The Cost Of Selling Instead Of Sharing

vintage avon 2As some of you may or may not know, I am a direct seller, Avon being my brand company.  I’ve been at this on and off over the years with various degrees of success.  However, during the past year or so, I’ve had to make some changes in my life and realized that my Avon business had to be taken more seriously.  I had lost my full-time job, was working only part-time and then late last summer, I moved south to help my mom.   Though my job was only part-time, it was a source of steady income and Avon helped out from time to time with miscellaneous expenses.   But my move south entailed leaving my job, and having to find work in a new and different location.   I managed find another part-time job but as you may have guessed, it’s not enough.

So this brings me to the imperative of having to jump-start my business.  This past weekend, I real_estate_and_social_media_thoughts_1113endeavored to have an eparty and invite my current customers and my Facebook and Twitter friends.   I was thinking that surely in this climate of social networking, my friends would come out and support me, right?  Wrong.  Only 1 or 2 responded to my invitation.  So, what did I do wrong?  Probably a myriad of things, but I think that the main thing was that I was not social enough in the past.  What do I mean by that?  Instead of telling the my friends on Facebook and Twitter the current sales that Avon is having or the great new product that is out, I should have been more communicative and more mindful of the needs of my Facebook and Twitter pals.  Not sell, but talk, ask questions, share information. No surprise that no one answered my calls for help. I was a used car salesman instead of a trusted friend and business associate.

vintage avon 1

Consequently,  I learned a very valuable and unfortunately perhaps a costly lesson.  First, I forgot one of the most important rules and tips that Avon gives to its representatives.  Don’t sell, share the opportunity.  Further, Facebook , Twitter, etc is there for businesses to showcase their presence.  Yes, there are there to help put your business front and center.  But one must also remember that they are social networks.   So go ahead. Share & share alike.

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Goals: The Journey Contiues

It has been a while since my last post.   I had talked about re-booting my direct sales business and one way to do that was to set some goals.  I had attempted to do that in the past and elaborated about my varied and haphazard attempts on trying to reach them.  When I left off, I had not made a decision as to what my target goal should be.   Well I am happy to inform you that I have finally made a decision.   Moreover, I made a plan of action and put the plan in motion.  Go me!

My goal is to focus on building up my online Avon business.  You would think that it would be easy, just send out my website address and wait for the orders to come pouring in.  Wrong!  Been there, done that, just don’t have the t-shirt.  First thing I did was poll my customers and ask what they would be interested in.  The answer was a customer rewards program.  Okay, then what type of program?  Discount off of each order, customer referral, free gift?  There are a lot to choose from. After some research I decided on a points system where if a customer places an order from me via my online store for direct delivery, they would gain a certain amount of points.  When they reached 100 points, they would get rewarded with a free gift.  I also had to make the gift a worthwhile goal so I decided on a gift card.  Wow!  What a difference planning makes.  I not only gained a lot of new online orders, but I also made a profit as well!  Who knew?  Okay, maybe a lot of people who plan this sort of thing knew,  but it was a revelation to me.

So to sum up:  I made a decision on a goal, made a plan to implement it, and then put that plan into action.  Mission accomplished?  Not by a long shot, but this does give me incentive to keep on track and not get lazy about my business.

Has anyone started on their goals?  If so, I would love to hear about it.  As I mentioned in my last post about this, it makes it lot easier knowing that there is someone out there taking the journey with me.

Till next time my Goal Warriors!

Men: Avon & Man Cave Calling!

I saw a segment this morning on direct selling, specifically geared toward men.  The company is called Man Cave: http://www.mancaveworldwide.com/.  Instead of jewelery and cosmetics, it’s all about grilling meat, drinking beer and male bonding. 

So it seems that direct selling, or social selling as they are now calling it, is branching out to men as well as women who are looking to earn some extra income.  Now, I have heard about a few men selling Avon over the years.  As a matter of fact there was an article in the NY Times about the very subject:

Billy Kolber-Stuart, right, selling Avon products to Ari Ginsburg.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/29/fashion/thursdaystyles/29skin.html?pagewanted=all

As a matter of fact, if any of you men out there would like to make a little extra income, let me know! 🙂 LOL   

Now men are selling Avon.  Ok, not the norm but when if comes to finding ways to make some extra income, why should the direct selling industry be limited to just women?  More and more men are helping their spouses with their business along with starting one of their own.  With economic times being what they are, there is no longer any stigma about the type of business that men are now getting into.  That point is being proven most assuredly by Man Cave,  a direct selling company made just for men.  So move over Mary Kay, Tupperware and Avon.  There is a new company in town and it’s for men only.  No girls allowed.

Alba’s Online Event

My friend and colleague Alba is having an event that I would like to share with you.  Please take a moment to review.  I will be attending and I hope to see you there too!

AEE’s Headquarters 3-Day Annual Anniversary Event
Join us on Monday – Wednesday, June 27-29th, 2011, It’s a Biz Networking Week Event, It’s a Fashion and Beauty Week Event, It’s a Wedding Week Event…and IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU…our Customers and Vendors…Celebrate with us!!

It’s all FREE…add your listings FREE…We have DAILY VENDOR LINEUPS AVAILABLE at (3) online locations (Aee’s Fashion Edition, Wedding Edition and Right here…Business Edition)….Viewers from around the world will have a front row seat to view your exclusives products, collections and services…RESERVE YOUR LISTING SPOT TODAY…email us at albasevents@gmail.com

Let’s Meet and Greet
Promote and Network
Bring Your Best
Learn and Share new business concepts for growth
Share your opportunities
Shop from our awesome vendors
Win Freebies
Additional Low Cost Promotional Opportunities will be presented daily.

Here’s How It Works Everyone…
ADD your listing FREE at (1) location…Your Choice of Days (Monday – Wednesday and Your Choice of Location…Wedding, Fashion or Business Blog
SHARE our event on your Blog and Receive a 2nd location FREE..
INVITE (3) others to participate and like us (facebook) and Receive a 3rd location FREE

Let’s Do This……Celebrate With Us…Contact us to be included in our Daily Vendor Lineup at albasevents@gmail.com, SUBJECT: Annual Event.  Here is the link to the site as well: http://www.albasexclusiveevents.blogspot.com/

To Your Success!

Earth Day

It’s Earth Day and Avon is doing it’s part to help the planet.  Together we can save the earth.  Here is the mission statement:  Avon Hello Green Tomorrow is mobilizing a global environmental movement to nurture nature and help end deforestation. 

The following information has been taken straight from the website: www.hellogreentomorrow.

Avon is committed to helping end deforestation – a global crisis that endangers the wellbeing of the planet and the survival of all living creatures. The company is applying its resources to empower a global environmental movement, using its unique ability to educate, engage, and mobilize people worldwide to do good and give back in this important cause.

And while the global mobilization rolls on, behind the scenes, Avon is focused on environmental stewardship throughout the business enterprise. We know that working together, we can help plant a future.

Hello Green Tomorrow Global Mobilization and Fundraising

In 2010, the inaugural Hello Green Tomorrow program raised more than $2 million for the Atlantic Rainforest in South America. This year, Avon Hello Green Tomorrow is mobilizing and fundraising in more than 50 countries across six continents to help save two of the most critically endangered ecosystems on earth: the Atlantic Rainforest, once again, as well as the endangered forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.

A collection of unique fundraising products has been created by Avon worldwide, with all proceeds donated to the Hello Green Tomorrow Fund.

Avon is also using its unique woman-to-woman network of 6.5 million Sales Representatives to help drive “green” education and behavior change, focused on the “Five R’s”:
reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink and replant.

One of the products that Avon has developed is this reusable water bottle.  Made with 100% recyclable aluminum with a BPA-free interior coating, screw top lid.   It’s durable, leak free and holds 34 fl. oz. 

When you purchase this water bottle, 100% of net profits will be donated to Avon’s Hello Green Tomorrow Fund to plant trees in the critically endangered forests of South America and Indonesia.

These vital tropical forests serve as the “lungs of the earth” and clean pollutants from our air. Restoring these forests will help bring a healthier tomorrow for generations to come.

With your help, the Hello Green Tomorrow Fund has already planted 2 million trees and restored 5,000 acres, but there is much more to do. Together we can say hello to a greener tomorrow.

CELEBRATING WOMEN125 YEARS

Avon is celebrating 125 years of helping women not only look beautiful, but gain financial independence as well.  Here is why Avon has survived for as long as it has.  I am proud to re-print what Avon CEO Andrea Jung stated in the anniversary brochure:  

  

 

125 years of creating lipsticks, blushes and mascaras. Fragrances, lotions and serums.But more importantly, 125 years of creating possibility. Not just by beautifying women, but by standing up. And saying no to Breast Cancer. No to Domestic Violence. By donating over $800 million for these causes and others that are critical to women.125 years of saying yes to financial independence for over 6 million Representatives in over 100 countries.

Each brochure is filled with products that exemplify our passion— making women their most beautiful.
But with each product comes the promise that Avon will do more than bring beauty to doors. We’ll open them too.
Which is what we’ve been doing for 125 years.
Thank you for being a part of it.

Andrea Jung,
Chairman and CEO
Avon Products, Inc.

Event Spotlight: Brides and Basketball

I was invited to be a vendor for an upcoming event called Brides and Basketball.  unfortunately I was unable to participate but I like the concept of brides to be being able to plan for their big day, while the grooms get to get all things basketball all at the same time!  It is a win/win for both parties.  Doubtful?  Well seeing is believing. Take a look:

Brides and Basketball makes stops from New Jersey to Denver.  For more information go to:  http://www.bridesandbasketball.com/.  I hope that you will be able to stop by this wonderful event.  Tell them I sent you!

Affluent Business Woman Launched to Help Women Prosper in 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I am taking a fresh start approach to my business in this new year.  One of the ways that I am doing this is looking for ways to expand my client and networking base.  I am re-posting this blog post from fellow biz owner and colleague Jerrilynn Thomas whose very business is to help to connect business in the many and various fields that they may work in.  Take a look and let me know what you think:

  

We are all aspiring to reach and surpass the $1 million mark. The smartest and quickest way to do so is by forming collaborative business relationships.  Take time out today to read Affluent Business Woman Magazine published by Marketing 2 Women International.   On just about every page of Affluent Business Woman Magazine, you will find an innovative cross marketing tip or the cross marketing preferences of a business person ready to join forces with you in 2011 to grow your female client base.
 
You may have missed out on being a part of the debut issue but in early 2011, Marketing 2 Women International has plans to launch regional editions of Affluent Business Woman magazine. They will spotlight business and professional women while showcasing local fashion and interior designers, spas, business retreats, retailers, restaurants, neighborhoods equipped for entrepreneurs, and more of interest to up and coming female millionaires.
Visit http://magazine.womenpartner.com to read the debut issue of Affluent Business Woman magazine and share the link with a friend.


____________________________________________
Announcement to Share

Happy New Year!

I hope the New Year is proving to be fruitful for you.  One of my business resolutions this year is to incorporate more collaborative business relationships into my marketing activities.  I hope that we can find a way to team up and market this year.  I would like to introduce you to one of my cross marketing partners Jerrilynn Thomas founder of Marketing 2 Women International (www.WomenPartner.com).

Jerrilynn recently launched Affluent Business Woman Magazine for women who are building their independent wealth through entrepreneurship.  The online magazine is packed with women ready to cross market with you and ideas on how to partner with brick & mortar companies to grow your female client base.  She has plans to delve deeper into the women in business market this Spring by creating regional editions of the magazine and will be looking for women that she can showcase.  You can read the magazine at http://magazine.womenpartner.com.  Advertising is available. Tell all of your female business associates about the magazine.

Why beat the bushes to find clients in 2011 when you can cross market with complementary companies whose existing client base needs your products and services?  Marketing 2 Women International has numerous services for women that want to engage in power collaborative business relationships.  

 

Consortium Partnerships:  Marketing 2 Women International’s consortium was developed to help companies thrive during and beyond the recession by facilitating lucrative cross marketing partnerships between Main Street America and the online women in business community. A consortium is a coalition of organizations, such as banks and corporations, set up to fund ventures requiring large capital resources.  Women involved in Marketing 2 Women International’s consortium will share the cost of marketing and advertising (major women’s expos, direct mail, mobile advertising, joint collateral marketing materials, etc.) to grow their female client base.  During their New Year’s drive, companies can take advantage of an affordable monthly payment plan so they quickly begin reaping the benefits of cross marketing.  http://womenpartner.com/marketing-consortium

Marketing to Women Business Center: As a Marketing to Women Business Center client, you will …

  • Participate in monthly Metropolitan Business Woman Marketing Forums to learn how to market your company to women in top metro business markets.
  • Receive peer to peer support to quickly solve your business problems.
  • Engage in collaborative business relationships by taking part in a Cross Marketing Circle to increase your female client base and grow your social media connections.
  • Access to Marketing to Women reports, workshops and seminars at a 30% – 75% discount.
  • Have your own personal business advisory board.
  • & much more for a low introductory fee.  They are registering clients for February.  http://womenpartner.com/business-center-directory

Marketing to Women Business Suppliers-ships:  Regional Marketing to Women Business Supplier-ships are available to companies that want to service the clients of the Marketing 2 Women International’s business center.  The perks include a directory listing, Marketing 2 Women International cross marketing passport (allows companies to participate in select cross marketing projects without becoming an official part of the consortium), ongoing social media promotions / cross pollination activities and a low one time flat fee.  http://womenpartner.com/business-supplier-ships

Marketing to Women Blog Network:  Marketing 2 Women International is accepting applications for its new Marketing to Women Blog Network. The blog network will supplement its Marketing to Women Business Center by building content around how to market to different women’s audiences – female pet owners, female Realtors, women who golf, mompreneurs, etc., whereas the business center will focus on marketing to women in key metro areas — Dallas, Atlanta, New York, etc. — using their local marketing infrastructure.  http://womenpartner.com/womens-blog-network

As you can see, Marketing 2 Women International has a lot of fantastic services for women ready to exponentially grow their female client base without the stress of prospecting and cold calls. I hope you will join me in getting involved during their 2 week New Year’s business drive so you can grab over $2000 worth of business perks..  If you decide to get involved, please email me.  My referrals get a special bonus gift from Marketing 2 Women International depending on the service they select.

Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.  Please feel free to let me know what you think and if you have any questions.  Thanks and have a great day!

New Year – Fresh Start

The holidays are over and 2011 is now upon us.  I have been looking back over the past year with  mixed feelings.  My health had been great.  My mom has been able to retire and purchase her dream home.  And my dog has reached the age of 16 and still is in relative good health!  However, I would have liked to been a bit more successful in my business.  The economy had been tough on everyone and my finances need vast improvement.  Though I have been working to make money with my busniness,  even with the famous brand name of Avon,it still takes time, effort and commitment.  

 I am not big on resolutions as I believe that they don’t last long.  I mean we make them with the best of intentions, but then real life gets in the way and sometimes our good intentions goes by the wayside.  What I would like to do is just to make a fresh start.  Make things simple such as re-examining my work schedule, utilizing the tools that I have to make my business grow and endeavor to be more interactive with my customers.  And most important of all, ignore the nay sayers.  Sounds like a resolution doesn’t it?  Maybe it does.  But I think I will stick with my fresh start idea.  I think that this way, I will stay the course. 

What is your fresh start?