Becoming well known (at least among your prospects & connections) is the most valuable element in the connection process.” ― Jeffrey Gitomer
No matter what home business you get into, you should be treating it with respect from day one whether you got into it for free, had to pay a franchise fee, or provide your own personal outlay. In my opinion, business success is not based on what you spent to get it up and running, it's the attitude you have conducting business and the quality time you put into it.
Businesses like Avon are really great for people starting out because they have a team of people they can go to for advice, support to prospect, as well as having motivating sales targets to meet each year with incentives. Considering you have all this support at your fingertips it is still your business and it's in your hands how far you can go with it.
I personally got into Avon because I needed a way to earn some extra income while I was a stay at home mum. It wasn't something I planned to do for a long time but I did have the goal to make president club status in my first year - and I did.
It wasn't easy and I worked really hard for my sales but if you are willing to put in the effort you can also reach some pretty high goals by implementing some or all of the strategies I suggest in this article.
Rules can change in franchise type businesses so it's a good idea to check with your upline that all these things are okay to do but I don't see a reason why there would be a problem considering your team leader also benefits from your sales!
Please also remember that while I was reaching this goal I did not hold a single Avon "party." All sales were based on book drops in my designated regions given to me by my team leader.
1. Remember you are the face of your business
This means don't go rocking up to clients houses in your "house clothes." Dress the part, wear the products and walk the talk. Appearance is everything. If you look like you're a business woman people are more likely to think your business is successful and the products are good. I personally used to drop books out with the stroller so business attire wasn't appropriate for the situation, however my hair and make up was always done and I wore the Avon exercise gear and a big smile. Friendliness is everything!!
If your potential clients see you using the products they are more likely to buy it, especially if they like the way it looks on you. Don't worry about spending big bucks on all your products though, use your samples on the days you head out to customers (they don't know you don't wear it all the time at home) or take advantage of your sales brochures or the representative deals.
Even if you can't afford much (you did get into this business to make money after all) pick something obvious like a bright lipstick or nail polish that will grab their attention. Just make sure it's applied properly!
2. Don't harass friends and family. You don't need their business.
If you do neighbourhood letterbox drops, leave your books at the hairdressers, doctors office etc (ask for permission first) and have one on your coffee table for sticky beak visitors and you will have no need to beg for family and friends to buy off you. It can create sour relationships mixing friends and family with money, so I really don't recommend it.
If you want to subtly encourage them to try products, consider using some of the products as gifts for birthdays and Christmas but don't flood them with stuff otherwise they will see straight through what could have been a thoughtful gift. Also feel free to pass on samples to them with no expectations but generally unless they ask for them I'd stick with strangers.
3. Show up when you say you will - no excuses
Lots of Avon businesses go under because the representative isn't reliable. If someone is going to order a product from you, they want it on time. Dropping off and picking books up when you say you will also makes you look professional and serious about the way you run your business.
If for some reason the book hasn't been left out, follow it up with a note in the letterbox saying you have been by to pick up the book or phone them. Don't waste your time going back for the book just tell the customer to phone you if they have an order otherwise they can hang on to the book (a great way to get them to back order in the next campaign) and pop it out with the next brochure on the next pick up day.
As campaigns are usually run over three weeks I would give the customer their brochure for about a week and then once I had it back, do another book drop in another area. Doing this meant I cut down on the amount of money I spent on books. If I had any left over back order books I would drop them at new houses with a short note saying that if they would like to continue receiving the books or place an order to please contact me. Just make sure you give them enough time to look at the book and write their order. People can be very busy and a weekend is not always enough time.
4. Make a personal connection with your customers
When I first started my Avon business I sent out a short letter on coloured card stapled to the front of my Avon brochure. On it I had a small description of who I was, my background, my family and why I had started Avon. I also said on there that I was serious about building my business, that I would love to have the householder as a customer, and if they had any questions regarding Avon to contact me.
I also enclosed a little slip with a space for their name, a multiple choice to fill in about the kind of products they like to use (body care, nail care, hair care etc) and the age group they generally buy for.
This meant my customers realised I cared who they were, helped me to know what products were likely to be best sellers and what kind of samples to purchase to give to each of my customers.
When I picked up the books I had fantastic feedback from my potential customers. About 70% of the forms had been filled out and I made up a little notebook with customer information based on what I had collected.
As I got to take regular orders I stopped to chat to customers about their day, their families and made notes to help me remember so I could follow up with them during the next campaign on things they had been up to. It was especially effective with the elderly customers as they often don't have visitors to talk to and will put in orders just to have you visit.
5. Know Your Products
When you receive hand-out brochures, make sure you read them for yourself so you know what is on sale, what's coming soon or what packages are being offered. In the brochure there is usually a minimum spend super saver coupon. Make sure to point this out to the customer if they haven't ordered a super saver. You could say, "Mary, did you see in the brochure our super saver of a summer tote for $10 which is normally $30 on its own, if you spend $15 in the brochure?" Chances are she will probably spend the extra money to get the discounted tote because everyone likes to think they are getting a discount.
6. Give the current brochure with the back order issue
Doing this will instill confidence in your customer that you want them to get the best deals on the products they like. Being able to back order a product that is cheaper than the one in the current brochure is a big trust winner, especially if you point it out to them. It will lead to more sales in the future through customer satisfaction.
7. Sticky post pages of your customers favourite products when they are on sale
If you give your customers an opportunity to tell you what they like then when you drop books off to them highlighting their favourite products so they can go straight to the page where its on special makes ordering for them much faster and they appreciate it.
8. Provide samples
You can do this two ways. Stick the samples to the page of the book in which they are advertised or once you know the types of products a particular customer prefers you can add samples to their order when you deliver them. I found the latter more effective and put a note with them with the products name and price in the next brochure.
9. Have your books marked clearly with contact details, book return date and delivery dates
It's just a fact that there are some people who, they still won't put the book out, no matter how much information or reminders you give them. It's up to you whether you keep dropping books off to these people or not. If they ring with an order I suggest you put the order through, but my rule of thumb was that if a client didn't put the book out or order over four campaigns, I would usually stop dropping the book off.
Having your delivery dates or at the very least the week, clearly labelled allows your customer to know that what they need is going to arrive at the time they are going to require it. For instance if they are ordering something as a present for someone, they need to know if it's going to arrive in time for their loved one's birthday.
10.Write in pencil on your order forms
Of course you can put your contact details in pen but things like notes, book return dates etc on the forms can be in pencil. This means that you can erase and reuse them for another campaign if the customer doesn't order and it will save you money on purchasing order forms.
I also had a lot of clients send their orders through via text so they also remembered what they ordered, rather than having to put their slip copy somewhere. It also meant that I only ended up picking the books up when I dropped off their order saving me a heap of time.
11. Set specific delivery times and arrangements
If you allow customers to choose when they want their products dropped off, everyone will want completely different times leaving you to do a lot of running around costing you time and money. You need to streamline your business as much as possible so choosing dates and times for delivery is best for your business. It also makes people remember to either be home or leave their money out if you only deliver on a specific day and time. Obviously sometimes you might need to be flexible however I only did this with customers that ordered regularly and usually over a certain amount to make it worth my while.
12. Run your own little competition
With Avon you often get freebies along the way for reaching sales targets or ordering particular products in a campaign. Instead of keeping or selling the products for a one off price, send a note out with your books telling people if they order over a certain dollar amount they go into the draw to win a free product valued at x amount with their order. People love a freebie and it's a good way to increase your sales even by just a few more dollars per person.
There are a lot more ways you can generate your sales however hopefully this post will help you get a head start and well on your way to presidential status sales targets. Good Luck!
What kind of home businesses have you been involved in before and what was your experience?