As one of the original door-to-door direct selling companies, it seems like Avon has been around forever. However, the brand has managed to stay fresh, and the Avon lady you remember from the past may be your friend or neighbor today.
The United States is not the only country enjoying the opportunity that Avon has to offer. In the UK, there is Michelle Kirkbride. She is an Independent Avon Sales Leader, guiding her own group of reps, known as Team Aurum, toward Avon success. She proves that signing up is only a small part of the battle. If you want to reach success in direct sales, you need to work hard too.
I recently asked Michelle a few questions about Avon and her experiences with the company.
Tell us a little about Avon.
Avon was established in the USA by David.H. McConnell in 1886 and has since gone on to become the leading direct seller of beauty and related products. Avon sells in 140 different countries with annual revenue of more than $10 billion. The Avon product line includes beauty, fashion and home products, some of the most recognised Avon brands include Avon Colour, ANEW, Skin-So-Soft, and Advanced Techniques.
What inspired you to join the company?
Firstly it was the quality of the Avon products; you really need to believe in what you’re selling if you’re to sell it successfully. I already used and loved many of the Avon products and I had seen how easy they were for my Avon Representative to sell. The second thing which inspired me to join was the earning potential of Avon Sales Leadership; I just knew that if I could sell Avon so successfully then I could help others to do the same.
How long did it take for you to reach sales leader status? What was that journey like?
There are four levels to the Avon Sales Leadership program; everyone starts off as a trainee but after this there is Sales Leader, Advanced Sales Leader, Executive Sales Leader and Senior Executive Sales Leader status. We achieved Advanced Sales Leader status within our first campaign (three weeks) and we went on to achieve Executive Sales Leader status by our eighth campaign. The journey has been fun but it has also had its challenges, we’re working hard with our team at present as we aim to achieve Senior Executive Sales Leader status by the end of 2011.
Tell us a little about their business opportunity.
Avon offers two different business opportunities. There is the Avon Representative opportunity where you earn an extra income by selling the Avon products to your own network of friends and family as well as door to door. The second business opportunity is Avon Sales Leadership. As an Avon Sales Leader you will already be an Avon Representative and the success of your business is through your ability to build a team by recruiting, training and supporting other Avon Representatives.
What separates this company from the competition?
Before I joined Avon and when I was considering which direct selling company to join it was the Avon products which really stood out to me. The Avon products are always changing and being improved, there is never a risk of the product I am selling being stuck in the past, and this was really important for me. Like I have mentioned already, you must be 100% confident in the product you’re selling for your business to be a success.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish over the next year or so?
I have lots of goals placed on my dream board in my home office, some are small and some are really big. My immediate goals for the next year would be to continue growing my Avon business to achieve the top 20 trip incentive which Avon holds each year.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
There are many lessons my Avon business has taught me over the years, some tougher than others. One of the first lessons I learned was not to waste my time with negative people, lots of people cannot see nor understand how network marketing really works. I have come across many people who seem to believe they will become rich overnight, and unfortunately no business works this way. You have to commit time and effort to your business, believe in yourself and you can do anything.
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer anyone considering a direct sales opportunity like this one?
Firstly make sure you love the product you will be selling, this is an absolute must if your business is going to be a success. Do your homework on the team you will be joining within your chosen direct sales company, some teams offer better support than others and it can sometimes be this little bit of extra support which can really make your business work.
Bio: Michelle Kirkbride is an independent Avon Sales Leader from the UK. She runs her business full time from home with her partner Dennis Greaves. You can connect with her on facebook or if you like to tweet she is also on twitter. You can also learn more about Michelle and her team by visiting her website.