Many years ago, I was for a while, a sales representative for L’Oreal of Paris. Well, I thought I was worth it even if they didn’t! It was, looking back a wonderful training for life. Sunshine brings back memories of those days. Selling Ambre Solaire suntan products in February each year was always an achievement!
The furniture and mobility trade is a lot more fulfilling than selling hair products, well in my mind.
I met many people and learnt how to present myself especially in meetings. As well it taught me that selling is not always about getting the order, but also understanding your customer’s needs.
For instance it, back then Elnett was a very expensive hairspray and so it was fine selling it into department stores. Or even chemists shops in the more well off areas, but a shop in a less affluent would need a cheaper product. When you called on the same shops on a regular basis it was important you got it right. Otherwise, you would find yourself unwelcome.
Mind you as a salesman with targets and a boss to report to it wasn’t always easy to balance orders and customers needs. We introduced a new product during one sales period and at the end of the first week, I hadn’t sold any! Big trouble from my Boss who couldn’t understand my customers didn’t want another hair bleach on their shelves. So I decided to use the product, Softly blonde it was called, on myself. From mousy brown to bleached blonde I got more response in my customer’s shops than ever before! All the young ladies pressurised their bosses to but the product and suddenly I went from zero to hero! I did encounter problems a few weeks later though when the roots started growing through. Nowadays though I have no hair to bleach or colour, I wonder if it was that softly Blonde!
That sort of thing was fine when I was young and footloose. Then as I have become slightly older you have to be concerned about getting both sides right.
So nowadays I do my very best to offer service and advice when conducting any sales.
It is so easy to talk to people and find out what their needs are. For instance, if someone wants a wheelchair then I need to discuss if it is a self-propelled or an attendant controlled version they need. It is no use supplying a self propel version to somebody with limited arm movement. They will need to be moved about by a carer or loved one.
So as the sunshine brings back memories I can think that the time I spent with L’Oreal was well worth it! That is apart from what did happen to the hair?