January 26, 2015

Technology and the Avon Lady

Over 125 years ago, Avon, the company for women (and a few good men) was born. In a time where women rarely worked outside the home, much less owned and operated their own business, our founder, David H. McConnell, established the company to provide women the opportunity for financial independence. He believed in empowering women and also giving back to the communities they served.
“All success lies in one’s self and not in external conditions. … Misfortunes are only a discipline, and there are possibilities which often are awakened by them which suggest to us the power and strength we possess, that perhaps otherwise would never have been recognized.” ~David H. McConnell
With such a strong foundation, no wonder Avon is still a leader in the direct sales market in the year 2015. I remember seeing jars of Sweet Honesty skin softener in my mom's bathroom. It's her favorite to this day. I remember seeing different powders in my grandmother's bathroom as well... Odyssey, Imari, Rare Pearls, and others. So when I got older, I, too, became an Avon customer. However, back in the day, to find an Avon Lady was rare. If you didn't know someone who knew someone who knew someone or an Avon Lady didn't come knocking on your door, you were out of luck. There was no Bing or Google to do a search and certainly no websites or social media sites to lookup.  And, if you were an Avon rep, you were "hoofing it" to get customers - knocking on doors, tossing books, placing ads in newspapers, etc. Thank goodness times have changed my friend!

The technology age has made it much easier for the Avon Lady and customers to connect. When you type the word Avon into Google or Bing or any social media site, you will be directed to the Avon corporate website and, on occasion, if you use specific keywords, you will be led directly to an Avon representative. When you're directed to the corporate website, you're given the option to search for a representative near you.

For Avon Independent Consultants, as we're now called, with a small investment of $15, you're provided with a new business kit which includes catalogs, full size products, and samples, as well as a fully loaded website which you can customize. On the dashboard, or what I like to call the backend, of the website, there are all kinds of tools and resources, from videos, to flyers, to social media graphics, and more to help you in your quest to succeed as an entrepreneur. I've heard stories from representatives who have been in the business for over 20+ years so it's quite exciting to be an Avon Independent Consultant in today's world.

Most everyone has had some type of contact with a direct sales company like Avon. What do you think about the new technology used to promote businesses like this?
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