Natalie Valenti Talks Retail and Customer Care
Natalie Valenti, Sapphire Manager and number one Forever Business Owner in Scotland, offers an insight into how she looks after her customers and encourages retail sales…
I still make it my goal and job to retail at least 10CC of Forever products every single month; that’s exactly what I did when I was an Assistant Supervisor and it’s what I do now that I’m Sapphire. We are in the business of Direct Sales and it’s our job to reach out to customers and build relationships with customers. You can control your income and earn money every single day simply by retailing a product; don’t make the same mistake I did. When I first started I hid behind my laptop, but our job is not to sell things on Facebook. It’s about getting out there and actually speaking to people, and that’s when retailing will become something that’s really good fun.
Here are my five favorite ways to retail products:
01 / PRODUCT PARTIES
This is a traditional but effective way of direct sales and it should not be forgotten. Product parties are an income-producing activity that you should try and commit to doing once a month at home. Doing so has got me where I am in my business and it helps me reach my CC target, but you can’t keep inviting the same people to the party. What I’ve started to do is partner with other local businesses; they bring their network and I bring mine. For example, I met a lady who makes her own soy-based candles so she and her clients came along to my party and we both shared what we do. I avoid partnering with people who are from other MLM companies and I also avoid partnering with people who are selling similar products.
If you are new, I encourage you to have two product launches in your first month; one in the evening and one in the afternoon. You could have an afternoon tea on a Sunday and an evening get-together on a Friday, but always invite people to both so they can choose which one to go to. Give them a start and an end time so that they know they can leave at a set point and use cue cards to prompt you on what to say about the products, because if your guests do decide to join, they will want to see that the activity is easy to recreate. You can also give goody bags out with samples in, but only do this at the end, after product has been purchased. It doesn’t have to be an all-singing all-dancing event, just be proud of the products and passionate about the company.
02 / EXPERIENCE PACKS
What would you like your customers to experience and how would you like to be remembered? You can be extremely creative with grouping products together and how you present them to customers. My packs always include an Aloe Blossom Herbal Tea bag, a Ferrero Rocher and a magazine (Aloe Matters is perfect for this) because if I was having a pamper night at home with a face mask, I’d want a cup of tea, some chocolate and a good magazine! Always think about the experience that you are providing people.
You can present the products in different ways; some people like to use baskets, I personally like colored zip bags as they are fantastic to have in your car. When you’re out and about and listening to people, you may hear someone mention something that makes you want to give them a product to try. That’s where the experience packs come in handy – I would say, ‘I hope you don’t mind me eavesdropping, but I’ve got something in my car that would be absolutely fantastic for that’.
Experience packs are also great when people say no to the business opportunity. I always say, ‘That’s great; I know the business isn’t for everybody, but the products are. Give me your address and I’ll send you a little experience pack as a thank you.’
If you are leading with the business, you can always follow with the products!
03 / REFERRALS
The highest from a professional is a client referral. Word of mouth is everything and your customer care impacts this. Use this one simple line, ‘who else do you know who you think might benefit?’ Never say ‘Do you know…’ as they can say no, but ‘who do you know’ will lead to a referral. Nothing influences someone more than a recommendation from a trusted friend which is why trust and integrity in business is absolutely everything. Be a nice person everywhere you go as you never know where it may lead!
04 / POP-UPS
Pop-ups are something I came across by accident. I used to be a yoga teacher so now I go to yoga as much as I can. I went to a local yoga class about a year and a half ago and as I came out of the class we were given a shot of coconut water. I then started wondering whether I could do the same with aloe.
This has now become something that’s huge in our team – it’s cheaper and quicker than a table top but you don’t just have to do it at sports and fitness classes. I’ve done it at parent/teacher meetings and toddler groups, but you do of course need to make sure you ask permission from the owner first. You don’t actually have to sell anything, you just go with a tray of Forever Aloe Vera Gel / Argi+ / Forever Lite Ultra poured into disposable shot glasses and hand them out with business cards – I also offer out fruit in case they don’t like the taste. These pop-ups help to create brand awareness and I don’t mind being called the aloe lady!
05 / CARRY A BOX
Get yourself a product box – C9 / F15 / Vital5 / Touch of Forever / PUPP – and carry it around with you everywhere! Make that box your BFF. The box has to be full of product because the idea is that everywhere you go, people will ask you ‘what’s in the box?’ My youngest, Rosa, hates this idea – she’s desperate for me to pick her up from school without the box! I take it when I get my hair cut – I’m not joking – I take it when I go to the bank and I put it on the counter. By the time I’ve got my purse out of my bag the cashier will ask, ‘What’s in the box?’ and I say, ‘Let me show you…’ This is an easy way of creating brand awareness and belief in the products.
Always have your business cards on you but if you don’t, get their Facebook details and add them to your group. You never know where it may lead.
NATALIE’S TOP TIPS
Customer service: Bad customer service can really impact someone’s view of a brand. It’s therefore important to really consider customer care by thinking about how you can make a difference to someone’s day. Never take your customers for granted and make sure you are constant in their life as this builds trust.
Find your niche: You don’t have to be an Aloe Vera expert. Instead try choosing five or ten top products that you can speak about passionately and with confidence.
Calendar year: Think about the products and where they fit into the calendar year; look at what is coming up, e.g. Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.
Understand the RRP: The price of Forever products is as they are because they are extremely high quality. There are cheaper aloe products out there, but they are cheaper for a reason. Never undersell Forever products – you will only undercut yourself.
Your ‘Who Do You Know?’ list: Ensure your list includes local businesses where you know you can find people who would benefit from the products. For example, I know beauty salons will have people who would benefit from skincare. Write your local salon down and get yourself there!