Meet the New Avon Rep: Full Time and Fully Mobile

Meet the New Avon Rep: Full Time and Fully Mobile

When David McConnell began mixing fragrances and giving samples away to open doors for his door-to-door sales in 1886, he had no idea that Avon would grow to become one of the largest direct-selling businesses in the world. Along the way, he empowered hundreds of thousands of women by providing them with economic opportunities. One of those women is Nicole Morin who has been an independent Avon representative since 2003. Nicole ran her Avon business part-time at first as she still had a full-time job. Since she retired six years ago, Nicole has been fully devoted to her Avon business.

“The supplemental income is quite welcome,” says Nicole. “I can afford to have a good car, which I need to conduct my business, and I’m not worried about making it to the end of the month. I’ve developed friendship with my customers over the years too. They like to talk about their families and interests, which makes it more interesting and valuable than just selling products.”

Anyone familiar with Avon will know that the business and its product line have changed dramatically over the years. For example, while perfume formed the foundation of the company, it is now only a part of Avon’s expanded offerings. Other products include makeup, skin care, hair care tools, jewelry for all ages, fashion, gifts items, décor, seasonal outdoor items, books on food and nutrition, and more.

“If you think that Avon is only for older ladies, I suggest that you check it out because there is something for the whole family. There is a brochure specifically for young women, and Avon keeps bringing in new and improved products all the time,” says Nicole. “The catalogues are very colorful and enticing, not to mention the high quality and the affordable prices.”

It’s not only the product line that has changed at Avon over the years, but also the way in which products are sold. Door-to-door sales are still important, but representatives like Nicole are increasingly taking advantage of other opportunities to reach out to potential customers. Customers can place their orders online or from an eBrochure, which reps like Nicole send out for every campaign. They also do Avon-on-Location (AOL) events where they introduce themselves and their products to shoppers at malls, fairs, craft markets and other high-traffic venues.

“The beauty of having an Avon business is that you can do it from home and at events. You can do it when it is convenient for you, so you have quite a bit of freedom. If you want to make more money you just work more and find more customers,” says Nicole. “We can also offer the business opportunity to other women and men, then help them develop their own business, which is very rewarding and profitable. It’s not like you have a 9-5 day job. If you work hard you will get results and I like to make my own decisions.”

One big decision Nicole had to make recently was whether to begin accepting plastic in a business where cash and cheques have been king for over a century. She hosts a monthly AOL event at a local hospital, and that’s where she first realized how important it is to offer her customers a variety of payment options.

“I noticed staff would come by and say they don’t carry cash on them because they are working. They would say they’d come back, but they don’t come back, so I was losing sales because I wasn’t taking debit,” she explains.

That doesn’t happen now that Nicole uses Dream Payments, a mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminal that makes it easy for her to accept both debit and credit card payments.

“It makes my business better because I can sell and customers can select the way they want to pay, they have a choice of debit or credit cards. It makes our life easier, theirs and mine,” says Nicole. “It’s excellent for my business and they are happy that they can have what they want and use their debit card. It’s a win-win situation.”

At first, Nicole was worried that accepting debit and credit would be difficult and expensive. Once she found Dream Payments, she knew she had found the perfect payment processing partner.

“I used Square for a while but couldn’t accept debit payments. I looked at Moneris, but it was too expensive – you had to pay a monthly fee and I didn’t want that. Moneris was also too complicated to set up at events. It had to be connected through the Internet. When I saw Dream Payments, I was in awe,” says Nicole. “You should see the reaction of my customers who ask to pay using debit or credit. When they see my device with no wires, they are very impressed. It works wonderfully.”

The Dream Payments team was also just a phone call away when Nicole was getting started. “When I was activating my device, Dream’s service team was absolutely pleasant, very helpful and patient. They know their business and explained everything to me. They were very nice and I was very pleased with the service.”

And that’s just the way Nicole likes to run her own business. “You have to be consistent and reliable,” she says. “I also find that people tend to buy from somebody they know, so it makes a big difference if you have a chance to meet customers at the door or talk to them on the phone. Building a relationship is important and so is following up. For example, once I give them a book or they place an order, I check in the next week to make sure they are happy with their products.”

It’s a philosophy that seems to be working for Nicole who has seen her sales double in recent years.

“Now I’m working towards a trip. I want to go to Portugal. Avon also offers a free trip every year to the top sellers, and I’m close!”