You read the title and just said “To Hell With Reading This Entry”. Trust me, I am sticking to the theme of getting out of debt. But it is sometimes worth sharing how I got in debt. If you can’t be a good example then be the horrible warning, right?
As I sit here at my desk (working the 2nd Shift) I listen to the melodious sounds of the cleaning lady’s gum popping. She mixes the popping with some bubble blowing and chewing with her mouth open to keep it interesting. I looked at her face and thought even though she appears to be exhausted she has great bone structure. A year ago I would have started a conversation about said bone structure and inquired about the make-up she uses. I would have then offered her my friendship and a free facial using my wonderful cosmetics. I would have promised her some much needed pampering. And if she could get her friends or family to come along for facials I would have also promised her a wonderful gift. Most people are protective of their friends so she likely would have booked an appointment for herself. Once she arrives at the appointment I let her pamper herself using all of my products while I babble on about my great product quality. Then I close the sale by assuming she is buying my most expensive bundle of goods. She agrees she needs the products but mulls over her financial situation. Now I swoop in and save the day and offer a discount if she books follow up appointments or gives me her friends’ personal contact info. She wants this stuff bad but even at a discount she can’t afford it. At the end of the day she does what she has to for the discount, only buys a tube of lipstick and never answers any more of my calls about the follow-up.
You see she had decided before I showed up that she wasn’t spending more than $20. She has met my kind before (all women over 18 have). She knows a follow-up is just an opportunity for me to pitch this “wonderful career opportunity” to her. In spite of what the company says you are a salesperson. And the average woman doesn’t want to be a salesperson or waste their time with a salesperson. This scenario happened 99% of the time. I can tell this story vividly because I lived it. It didn’t matter if it were the cleaning lady or the accountant, the story went the same way. I once had a customer in front of me who made over $100,000 per year. She didn’t use money as her reason for not making a purchase. She told me that her MAC products were superior. However, a rejection is a rejection. And with all of the company training, I was rejected on a regular basis.
When I started “my business” all the women I knew did one of two things. They told me to not even ask them to sell the make-up or they stopped taking my calls. When I had my first party I invited 80 people and NO ONE showed up. Not even my sisters. Despite not having anyone at my party I got a few sympathy sales and placed my first order. When I placed my first order, I was told that an order that size wouldn’t earn me any prizes for that quarter. And the prizes were cool (cheap but cool). So to get the prizes I pulled out my trusty credit card and spent $600 of my money. I went to my team meeting and got hi-fives and applauses for my big order. But I knew that I had product and no customers. For several more quarters I bought product, thinking “if I buy it they will come”. Long story short, they didn’t come (or at least not enough of them anyway). I had exhausted all of my friends, family, and warm leads. Now I was a real salesperson making cold calls every day when I got off work. I was stopping strangers everywhere I went only to book them and they not show up. I finally got tired of false hope and failure. I had also bankrupted my business by not reinvesting any of my earnings. I ended up with two maxed out credit cards and $2000 worth of product(wholesale). A couple of months before I started this blog I sold my product back to the company and only got $1600 for it.
The moral is: Don’t invest money in a business with a lousy sales force. Even if you own the business. Cut your losses and move on.