How to make it as a…
1. It’s crucial to upskill
“It was challenging making the move from beauty therapy to sales because you have to be really numbersfocused. Having qualified as a beauty therapist 25 years ago, I gained experience in salons before working for spa specialist Steiner on a variety of cruise ships.
“Steiner is big on retail and you can’t really stay if you’re not selling products because you make most of your money through commission. It’s how you survive. Although the experience was challenging, it taught me the importance of stock checking and staying on top of the numbers – vital aspects of my current role.”
2. Put yourself out there
“My current role is about raising awareness of the make-up, skincare and waxing brands we distribute and getting sales. I cover the western half of Ireland and my days are spent visiting account holders – salons, spas and pharmacies – showing them our latest ranges and offers. I also incentivise owners to get rid of old stock by hosting in-salon retail events and workshops.”
3. Be prepared to travel
“My job involves covering a lot of ground, and when putting my journey plan together, it’s typical to be away for one, two or even three nights a week, depending on the towns I’m visiting.
It’s hard graft – I visit on average 100 to 120 accounts a month. It’s the most challenging and tiring aspect of the role, especially when you have a family at home, but it’s nice to know that you could be helping a salon boost its business.”
4. It’s about being a people person
“Meeting potential new accounts is crucial. When it comes to approaching salons and spas, look in to the calibre of brands they’re carrying and identify a gap in their offering. It’s about figuring out how your brands could sit alongside others they already have; for example, do they have a make-up line? You also need to have a diverse range of opening offers to entice businesses of every size.”
5. You can’t call it quits
“Cold calling is a small aspect of the job. People think it’s a dirty word but when you visit a new salon or spa, you’re simply recommending something to them in a quick and informative manner. To land the sale you need to be passionate about what you’re selling and show your personality.
“If it’s a no, that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes a visit doesn’t pay off immediately but 12 months later that salon owner could see you at a trade show and say, ‘I remember you. I couldn’t take on anything new before, but I’m getting rid of another brand so I’m open to options’. It happens all the time.”
6. It’s the best of both worlds
“Most people who work in the sales team are qualified in beauty and have run their own salon, so they understand what owners are looking for. Having these skills also means you can do more in your role. “For example, I get to do a huge amount of make-up artistry for Artdeco and Misslyn. I love that diversity and putting my make-up and retail skills to use.” PB