OTS 164 | New Normal


Let’s face it. The post-COVID-19 world will not be a return to normal, but a pivot to a “new normal.” It is in times like this when the entrepreneurial spirit comes into play and distinguishes those who hunker down and wait for everything to level out from those who see opportunity in the middle of adversity and capitalize on it. In the retail business, this entails a significant pivot to new selling paradigms built on customer satisfaction. Timothy Bush encourages us to equip ourselves with the essential skills that we need for us to be able to navigate the “new normal” and succeed. Listen in as Timothy talks about pricing your product and giving your customers comfort.

Listen to the podcast here

Two Key Skills You Will Need In Our “New Normal”

I hope that you are all doing well during this time. It’s crazy times that are going on right now. I hope you are all navigating them okay and that you’re all staying safe and staying well, as well as your families. Here at TLB Consulting and On The Shelf Headquarters, things are the same in a way. I’ve worked from home. I’ve had a home office for the last several years. Staying at home is not a big change. My daughter, on the other hand, has now been off the ice longer than she has since she was eight years old. It’s a big change for her. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen people pivot, which is very cool.

When people are entrepreneurs and something changes, something happens or something goes on, you see the entrepreneurial spirit. My daughter takes private ballet lessons also because that helps her skating. Right after the quarantine orders hit, we received information from her ballet instructor that she was starting to do privates through Zoom. It’s that fast. She made it happen. We took advantage of those. She’s also doing some yoga classes and something called Floor Bar all via Zoom and doing well at it. My daughter’s been taken advantage of that.

Pivoting To The New Normal

You see other people that don’t pivot. They go away and hunker down. Maybe they don’t know how to capitalize and not in a bad way. I’m not talking about taking advantage of, but pivot and make something new happen in the face of adversity. There are those people out there that do that. There are those that wait. They go away waiting for everything to level out, go back to normal, things to rebound. If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my several years as an entrepreneur is when major things hit, they never rebound the same. They don’t ever go back to normal. They go back to a new normal.

As I’ve seen again and again, those people who waited out, just hunker down, try not to stick their head up and make any waves are way behind when things settle down and a new normal is created. The reason that people who hunker down are behind when things level out is because it’s not normal. Things don’t go back to the way they were before. There’s only ever going to be pre-virus and post-virus. There’s never going to be the way it was before the virus hit. That’s not going to happen.

If you’ve been waiting, you’ve been sitting around, you’ve been hunkering down and you’ve been keeping your head down, treading water, waiting for it all to end, when you come back and try to reenter the way it was, it’s not going to be that way. Therefore, you can’t sit around. You can’t wait. You have to push forward. You have to take action like my daughter’s ballet instructor. One day after the quarantine, she was sending out to all our students, “This is how we’re going to complete and keep going during this new normal, during this time period where we can’t get together. This is how we’re going to do it.” Not, “Should we do it? Would you guys think about it? I’m wondering if.” No, this is how we’re going to keep going.

My hope for all the Big Boxers out there is that you haven’t been hunkered down. You haven’t been hiding, treading water and waiting for things to get back to the way they were because that’s not going to happen. The way things will end up is not going to be bad. There’s going to be as much opportunity as there ever was. In fact, during COVID-19, I helped a client secure $1.5 million worth of orders from Costco worldwide during the quarantine. Buyers are still buying. Retailers, no matter what anybody’s telling you, no matter what you’re reading in the paper are going to come back, some retailers are not coming back. Some mom and pop retailers won’t be able to hold on. Some bigger retailers were already on the way out and this is going to be the thing that kicks them out the door, but it is making what was going to happen anyway happened faster. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that if we thin out the retail hurt a little bit. I don’t know about you, but what I see in retail is the same thing in every store that you go into. No matter where you’re going, you see the same stuff in the new normal, in our new retail environment, that’s not going to be possible.

It’s when things change drastically that you really see the entrepreneurial spirit. Click To Tweet

All the people that have introduced themselves to online shopping out of necessity, some of those will stick to that. As a retailer, this is for you retailers out there. If you want to participate in the new normal, you’re going to have to pivot also. You’re going to have to bring some excitement back to your retail store. You’re going to have to take some chances on some new merchandise. You’re going to have to stick your neck out there and not you just do what everybody else is doing.

You’re going to have to try to get some exclusives. Otherwise, why would anybody come into your retail store if it’s the same thing that you can get anywhere else? Big Boxers, that’s where we come in. That’s where we’re experts. That’s where we can shine with the new normal is by helping these retailers think new and different. Helping these retailers understand that there are other products out there than the normal thing that everybody else sees. That’s where we come in. That’s where we’re going to shine. That’s why I hope that you haven’t been sitting around treading water, keeping your head barely above the surface. I hope that you’ve been innovating. I hope that you’ve been moving forward, taking ground and making it happen.

It’s important. We can’t wait around. We have to move forward. If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still or going backwards. It is that way. I didn’t make that rule. I didn’t make that law up. If you’re a follower of Tony Robbins or his mentor, Jim Rohn, you know we are in the middle of a huge winter, but spring is coming. What is spring going to look like? I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball. Spring is going to bring opportunity for all of us if you’ve been making yourself better, if you’ve been using this time to strengthen what you’re doing, learn things, get after it as Jocko Willink would say.

That’s what I hope for you. That’s what I wish for you. That’s what we’ve been doing here at TLB Consulting. I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up, but we launched two brand new courses that I want to tell you about. Not only have we redone our whole website and it continues to evolve. TLBConsulting.com is now the epicenter of everything TLB Consulting and On The Shelf. Anything that you want to know about getting into retail happens there. You want a coaching call. You want to take a course. You want to understand how to get into retailers. You want to listen to the podcast, anything that you want to do, anything that you want to learn is happening at TLB Consulting.

Pricing Your Product

Let me tell you a little bit about what we’ve been doing because I’m super excited about it. We have not been holding our heads above water. We have not been standing to wait for things to level out. We’ve been taking ground. The first thing that we did is I finally sat down and recorded a course on pricing your product for US retail. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long and it’s become more apparent to me than ever before that this is one of the biggest areas whereas a group of people, as suppliers of retail products, whether it’s online, eCommerce or a brick and mortar, this is where we’re falling. The simple reason is we don’t understand it.

OTS 164 | New Normal
New Normal: As a retailer, if you want to participate in the “new normal,” you’re going to have to pivot.


The understanding of what goes into building a retail price is not common knowledge. “I sell it for this, I buy it for that and I get to keep the rest,” is not going to cut it. It’s not going to create longevity for you, for your product, for your company. It’s not going to allow you options and the ability to take advantage of promotional things when they come available. Margin is what makes everything happen in retail for your retail product. It’s what gives it longevity. It’s what allows you to stay in the game. Amazon in and of itself has taken a big hit out of margin because everybody’s trying to sell the same thing and they’re trying to sell it $1, $2 cheaper than the next guy. All that will do is get you this massive race to the bottom.

If you’ve been reading this, you know that to be successful online or anywhere, your product has to have some uniques to it. You don’t want to go and use Helium 10 or Jungle Scout and figure out what everybody else is doing and then go buy that same thing. Slap your brand on it and put it on Amazon. You might make a little bit of money right off the bat, but in longevity terms, in the terms of having any company in business and something that you could at some point sell and make money off of, that’s not going to work. That’s not going to cut it. Like many other people that have come before, they do that. They buy a product and put their name on it. It’s the same as a lot of products that are already out there on eCommerce. Now, they’re in this huge battle. They think, “None of these people are going to retail. That’s what I’m going to do.” They call me.

The problem is now they’ve established a price on Amazon and that price doesn’t have a low enough margin in it for them to go to retail, so now they’re stuck. They can’t sell it online because there’s too much competition. They can’t sell it in retail because they don’t have enough margin. Even if they did have enough margin, they’d struggle because there’s no exclusivity on that product. They don’t have the right to sell. It’s not different than anything else. They bought it probably from a sourcing person, Alibaba or some trading company that had relationships with the factory in China. Those same relationships exist in retail. Retailers have way more buying power than you do. They can get their hands on about anything that you can.

You selling a couple hundred on Amazon is not going to get them excited. You having a product that has specific uniques that you’ve patented, you own the rights to, you put some thought into and that you have margin so you can drive that product sales in retail. That’s interesting to a retailer. I don’t want to get into how to pitch your retail buyer. That’s not what I’m talking about, but how to price your product, how to understand if you’re out there looking for new products. How do you know if these products are going to make it?

If they’re going to have the longevity that you need, are they going to make you any money? It’s great if you say, “I’m doing $500,000 a month on Amazon.” It’s perfect, awesome, but are you making any money? That’s the big question. Margin is what drives that. If you go to TLBConsulting.com and you click on Courses, you’re going to find the brand-new pricing course in there. It’s six modules. It’s the cool thing and then it’s also the thing that makes it a little clunky. I’m going to be super honest about that is we recorded the course live. There are actual participants that you hear in the recording, people that were there. What makes it cool is we were able to use real pricing from one of the people that were live on the course. We were able to build his pricing live on the course so you get to see that. That’s the thing that makes this course cool, the thing that makes it a little clunky is that we’re going back and forth, we’re answering questions he pricing course for the editors, I’m waiting for this to die down here.

Things are not going back to normal after this crisis. Don’t hunker down and wait for everything to level out. Push forward. Click To Tweet

That’s the thing that makes this course cool. The thing that makes it a little clunky is that we’re going back and forth. We’re answering questions. It’s not straight coursework. It’s an interactive course broken up into six different modules. We go through club store pricing, Big Box, specialty pricing, distributor pricing, your eCommerce website and then also Amazon. You get the pricing worksheets for each of those, plus several other pricing worksheets on how to create your MSRP. How do you understand what your landed cost is? How do you figure out gross margin? How do you figure out your program costs? We have actual new brand-new worksheets than we’ve never put on the market before included in that course. You’re going to get all of that. It’s a great deal.

With that, you get 30 minutes with me afterward because no matter how much we put into the course, no matter how awesome it is, you’re going to have some questions that are more specific directly to you and your product. I had a call with somebody who had bought the course and they had some great questions that they needed follow-up on. That’s what the 30 minutes is there for. You also get 90-day access to our brand-new VIP Facebook group. Three months free of our VIP Facebook group, which is getting started and is going to be amazing.

You will also see another brand-new course in there. This course is called the Art of Video Pitching. It’s my experience over the last several years of selling my products and services and also selling products and services to retailers over video conference. Me personally, I only meet maybe 8% of my clients face-to-face. All of my selling, all of my communicating, all of the time I spend with my clients is all over the face-to-face video chat. Over the last several years, I have picked up on some key differences between being face-to-face, in the room, in the office and on video conference.

Now more than ever, it’s important that you understand the nuances of selling video conference. What makes it different? What do you need to look out for? How can you take advantage of that situation rather than being a victim of it? Instead of saying, “I wish I could be in person, but we have to do it on video.” Instead of saying that say, “I know that I’m going to kill it on video because I know what to look for. I know the key differences. I know what some of the pitfalls are so that I can make sure that I’m not falling victim to that.” That’s what this course does.

This course is also six modules. This one we didn’t record live. It’s me going over six different modules of things that you need to know. There’s great information there for any type of sales pitching. Any type of time that you’re having a sales conversation with anybody, whether it’s face to face or via video conference. There are key parts of that course that are directly related to how to pitch and sell via video conference. That course we’ve made available at only $39. It’s a huge value. It’s worth ten times that just the information that you’re going to get and how to understand what that’s going to be like going forward.

OTS 164 | New Normal
New Normal: The understanding of what goes into building a retail price is not common knowledge.


In our new normal pitching via video is going to be part of the new norm. As people get back and get comfortable with traveling again, getting on a plane, getting in somebody’s office, shaking hands, which I don’t know whether we’ll ever get back to shaking hands or not, I don’t know. I do know the video conference is going to be part of the new norm. It will be easier and faster. People won’t have to be in jeopardy. They don’t have to travel. Understanding how to be successful in that environment is key to everybody. All of you should check that course out. All of you will get something out of it, I guarantee it.

Those are the two new courses. We created our brand-new VIP Facebook group. What’s a VIP Facebook group? We already have On The Shelf “Now”, which I talk about every single time and you should all be a member of that because there’s cool stuff going down in that group all the time. Facebook Lives, we’re always having a great conversation. What’s the difference between that and a VIP Facebook group? The VIP Facebook group is all about training. It’s all about teaching. It’s all about education. Some of the things that I normally reserve for my clients are going to go on in this VIP Facebook group. It’s for members only.

I know what you’re thinking, “What does it cost?” It’s going to be $100, $200 to $500. No, $19 a month is all it’s going to cost. That is not on the website yet. If you’re interested in getting in on the ground floor of that being one of the early adopters, first people in that group, all you have to do is go on my website and message me and I’ll get you access to that. If you buy the pricing course, you get free 90-day access to that. It’s included in that. I want to see you in this VIP Facebook group. There are two cool things about it. One, we’re going to be live in there via Zoom. When we go live, you’ll know about it. You can be part of that discussion, so you can ask specific questions that are related to your situation only. We’re going to do mastermind discussions in there. We’re going to do hot seat discussions in there. We’re going to help each other. It’s going to be an amazing place to grow, learn and excel in the months that are coming up.

You’re going to get to hear live what I’m doing. The one thing that we don’t always talk about is what am I personally doing? Who did I talk to last time? What buyer did I speak to and what was the outcome of that? A lot of that’s going to be in this new VIP Facebook group. You’re going to hear what happened that day, who I spoke to, what buyers, what did they say? How did it go? How did I pivot that conversation to make it different? I’ll give you a great example of the information that we’re going to talk about.

Giving Customers Comfort

I was on a call with the vice president of operations for a big gym that has multiple locations. I have a client that has a product that is going to help these gyms open back up and give comfortability to the people that are coming in. We had a pitch to them. My client was pitching it and the first reaction of this person was, “I don’t get it. I don’t get how that’s going to work.” He admits, “I’m not a gym-goer myself, so I’m not understanding it.” I jumped in and I leveled it out for him. I was able to show him the nuances of the product and let him know that comfortability is not about you understanding it. It’s about the ability to communicate to your customer what you’re doing to make their environment safe.

In order for you to succeed online or anywhere, your product has to have something unique to it. Click To Tweet

I gave an example because I was in Costco. I don’t know if you guys have been in Costco, but they have signs up that say, “Every employee must wear a mask and every member must wear a mask.” I was there and I was shocked. Everybody had a mask on. Not only that, but they had designated associates that their entire job was to do nothing but walk around the floor and remind people to social distance. If they saw people gathering together around a specific product or they were like at the meat counter or whatever, they were there to break it up, “You guys need to break it up. Move apart.” Is that all necessary? Maybe, maybe not. What it did for me is give me a comfortability factor. I know that Costco is doing what’s necessary to keep me safe. They’re not trying to be open and make money. Although Costco people let’s be realistic is going to come out of this situation like a rockstar. They’re trying to make me feel comfortable that I’m okay shopping there.

That’s exactly what I explained to this VP of operations. It’s not necessarily about you understanding it, it’s about you being able to provide something to your customer base that gives them a comfortability that they’re going to be safe, that you care about their safety. You could see the light bulb starting to turn on. He was starting to get it because we started talking in his language. He didn’t understand how gym members work, operate, and why this product would help them because he’s not a gym-goer. We won’t get into a VP of operations working at a gym company, not going to the gym. He wasn’t getting that. We were able to show it to him. That’s real-time. Although I can’t get quite into it, anybody that comes into the VIP Facebook group is going to sign an NDA so that we can talk about specifics. If I’m under an NDA with my client that I can’t share that information, that’s one thing, but I can share more about this opportunity that I’m sharing on this public show. That’s the things that we’re going to talk about. How to turn a conversation around? What do you do when a buyer says, “I don’t get it, I don’t understand it?” Are you going to a shrink and say, “I don’t know what to do?”

It reminds me of that time that I was at Costco and we were pitching that tea maker that had beeped every time you had to do something new to it. Every time you had to add something to the tea, it made a beep. Inside the pitch room at Costco Canada, the little closed room, that beep was so loud. It was like burrowing into my brain. That’s all the buyer could think about was that beep is loud. I saw our pitch going down the toilet. I could see it swirling around the toilet and getting ready to go down until I said, “I know it sounds loud. It’s burrowing into my brain. I validated her feelings. You’re not crazy. It is even doing it to me. However, we are not at home. We don’t have the sink going. The kids yelling. The laundry going. We don’t have any ambient noise in here. That’s why it’s allowed.

Secondly, the premise of this machine was helping you make chai tea, which at chai tea, you add the milk, add the sugar at certain stages in the process. I said, “You’re not going to sit around and stare at this tea machine until you have to do the next thing. You’re going to go over here. You’re going to be preparing a meal. You’re going to be doing multiple different things. You’re going to be with your children, whatever it is. That beep is supposed to draw you back to the unit and take care of whatever it is you’re supposed to be adding at that time. Without it, it would go unnoticed and you most likely would not prepare the tea in the way that you need to prepare it.”

As soon as we talked about that, she started to understand, “I get it. I see it,” where she couldn’t see before. How do you turn around a buying presentation that looks like it’s circling the toilet and about to go down? That’s what we’re going to talk about. You’re going to hear it in real-time, “This is what happened to me.” I’m super excited to get with a group of people that wants as bad as I do to be in front of a buyer, in a video conference. You have to want that. If you want that, you want to be part of this VIP group because that’s what we’re going to be talking about day-in and day-out. I’m excited about it. I hope you guys are too.

OTS 164 | New Normal
New Normal: Giving comfort is the ability to communicate to your customer what you’re doing to make their environment safe.


Three things that we’ve been working on. One is our pricing course. Go to TLBConsulting.com, click on Courses, you’re going to see it right there. Second is how to pitch and have a conversation via video conference. I can’t wait for you guys to take this course. You can take it in a day. It’s $39. It’ll be well worth your time. Last is our VIP Facebook group that’s going to get into the nitty-gritty of how to get your products into retail. We’re going to start educating in there. I’m looking forward to all of those. That’s what we’ve been doing. That’s what’s been going on at TLB Consulting along with selling $1.5 million to Costco. We’re keeping going. We’re moving forward. We’re taking ground. I know that you are also. I appreciate your time.

I appreciate you being with me. Thank you so much for supporting the show. Please subscribe if you haven’t done that already. Share the show with your friends and colleagues. If you’re not part of our regular On The Shelf “Now” private Facebook group, please go in and join that because you’re going to get all the information, all the updates. There are plenty of Facebook Lives in there already about certain topics, it’s well-worth it to be there. A good conversation is happening there. If you haven’t checked out the website, TLB Consulting, please go check that out. I’m looking forward to interacting with you there.

I hope that all of you are staying well. I hope that all of you are staying safe. We are going to round the corner on this, but it’s not going to be like it was before, but only we can make it better. Only we can make our new normal better than it was before. That’s up to us. It’s not a matter of should we reopen the economy, we certainly should reopen it. It’s only a matter of how we reopen it, how we remain safe. Please take the precautions. Stay safe. Take the supplements that you need to boost your immune system so that you have a rock-solid immune system that even if you come in contact with COVID-19, it is repelled right off of you. I wish that for you and we want that for you. Until next time, I look forward to seeing your products On The Shelf.


Important Links


Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the On The Shelf community today: