. I had no idea what to sell, but one day I was in the bookstore thumbing through some magazines and saw Mike’s (Safety Technology) ad. I immediately thought to myself, “security products are great items to sell.” That’s how it all started.
Patrick: Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! It’s all about getting traffic. Of course, free traffic is the best. But if you pay for traffic, how do you make it pay for itself? I’ve played with various ways of generating traffic and that’s always an obstacle.
Kim: How has this business changed your life?
Patrick: The income from Stunster.com is a very nice supplement to my salary. I enjoy running the business and plan to keep growing it.
Kim: What advice would you give to someone else starting a business?
Patrick: Continuously educate yourself and never give up. I strongly believe that the harder you work, the luckier you become.
Kim: What is the main thing you are doing to drive traffic to your site?
Patrick: I do both SEO (Search-Engine-Optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click).
Kim: What’s your favorite product?
Patrick: I’d say the Taser products, particularly the X26c and M26c.
Kim: What is the craziest story that a customer has told you?
Patrick: I had a gentleman who used a stolen credit card to order items from me. When I contacted him, he was upset that I contacted the police. He stated I should have called him first. I said, “Ok, we can settle it now by you paying.” I never heard from him again and he would never answer my phone calls. All of our communication was by email. The police did end up searching his home but they didn’t find the stolen items. His ex-wife told the police he had just moved to another state.
Kim: Can you give me one of your internet marketing secrets?
Patrick: You must offer “great” customer service, which most people don’t consider marketing. However, if a customer is happy with your customer service, they may become repeat customers and will recommend your business to friends and family. If it’s a potential customer contacting you, many times if you respond quickly and even call them on the phone, that person will feel more comfortable buying from you.
I’ve had several potential customers call me on the phone but not leave a message. I’ll see their caller ID and call them back. Quite a few times they’ll end up buying from me because I took the time to call them to answer their questions.
One of the things I like about Safety Technology is that you can always quickly get someone on the phone. Also, if I send an email I usually get a quick response. I’ve dealt with other companies where you can’t get someone on the phone and if you send an email, they take 24 to 48 hours to respond. That is poor customer service that will drive potential customers away!