I started selling Avon when I was fifteen. Within a year, I became the youngest Presidents Club member in the district. Adrienne just reminded me to mention that was more than a decade ago. (Whatevs.)
Selling Avon was my favorite job. It gave me a deep understanding of sales and taught me lessons I have referred to over and over again in my career.
Here are five of the best lessons I learned selling Avon:
(There is a special offer at the end of this post, so stick with me here)
1. Go where the people are.
Selling Avon in highschool was the smarted thing I could do. I spent everyday surrounded by hundreds of students and teachers who loved makeup. Also, students and teachers alike would rather shop than sit in school. I sold a ton.
My slowest time was during the summer, that was until I got roped into playing on the softball team. I spent every game passing out avon brochures to the crowd. They would place the order before the game ended, and it would be delivered at the next game.
Selling to an existing community gives you access to a huge group all at once, it builds an instant relationship with your consumer and it cuts down your costs because you don’t have to hunt everyone down to deliver products.
2. Love your product or forget it
I was obsessed with Avon. I still get excited when I get my hands on a new brochure. Each book was filled with new sales and new products and pretty sparkly things. I would spend hours memorizing the catalogs before going out to sell. I could tell you anything you needed to know about the products we carried, and point you to the page number of the most recent catalog. Avon allowed reps to back-order products at sale price, and I always knew what sale I could get my customers. Knowing my stuff and working to save them money encouraged higher sales from each customer.
3. Make recommendations
The more you know about your customers, the more you can sell. I knew the women who went crazy when Avon came out with new holiday stuff. I knew the customers that only ordered stocking sutffers at Christmas time. Learn as much as you can about your buyers prefence, and make recommendations that matter to them.
4. Have a differentiator
People didn’t buy avon from me because I had the best catalogs or the newest products. I had the same thing every avon lady in the world had to offer. The difference? I was sixteen and had more energy than any Avon lady in the market. I was a passionate and willing to hustle for what I wanted. People remembered me, and they wanted to support they drive they saw.
5. Encourage word of mouth
Word of mouth makreitng is one of the most powerful tools in the world. If a friend tells me to buy something there is a VERY good chance I will do so. Here is the thing—I don’t sit around thinking about all of the businesses I interact with and who in my network might be interested. However, if you ask me if I know someone who might be interested, there is a good chance I will come up with a name. Encourage word of mouth. It always pays off.
Today, direct sales reps have more opportunity than ever before. There are tons of free tools (like email!) that allow you to build relationships, close sales and land referrals.That is why I have decided to launch an online course that will show you how to use online tools to increase your sales.
And since you made it all of the way through this post, I want to give you a little present. I think that everyone can learn something from this course, and want to offer you a $100 discount code.
You can access the entire course by entering “AVONVIP” at checkout.
Get all of the details and register here.