Sunday, April 19, 2009

Premier vs Kirby...???

As I mentioned (briefly) before...I have started selling Premier Designs Jewelry. I was a little uneasy about it at the beginning considering it was a serious leap of faith in regards to not only money and time management (neither of which I have much of...!!! Ha!) but also learning how to sell a product that isn't necessarily 'needed' in this economy. Obviously, I signed up for it and I've loved every second of it! But...after you read the following, you'll realize (as did I...) that this is a cut-throat industry...!!!

I had my sixth home show this past week in Union, SC. For those of you who aren't familiar with SC, that is about an hour & a half drive...through the country. You can't even take the interstate there! Aaahhh!!! Needless to say, I was hoping for at least a good turnout!!

Because the show was at night and it was such a long drive, I had one of my guy friends go with me. He was so excited to see me "in action" considering he's never actually been to a show. We arrived to her house about 30 minutes before the show was scheduled to start and set up my stuff. I was so excited because 1.) I haven't seen her (my hostess) in years, and 2.) I was going to show off my jewelry-selling "skills" to my friend! haha...

Two weeks prior, I sent out a handful of invitations while she posted flyers at her church, her daughter's dance studio and school. Knowing this, I was anticipating a decent turn-out.

After everything was set-up and I started nibbling on her finger foods, there was a knock at the door...which I later found to be the dreadful knock.
"Would you like your carpets cleaned for FREE today??"
I knew what that meant...would you like to spend an outrageous amount of money on something you don't necessarily need....???Great!!! I looked at the door and watched this guy invite himself and his "worker" into MY HOSTESSES house....as Stephanie Tanner would say "How RUDE!!!"

I didn't say anything because her entire house had hardwood floors. All he had to clean was one area rug. So, I thought to myself..."I would let them clean my area rug for free...it shouldn't take that long...and now-a-days I'll take (just about) anything for free!"

Ten minutes after the (un-welcomed) carpet cleaners made their appearance, her one and only guest arrived. As she made her way cautiously around the vacuum cords and the numerous"see how dirty your rug was" presentations, she took her seat at the "Jewelry Table." Thankfully, while feeding on mixed nuts and pimento cheese sandwich wedges (Mmmm...!), both the hostess and her guest showed promising interest in my product as they aimlessly rummaged through the catalogs. I waited for about 30-45 minutes just so I could start my (brief) sales presentation for the ladies that had initially stopped by A.) to purchase my product, B.) to socialize with my friend(s) and C.) thanks to my invitations! Unfortunately, I was shot down each time I started by the roar of the (over priced) vacuum which forced me to take a seat. Frustrated, I began putting the jewelry on my guests...

ME!!!---**very loud voice to over-come a vacuum** "Oh, doesn't that necklace look GREAT with what she has on right now?!?! I wear that with everything! My most popular item...what do you think...???" I even went to the extreme "selling tactic" of ornamenting their daughters with necklaces! I was desperate to beat the "dream-team-cleaning-machine" in the living room!

We arrived at her house around 5:30pm and left around 9:00pm. The cleaners left about 15 minutes before we did...only after harassing MY HOSTESS (who, not to mention, had booked with me 3 weeks prior to that day...) into buying a vacuum cleaner! Let me tell you, if you are ever curious about learning how to make $$ vs. simply offering/selling your product to consumers...you have to witness a vacuum cleaner salesman's "approach!"

SHADY SALESMAN!!!--- "We can trade out your old vacuum cleaner in exchange for our Grade A, top-of-the-line, versatile Kirby vacuum...at a steal-of-a-price! If you walk into any Kirby store right now, you will pay at least $23,500! It can do everything but wash dishes!!"
***My friends eyes rolled almost out of his head!!!***
SHADY SALESMAN!!!--- "What price range are you thinking of spending tonight??"
***If it was me..."$50 for you to leave my house!!!! Thanks for the Spring cleaning, but my Bissle works great!" Unfortunately, it wasn't me...***
After the guy finished cleaning her rug, he apparently went outside to make "THE Call" to their actual salesman in order to finalize the sale. The apparent salesman who was arrogant, pushy, annoying, etc, etc...comes into her house without even knocking!!!
***G-E-T O-U-T would have been the first words out of my mouth!! But, it wasn't me...***
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"How'd you like it?!? (Eyes gleaming at the vacuum cleaner) Didn't it clean your area rug wonderfully?!?! I just love my Kirby! Never seen anything like it! Cleans your ceilings, mattresses, upholstery...amazing, huh?!?! (followed by a goofy grin that said "I'm going to screw you" all over it!!!)
MY HOSTESS!!!!---"Well, I've got a Rainbow that I've had for years...and it's OK for what I need, considering I only have this rug."
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"A Rainbow?!?!? We trade those out all the time!!! No one wants to have to carry around numerous parts these days...how much did you pay for it??"
MY HOSTESS!!!---"My mom bought it for about $1,600 years ago. It's in storage right now."
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"Of course it's in storage...you need a Kirby!! It's blah, blah, blah! (that's all I remember...). I can trade out your Rainbow and give you this Kirby TONIGHT for just $16,000!!! That's a $22,000 difference!! What do you think?!?"
MY HOSTESS!!!--- "Ummm, I'm not sure. Can you call me back? I really want it, but just not tonight."

This selling/badgering technique went on for about 20-25 minutes. Each offer was followed by an uncertain answer which was then proceeded by an irritated reply. I continuously thought to myself how happy and thankful I was that I had no sales quotas to meet and that I didn't HAVE to sell this jewelry to pay my bills. After that thought passed...I moved on to another one...apparently, the guy doesn't know math or the definition of value because he initially tried selling her this stupid vacuum cleaner for the same price she paid for her Rainbow years ago. Can we stop really quickly and define....depreciation?
Finally, she talked him down to $1,000 flat. This offer was quickly followed by...
ANNOYING SALESMAN!!!---"Hhhmmmm...Ok, well, my guy here won't make a penny off this and now we're digging into my money....but...if you promise not to tell ANYONE about this great deal I'm about to offer you...I won't mind! If you do tell, I won't ever be able to sell a Kirby for anything else...(whisper, whisper..)
MY HOSTESS!!!--- (who initially told me she was just going to let them clean her rug and ask to call them back later...)"I'll take it!!!! I'll just need your help getting my Rainbow out of storage since y'all can't leave tonight without it."
After 10 minutes of digging through her storage, he carried the Rainbow out to the living room, rolled his eyes at his co-salesman (a.k.a: slime-ball), then turned to my friend and said...
JERK-O SALESMAN!!!---"Must be hard times if you're willing to sell something that won't make anyone any money, huh?!?" What's she in (nodding towards my direction)...the jewelry selling business?? That's...cool...?"
I looked at him and simply said...
ME!!!---"Yes, I sell Premier Jewelry. I joined a few months ago mainly because they are a Christian organization that has morals and doesn't need to pressure anyone to buy their product. It sells itself!!! It's so easy...I just do this (nodding toward my product) for fun!"

They left with the Rainbow, sold my hostess a Kirby that was used for almost 3 hours to clean her area rug, and dipped out. I was in shock! I felt like I had been abused...no, no...manipulated!!! After they left, my hosteess said that she bought it because she didn't think they would leave until she did. Duh!!!! Those are the people you do not want to buy from simply because there's obviously some underlying scheme they've got going on. Why else would they 1.) Invite themselves into your house at dinnertime, 2.) Offer to clean your carpets for free, and 3.) Be extremely eager to discount their 'remarkable' product so easily?!?!

I was astonished...I was confused...I was offended...I was MAD!!

They didn't even acknowledge that I was there trying to run my (honest, previously scheduled & no to mention...super cute!) business at the same time! Instead, they asked me for a glass of water!!! "How RUDE!!"-Stephanie Tanner (again!)

Thankfully, over the past few years, I've learned how to spin negative situations into positive 'opportunities.' After they left MY HOSTESS with a messy living room, a used vacuum cleaner and a ridiculous bill...I sold my stuff! I had explained the hostess plan to her numerous times but she insisted on buying what she wanted that night because she felt bad about the poor guest turnout and the obvious carpet cleaner situation. I denied her payments about 5 times until 8:30pm rolled around and my migraine sank in from the constant on-and-off vacuum cleaner.
"I want this, this, and this!!! Can I write a check??"
ME---"Sure! What about getting this necklace too?? This one matches everything!! I love it!!! It's definitely on my wish list!"
MY HOSTESS---"Oh...I'm not sure. I think I just want these pieces right now."
***keep in mind this is after driving an hour and a half through the country, enduring almost 3hrs of annoying torture followed by ONE earring sale...***
ME---"Aaawwwhhh, come on!! What's one more $25.00 necklace! You just bought a $1,000 vacuum cleaner...this is nothing!!!"
***ALSO keep in mind: Premier hostesses don't HAVE to buy their jewelry! They get it for FREE!***
MY HOSTESS--- "You're right!!! What's another few extra dollars?!?! I do want that necklace and I definitely deserve it! Who do I make the check out to??"

Ironically enough, I made the most money from the hostess who bought the pieces she wanted and the pieces her daughter liked too!!!

Use the tools you're given...right?!?

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I am a 20-something young woman growing up and experiencing the things my mother warned me about...love, friendship, hard work, disappointment and success.