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The Brief Love Affair I Had With Lipstick

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.

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