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July 01, 2010

Working Smart

We Sell Opportunity

by Diane McKeon

It’s simple—when the salesforce grows, your company grows. And there’s only one surefire way to make that happen: consultants sharing the opportunity. Making recruiting the foundation of the company and the culture of your business from the inside out is what will grow the company and the salesforce.

But how do you motivate, inspire and encourage the salesforce to grow their businesses? How do you create, maintain and accelerate a culture that keeps the growth building?

The answer? Keep the focus on recruiting. Make recruiting the fiber of your company. Be committed to a recruiting culture.

To do that, you have to build it, support it and live it.

Building a Recruiting Culture

We couple the concept of “selling the opportunity” with a culture that fosters high-performance relationships based on shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect between employees and the salesforce. There is power and wisdom in those relationships. Those relationships are the key to creating an environment where your employees and consultants can unleash their best.

Our approach to growing the business is a holistic one. And as part of that approach, JAFRA recently united the internal sales support structure for the U.S. general market and the Hispanic market, which were operating as separate divisions. This brought the regional sales managers and sales support team in the United States together to grow the business as one team. We take the same approach to “teaming” between the corporate office and the salesforce; it’s considered one team. This allows for best practice development as market/culture—specific tactics that are the “daily bread” of our field work.

When there is no perceived separation and you work together as one team, building the company’s bottom line and that of your consultants, success happens for everyone—and the business grows.

Establish and nurture the relationships between employees and consultants, especially with leaders. Fostering cooperative relationships builds trust and loyalty. When your field trusts you and their leaders, and knows that their best interests are at the heart of everything you do, there is nothing they will not do to achieve success.

Supporting a Recruiting Culture

Every promotion and program, every aspect of an event and conference, every piece of literature and training material is looked at with an eye on recruiting.

Equipping your salesforce with the tools and support they need—the road map to help make them successful in sharing the opportunity—is key. Without it, growth will not happen.

In the past year, JAFRA has done an extensive review of the materials for training, the rewards and recognition programs and the career opportunity. We took the “one team” approach and asked field sales leaders and consultants for their input; we implemented their ideas. This resulted in better tools that foster growth and a salesforce that knows we listen to them.

Our new “Unlock Your Dreams” starter kit is just one example. Previously, consultants received a three-ring binder thick with information, envelopes with more literature in the front and back pockets, plus loose fliers. They didn’t know which piece to look at first. They would ask themselves: “Where do I start?” “How do I start my business?” “What should I do first?” The binder was overwhelming. It was too much information in one big chunk.

This was not getting our new consultants off to a great start.

With that in mind, we engaged leaders in the field. We asked them what they did, what tools they needed, what information they needed first. This is what they told us: A new consultant needs to know what she should do in her first 30, 60 and 90 days, step by step.

The result is a three-module training kit that gives a new consultant everything she needs to start her business, begin making real sales and build her business within her first 90 days—all in bite-sized chunks. It takes her through the basics of setting up her office, what she needs to do to start earning money immediately, gives her the product education and training she needs to feel comfortable at her parties, and, most important, it gets her on the path to growing her business by recruiting.

JAFRA also revitalized its rewards and recognition programs. With the introduction of the Accelerate Your Success promotion, top consultants can even earn a new Mercedes-Benz.

There are many companies with car programs, but few offer a promotion like Accelerate Your Success. It’s not just a car promotion—this promotion addresses every aspect of building a solid, successful business from the beginning. And upon completion of the program, the consultant is given the title and keys to a Mercedes. This is in addition to the compensation plan car lease program, which in itself is still quite rich and rewarding.

The recognition trips for our top achievers are world-class. We just returned from a weeklong trip to Rome, where our achievers were recognized and entertained in first-class style with the company of JAFRA achievers from Italy and Switzerland. This type of recognition and rewards motivates the salesforce to share the opportunity. They want to be on these trips with their friends. They want to share the limelight with others.

Living a Recruiting Culture

The question, “How do we make JAFRA the number one opportunity choice for women around the world?” has become our worldwide corporate vision. If you live and breathe it, so will your salesforce.

Leading by example, “walking the walk” as they say, will demonstrate to your salesforce your commitment to ensuring their success. Always remember: You exist because your consultants are successful.

Learn from your successes—and your failures. Do the right things for the right reasons, and the growth will happen.

Diane McKeon is Vice President of Sales for JAFRA Cosmetics International.