I have been a Social Direct Selling/Network Marketing/MLM professional for over twenty five years. Starting out as a self-employed ‘Avon Lady’ – after chatting to an Area Sales Manager who had ‘cold called’ at my home – I attribute my first lesson in this dynamic industry to the chance meeting with this lady. I quickly realised that by actively listening to my replies to her ‘open-ended’ questions – then using the information gleaned to answer my needs – she cleverly turned a ‘No’ (regarding selling Avon products) to a, ‘Yes, I’ll give it a go’!
A couple of years on, I was employed as an Area Sales Manager by Avon Cosmetics; firstly appointed to cover part of inner-city Birmingham and then to grow the sales in the upmarket town of Solihull; these were ‘chalk and cheese’ areas and I had to adapt my sales and recruiting techniques accordingly. The difference in attitude to ‘Avon’ in these areas tested my ‘out of the box’ thinking and strengthened my creativity.
I have often been described as, ‘driven and pro-active to the hilt’, and have developed the ability to react positively to any given situation. After promotion to a training and development role with Avon, my career really took off. I was soon employed by Virgin (Vie) Cosmetics for the start-up of Richard Branson’s foray into ‘Party Plan’. I was then offered the chance to work with the superb book publisher, ‘Dorling Kindersley‘, where my direct approach was welcomed by the independent sales-force. During my many years in the industry I was approached, and subsequently recruited by the following companies: Children First, Oriflame Swedish Cosmetics, Weekenders, The Pampered Chef (UK) where I was promoted to National Sales Manager.
During 2012, I started to make plans to fulfill my ambition of studying for an English degree, whilst also working as a self-employed Business Coach and Trainer. In April 2013 I left The Pampered Chef to travel around Europe with my husband and two terriers. During this time I have also written several books and am currently studying for a B.A. Honours Degree in English Language and Literature with the Open University.
Even whilst travelling I am alert to what is happening generally in business; whilst working my way down Croatia, upon seeing many people stood on the side of roads with large signs stating, ‘Apartmento To Let’, I wanted to contact the agent letting my house to say, ‘Have you thought of….’. I refrained!!
My motto, ‘Life is not a Dress Rehearsal‘ (passed on by my father) is what drives me!
In addition, a phrase learned many years ago, ‘Anywhere, Anytime, Always, Ask‘, is one I believe everyone involved in ‘sales’ (and also small business owners) need to adopt. Whether you are in a coffee shop, waiting in a queue, or simply chatting to someone on the train/plane/bus, if you remember the ‘4 A’s‘ you will be giving yourself the best opportunity to become a success in any business – especially MLM/Network Marketing and Social Direct Sales.