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    shanochano's Avatar
    shanochano Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 10, 2006, 11:49 AM
    A beginner in Sales

    I am new to this website and I am very new to sales. My fiance's aunt created her own mineral-based makeup line called about face by Pamela John. I have recently started to find retail stores such as salons and boutiques to carry her line.

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on the best way to reach these stores. I have tried walking in, phone calls, and mailing them a letter. I want to reach them without being annoying.

    If anyone has any tips, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
    Uber Member

    Aug 10, 2006, 12:46 PM
    We've done sales of a completely different product (candles) through some of the outlets you are looking at. We usually sell on consignment.

    Samples are a good way to get someone to trust your product. You or your spouse could see if someone at the shop would be willing to meet for a consultation and then give them some product to try, that might help. Make and keep a "preferences" card with the persons name and the things they like... in this case what colors best fit their skin, etc.

    Word of mouth sales by people who use the product is a great first start. We honestly built our business up through mostly word of mouth, and in a short time business was coming to us without even trying. Give them some incentives, like free product or discounts when referals come through them and you'll have people selling for you.

    You could even start with the people you go to first for hair care. Tell then what you are doing, what you want to do...

    If they are interested and in a place with a lot of other people see if they'll have a cosmetics party... you arrange the food, maybe some wine... they come over to whomevers house and try the stuff out. Again, whenever we've given product away carefully, we've almost always had repeat business and referred business. The sales that night usually barely cover the expenses... but the referred business and getting product into peoples hands and in use is key.

    Parties like this take a little work and fine tuning, but again, almost all of our big sales have come through connections made at the party... not necessarily the sales that night, but later on.

    We've sold a lot of stuff by tying the sales to charity or special interest groups. Pledge to donate a % to some local charity (talk to the charity first about whether this is ok) and use this as part of your marketing. This makes things a little more complex, but its another way to stand out.

    While you are looking for the retail outlet, get the product into the hands of friends, family, etc. make then use it and get back to you about what worked well and what didn't. You should have done some of this by now, but having people you trust and know use your product can help give a different perspective. We still have a handfiul of people we use as product testers from time to time... to make sure the product still works or to test a new product... inevitably these same people always buy more than they are given.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Aug 10, 2006, 03:59 PM
    Hello, well of course all products can be different, I have sold commercial car wash equipment, hot water steam cleaning equipment, generators and hydrolic equipment. Now I am in medical equipment sales.

    So first if you worry about what they will think, you are in the wrong field, you have to only worry about your product and what it takes to get it into those stores. They already have all the products they think they want, and just won't go out and order things from flyers without seeing it.

    First you have to figure out who the owners are, many stores the clerks and people who work there can't order or buy things.
    Find out about trade shows in that field in your area and be sure to have a booth set up so that they can see how great it is.

    Next offer to do a "free" set up or demo on one of their clients to show them how great it is.

    Also offer a good return policy if you can afford it, if they place it on their shelf and don't sell it in so many months can they send it back at no charge or a small restocking charge?

    But you will have to be pushy, you will have to go in and make them believe you are there best friends, you start by a few minutes of small talk, look around their office or studio and find out what ison the walls, it tells you about them, learn every line you compete against and see what they use and know why yours is better and so on.

    I have set recrods in sales in every product I have ever done, and it is by not taking no for an answer. My largest client in Atlanta was transit system called Marta, I could not get an appointment to see them, and there purchasing office would not see me, Their shops were surrounded by large fences with razar wire on the top. So I drove in behind one of their employees into the main maintenance area and got in the parking lot, walked in with seveal employees and laid my catalogs around to every mail box and every table I could see, ( until their secuity threw me out)
    Guess what within a month they were my largest account ever.

    I got into another large milk company by merely saying I had a delivery for their service department, they asked who, so I made up a name, they said no but did I mean >>>>>, I said I guess I was bad at names.
    And as easy as that I was though their secuirty gate on into their busniess, and gave my catalog out, not my largest account but a good one.

    So worrying about what they will think will only make you second guess yourself. A sales person has to have the biggest ego, the most brass and the most quick lines of anyone in the world.
    cspeeks's Avatar
    cspeeks Posts: 20, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Oct 17, 2006, 08:51 AM
    Another idea for you is to find "booth renters", or make up atrist at small salons etc. GIVE them enough products to use on their customers and let them sell the merchandise for you. Leave sample bags with items in it for them to offer their customers along with your info for ordering. Offer to pay the booth renters a "commison" on each product sold.. they will do the retail pushing for you and help get the name out there.. this would esp be great around prom time etc when teenagers get their make-up done. Don't be afraid to market online either, there is very little cost involved somewhere like eBay or Amazon do promos of buy one get one , free shipping etc give them a money back guarantee if they don't like it.. get and keep customer feedback on the product

    Ohh and do bridal shows... it's a great place to meet clients as well as some of the hire ups at salons and day spas, go to places like davids bridal and other bridal shops and offer to do free make up on bridal parties etc.. Like the other person said make up parties are great esp for large bridal showers etc you may do a lot of "free" work but the pay off in the end is well worht it
    wildcatgirl's Avatar
    wildcatgirl Posts: 73, Reputation: 13
    Junior Member

    Nov 3, 2006, 02:00 PM
    I realize it has been a few days since you posted this question, but I just joined and noticed your post. I have been in sales for over 10 1/2 years and since you are seem like you're a little new to sales in general, I thought I would just give you some tips on some of the basics that I have learned over the years.
    First of all, to make a good first impression with a potential client, body language and dress are key. Always be dressed for success. A clean professional look will give your client the impression that you are successful and have a good product to offer. Also, firm handshakes are a must with all clients whether they are male, female, young or old. What my boss has taught me is that when you shake a clients hand, extend your middle finger out to touch the area between their veins on their wrist. This shows that you are in control and confident. Next NEVER CROSS YOUR ARMS. I can't tell you how many times I can tell when a deal is going south just by watching the salesperson's and the clients body language. Crossing of one's arms means you are locked up and not listening to what the other is saying. This will help you to by if your client crosses their arms, you know they are "shutting you down." If you notice them starting to do so, it often helps relax them if you change the subject by talking about something more personal, like where your from and if you have kids, or what hobbies you have. You will eventually find something you have in common with them that will help them to warm up to you.
    I definitely agree on giving out samples. After all, would you buy a new pair of shoes without first trying them on? You can even use this as a way to market yourself more. I once knew someone who sold Mary Kay and she had sticky business cards made up that she applied to the bottom of every compact of eyeshadow, powder and foundation that she sold. Just always be sure to be assertive with your samples and tell them that you believe in it so much, your offering the first trial for free with no obligation to buy. "I'm confident that you will like this product so much, you'll be calling me for more." If you have the right attitude and truly believe that you offer the best product, that feeling will go straight to your clients without you seeming pushy at all.
    Good luck and I hope things go well!
    jean8's Avatar
    jean8 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 17, 2009, 05:51 AM
    I too am a beginner in sales, and I must say after reading this book, I had an aha moment, I now have a much better understanding of why I couldn't sell a thing, I promise this book is a must read and it only cost $3.99 , I recommend this book to all beginners, this is the link.

    Sales essentials

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