Our last Avon representative interview in our Avon home business series was held earlier this month. I spoke with Maria Sutej, a Regional Vice President in Sales at Avon Products, Inc. Maria has been with Avon since 1983, when she began as a District Sales Manager. Twenty-nine years is a long time, but Maria said she “…started this for fun, but had no idea it could be SO much fun!”
Maria shared that there are two ways Avon representatives can make money: 1) by building a home business based only on Avon sales and 2) by taking advantage of the leadership opportunity. She says the latter is where the true business opportunity lies, in not only selling to customers, but also recruiting new representatives. For maximum earning potential, Maria suggests representatives do both.
Maria also shared a couple of stories of Avon representatives she’s come in contact with over the years. She told us about Linda Jones, who was laid off from a corporate job about six years ago and started selling Avon due to the loss of income. Linda now sells $78,000 of product per year and earns about half of that. Another story Maria shared was that of Donna Reed Mitchell, who is originally from Jamaica and started her Avon career in New York. Donna’s daughter was diagnosed with an illness requiring her to home-school. Donna is a Sr. Executive Unit Leader earning a six-figure income and says she wouldn’t be able to home-school if it weren’t for her Avon business.
Maria’s advice for new representatives is to start approaching not only people you know, but also people you don’t know at various places you go. She said if you want to build a big business, you need to establish yourself. Her suggestion is that representatives list places they frequent and think of who they can approach. A key reminder is to not be afraid of approaching strangers; as Maria said, most people’s response is “I haven’t seen an Avon brochure in years!”
I asked Maria how Avon representatives can take advantage of social media to market their Avon businesses. She responded that Facebook is a great way to spread word and that she sees a lot of representatives using it to launch their business. Maria also mentioned that the internal Avon site has Internet marketing tools to help representatives, including videos, e-cards, and other content.
It’s clear that success through an Avon home business can be different for everyone. In interviewing the various Avon representatives over the past few months, we’ve seen a variety of levels of earning potential and business models. I think the great thing in all that is that Avon provides flexibility and allows each representative to create the home business that’s right for them.
Have you ever explored Avon as a home business opportunity?
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work with Avon.