Think Pink Soapbox

Have to say that I saved this cute pic from another site, and I think if my memory serves me correct it was from My Pink Truth several months back.  Anyway, I thank the site and owner for use of the pic even though I can’t remember who to even ask if I could borrow it.  Good intent here to give credit where credit is due.

I have to climb on the soapbox here, as I strongly feel the need to share my thoughts and concerns about an email I read from a sister consultant who offered up this suggestion for moving your inventory off your shelves.  The email went out across a yahoo group for MK consultants. 

Here’s how it read:

“I wish I had this problem of too much inventory… ..
Ladies, this is a better way to move your inventory. Have an inventory
clearance sale with your customers or create new ones and let them pay
wholesale cost.”

“Pass out flyers in your neighbor this weekend. This is a great time to
have a sale, offer bonuses, or buy one at full price and get one free.
Whatever…. build your customer base.”

“I am going to offer new customers wholesale cost and free delivery.
New Customers… the competition is out there from other companies… so
we have got to be different to get the customers.”

 Focusing on the component of the comments in the three paragraphs:

Paragraph 1– Ladies, this is a better way to move your inventory. Have an inventory clearance sale with your customers or create new ones and let them pay wholesale cost.

Comment:  In my opinion, this is not a better way to move your inventory by creating a clearance sale and allowing customers, new or current, to pay wholesale cost.  Why think in these terms?  What message does this send?  This is not a bargain basement business nor is it a wholesale business to the consumer.  Besides, my time is most valuable when it comes to all the time and effort I would spend to clearance out any product at wholesale.  All that work and zero profit??  Never would I consider it.  Nor should any new consultant trying to establish a business work ethic.

Paragraph 2Pass out flyers in your neighbor this weekend. This is a great time to have a sale, offer bonuses, or buy one at full price and get one free.  Whatever…. build your customer base.

–CommentI understand the thought behind building the customer base.  Flyers are certainly a way in which to do that.  However, flyers to build a customer base do not have to have the thought of a sale, bonus, or half price items to draw in new business.  That’s an area where I exercise caution.

Paragraph 3–I am going to offer new customers wholesale cost and free delivery.  New Customers… the competition is out there from other companies… so we have got to be different to get the customers.

Comment:  Ties in with the first comment really.  Wholesale cost and free delivery??  Sorry, but I don’t work for free, and neither should anyone else.  Building new customers is not about giving up our entire profit and donating our time.  With this type of thinking, we will work ourselves right out of business. 

Sorry ladies, but customers do not become loyal because we sell to them at wholesale and deliver to them free.  They become loyal customers because of the benefits of the product and excellent customer service.  Even then, customers have the right to buy from whom they want to.  Bottom line in our business is finding NEW FACES to get the product on and then building a relationship with the customer, and maintaining the relationship long term with providing quality care to the customer.  A customer/consultant relationship that prevails over an offer of selling to them at wholesale.  Don’t cheapen our product or lower our standard of care by utilizing tactics to move inventory off your shelves.  Build a reorder business with integrity surrounding the customer’s needs.  Delve into your business and learn how to become a personal consultant to your customers.

I agree that we have got to be different to get customers.  You know what that really means?  It means we have to learn about our business and truly become a woman of our word in everything that we do.  Perfection is not the goal here.  Making a quick sale is not the focus.  A quality performance will set us apart from our competitor from the first interaction elicited with the buyer.  Don’t think that women can’t tell when they are being taken because they can.  A fast sale satisfies their need for a bargain.  It leaves you empty otherwise.  Demonstrate good judgement beyond a one time sale to move inventory.  Strive for the reorder relationship.  Be willing to work for yourself.

Receptive to all comments and thoughts.

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8 Comments

Filed under Think Business, Think Money, Think Pink Soapbox

8 responses to “Think Pink Soapbox

  1. IMO~this isn’t so good because the customers know what the consultant is paying and will be wanting discounts more often. I hope this one doesn’t bother you-I did mark down some of my inventory (I have at my friend’s nail salon). She just tells the customers that I have products marked down. I have a label that says i.e.-was $14 now $12. I don’t want the customers to know what I pay for products. I am just making way for the new MK products. Is this method ethical/ok in your opinion?

  2. I fell back to sleep this morning and will finish my thoughts as promised. Then I’ll be back to comment between dentist appointments and Sat errands. I’m always on the run with the family. 😀

    Post complete, now for the comment. The part that may be of concern is whether the mark down product is out in the open at the salon which would be in violation of the consultant agreement. A markdown is not a problem itself. Even customers knowing what we pay is really ok because they may decide to become a consultant to make some money. Nothing wrong with that! All adults understand that we are in business to make some amount of profit. Of course we want the profit. What we don’t want is to not make a profit. If customers don’t see us making money, then they will never take this business under consideration for themselves. So, it’s really to our advantage to share our profit margin.

    As you know, when we treat MK like a business from all aspects, then it operates like the real business it is meant to be. Frankly, I used to discount product, but over time learned to not do that (for myself you understand). I learned to utilize PCP to reward their required purchase. I got tired of working hard and losing money. What really taught me a big lesson was working longhand with the business tracking sheet. Anyone use that? I do. It is an eye opener when you see the money lost from discounting that doesn’t go into your pocket. That did it for me. I changed the way I conducted business fast!

  3. Oh my, PinkB, I am afraid if she does not have a good mentor soon, she will be in deep trouble as a consultant..she will soon be saying she cannot sell it and make any money…once you wholesale it that way…that is what they will always want. You have already stated my thoughts on this.

    We have to be so careful and also remember other consultants..I am concerned that without even realizing it, she is showing no respect for her sister consultants either. Some of those ‘new clients’ may belong to someone else that has worked hard to build their customer base…so why would they (no matter how much their consultant worked with them or how much they may like them) pay retail to their own consultant when they are finding it at a steal?

    I like to think that those that take this route are so new that they just do not know about our Golden Rule.. I would rather lose a sale than hurt another working consultant. But then, many would say and have said to me…There’s not many of us left that honor that rule…I choose not to believe that. I choose to believe they just don’t know or they just don’t get it.

    Everything we do whether good or bad…affects others. All I can say is bless her heart and I hope someone can help her and show her how to make money with her business.

    Hugs

  4. Thank you for excellent points Angie. So glad to have a MK director to give such wonderful insight. All that you’ve said is absolutely the case, and I’m in total agreement with you. I distinctly recall having read that this consultant is either actively seeking or actively considering directorship. This would be a further disservice to guide her team with this line of thinking. Thanks for sharing the need for a good mentor for this consultant. Now, I don’t personally know her through the internet or otherwise, but I also wish her the best in her business and the ability to learn the Mary Kay way as it is intended. Working substandard is just not going to build or maintain a strong team/unit over the course of time.

    Working the Golden Rule is vital I feel. Sad that some may just simply choose to ignore it. In addition, I hope others will give thought to the importance of the workforce upholding the integrity of Mary Kay Corporation by considering their actions and words. It is beneficial to all of us.

    Oh, and about selling wholesale to the customer…If I did that, my customers would ask me when my next sale was going to be. In essence, just like you said, they would come to expect it from me or go looking elsewhere for another consultant’s discount. This supports your comments stated above in your post (please re-read ladies). Also, there are occasional new customers who don’t hesitate to tell me that another consultant sold to them at 10% or 20% off all the time, and would I be giving them the same discount. My immediate response to them is…”that is not how I operate my business.” Then I go on to explain PCP and customer service they can expect. Some have become my customers and others have moved on seeking the discount elsewhere I suppose. Just another factor to think about.

  5. I agree with you all! I only do occasional sales to move color products–mainly when I know new stuff is coming. I give my customers 25% in their birth month. I have had people ask, “when’s your next sale?” I always ask them what they are looking for. I NEVER discount Time Wise. When someone wants a discount on Time Wise I tell them to be a hostess. 😉
    Right now I’m only discounting “Last Chance” items on my website. I’m giving 40% off those items. The other discount I’m running is CURRENT customers who have the old compacts get the new one 50% off when they give me the old one to recycle. 🙂
    Excellent points, Pink Biz!

  6. Thanks so much for your input Shades! Sorry I haven’t been back to comment. A family emergency has occurred, and requires a great deal of my time at present. With that said, I’m thankful for your comments. I read once about a MK Sales Director that never discounted the items in our Miracle Set. I followed with that thinking in my business and support never discounting TW. Glad to see you do the same.
    😀

  7. Plus, (and I apologize if I missed this in it being late and not reading too thoroughly) but if your current customers get wind that this is for NEW customers – they can get a little upset. I find this all the time in mainstream biz -if you only offer the deal to the customer who has yet to fall in love with you, are you not disrespecting the current customer??? ah, the answer is YES.

    in the ideal world, discounts and clearances should be for ‘classic’ and no-longer-available stuff only. which is easier said than done, I know too well.

    I like your slogan/theme! It’s the ol’ DO TODAY so you can PLAY TOMORROW kind of theme, yes?

  8. Hi and welcome CuriousC. I see where she referenced to current and new, but then commented only about new customers as her email continued. Becoming a bit sidetracked with the notion of wholesale and free delivery to generate the sale. Anywho… I would personally want current customers to have the advantage of a sale I might have. A reward in essence for their customer loyalty. Building relationships (for life) is an important aspect in Mary Kay. There is plenty of time to gift back to customers for their gift of business to us. Customers are the heart of our business and need equal respect. Agreed!

    You’re so right about “in the ideal world”. Your interpretation of the theme is really on target. Love it!! Thanks!

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