Friday, April 3, 2015

Not a Pusher

Not sure if I have ever mentioned that I am an Avon representative in London. Well, I am.
In 1997 just after Bill and I got married, I was living in a high rise apartment and needed something to fill in some my life and in my wallet. I've tried selling things before, Tupperware for one. A couple of times  actually, but soon realized that I wasn't a pushy enough person and didn't feel right talking people into having parties. My manager was pushy and I just didn't make the grade, so I stopped........twice. Sometimes it just takes me a little longer to grasp things!

I'd made an appointment first with a Mary Kay representative to come and talk to me about their product sales line. When I realized that I couldn't afford to, or wouldn't ever pay $22 for a blush and $19 for lipstick, I knew it wasn't for me. How could I sell something I didn't believe in?
MaryKay Blush/Eyeshadow $22

MaryKay lipstick $19

My interview with an Avon manager was different. I liked the products and better still, I loved their prices. I'd bought the products in the past and Avon always guaranteed satisfaction to the customer.

Avon blush $14.99
Avon eye shadows $15

Avon lipsticks, something to brag about, no? YES!

This was something I could see myself selling........or rather being merely an instrument in it selling itself!

It would make me stretch my personal boundaries by having to take my brochures door to door at the beginning to create my own customer base. I had a good manager who didn't push, but instead encouraged me in a way that never felt like pressure. I only earned when I sold, so I signed up.

I loved it and I loved attending the meetings once a month. My customer list increased and although I wasn't greedy and never sat in a customer's living room and displayed and talked about how our wonderful product was going to make them look younger over night, I did knock on doors and make phone calls. Over and over I dropped books off and called for orders. It seemed to be working and I was earning a bit of free spending cash.

I had a customer base of about 25 regulars and was doing pretty good. I also fell into a great little opportunity with a skating club for a friend of mine  for a couple of years. Her daughter was looking for a way to earn money for the club so I worked out a way to help her and myself at the same time. I reached goals for 4 years that moved me up the ladder into the President's Club. I have 4 of the prized Mrs. Albee dolls to prove it.

After moving from the apartment into a condo, same area, Bill and I bought a house and moved from the northwest end of the city to the southeast. Talk about extremes! But the move was 10 minutes from our employment so perfect for us!

In regards to Avon my manager told me I had to give up my customers because the city was divided into territories and I was moving out of hers. When I thought about it, and the thought of driving across town to service my 25 clients on a weekly basis, it made sense so I gave them up. I later learned by other reps that it wasn't fair of her to insist I do that. What did I know but it was too late to change things.

I had to start over. It took a lot of determination to start knocking on doors all over was harder. I persisted and picked up a few customers in my neighbourhood but not enough to make much money. After a few years of struggling and not getting much return out of my efforts,  I became discouraged with the process. I was wasting my time walking around, calling around and I was wasting money by buying books that weren't bringing in orders. I was, however, happy that I could offer good deals to my family and friends, not to mention the benefit of snatching some up for our own household.  So I stuck to family, friends and co-workers and let the orders come to me.

This is where I am today and it is working just fine. No more Presidents Club rewards, no more new Mrs. Albee dolls to display but just a tidy little profit that allows me to satisfy my clothes and shoes shopping urges.

As it turns out, this is all for the best. Since in a little over a year I won't be here in the city to sell to my clients, I will naturally be giving up little Avon business. I will stock up on the things we use before I quit, hopefully find someone in my area to take over selling to my customers and move on.

For the present time, I offer my services, along with other reps, once in a while to help set up banquet rooms for their special event dinners and enjoy the perks for what we do. It used to be fun to get gussied all up for these events when I was actually receiving the awards! We are even invited to attend for the lovely dinner etc. This year, I just might take them up on it!

It is a good endeavour and I've enjoyed being connected with such a popular company even through all the trials, discouragements and tribulations. Yes, Bill and I have grumbled about some of the processes many times! When I'm done, I will remember it fondly and will always enjoy browsing through their brochures when I see one. They are all over North America so I'm sure I will still be able to get my hands on some shower gel should we need it!

Thanks for stopping in and reading about another segment of my life.

Ding dong, Avon calling!