0

…there isn’t an App for that

  My view this morning.

Over the past months, speaking with countless ladies and gents of all ages, there has been one striking commonality. Everyone seems to be wanting. Wanting appreciation. Wanting to be seen. Wanting to be heard. Wanting a better job. Wanting a better life. You name it, someone wants it. Unfortunately, all these wants are wanted NOW and most cannot understand why it doesn’t happen as fast as they can snap their fingers. Being a parent of a “millennial”, I have had many an interesting conversation, debate or all out argument over this exact phenomenon. So, today Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, I am going to tell you what I have told my daughter (I can feel the eye roll), …”there’s not an App for that.”.

Think about it for a minute. Gone are the days of the waiting list for the one encyclopedia at the library you need to complete a paper. Need facts? You can pick up your phone and Google it. No more lines at the card catalogue with pencil and scrap piece of paper in hand to write down the Dewey Decimal number to retrieve the book you need. Looking for a book? Your local library’s web site can do it for you as you pick up your pre ordered Mochachinofrappalatte. No more pining over that shirt you had to have, but were too late deciding and now it’s been sold. Hop onto amazon and have it to your door by tomorrow. Remember the weekends as a kid? Wondering if someone was home? Trying to call but the line was busy, so you kept trying every two minutes to see if it would ring through to the other end as your parents bellowed “Get off the DAMN phone!!!”. Today, surf your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and not only can kids find out who’s home or where their friends “are at”, you can also know what they had for breakfast, what they are wearing today and how unfair they are being treated at home because their Mom asked them to ….gasp…empty the garbage.

Here’s the deal. You want something out of life? You gotta do the work. No App is going to clean your house, or change the oil in your car. No App is going to mend a broken heart or take back an unkind word. Sometimes, you will not get a text back as soon as you send it, it’s okay. Maybe the textee had a bad curry for lunch and is tormented in the bathroom and just doesn’t want to share “whassup”…yet. I am sure you will hear about it on Facebook or god help us, see it on Instagram.

They say that whenever you get a “like” or a text, dopamine in released. Guess what? It’s released in other ways too. Before you get up on your soapboxes, yes, I realize I am blogging, and yes, I realize I share this on Facebook and other sites. Yes, I post pics of the cookies I made on Instagram …I also hand deliver said cookies to share with those who see them. I physically go and see people and I look them in the eye when I speak to them, face to face…not to be confused with Facetime. Dopamine sans technology my friends.

Life gets in the way. Trains are late. Flights are delayed. Emails go unanswered. The only thing you have complete control over is yourself, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? Set up a little corner with your favorite things that make you happy and bring back the warm fuzzies. Go outside and look around, not for anything in particular, just look. Surprise a friend with a coffee…without your phone in hand. Hand deliver a Birthday wish instead of making Facebook do all the work. Try to live every moment and laugh everyday. Plain and simple.

 

 

1

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

0

Suitable replacement?

Sigh.

 

It happened, again. I lost a fabulous rep. She was lovely. She came every 2 weeks. She emailed me the sales flyers before they went to print so I could preplan monthly specials. She sent complimentary products to use in the Salon. She sent products specifically to me to use, knowing that since I do most of the selling, the more product I use, the more I know and in turn, the more I sell. She sent us complimentary retail bags. She shared her knowledge and her stories. Not only did we have a great professional relationship, over the years we became friends. I received a call over 3 weeks ago from the company that she was no longer with the company and that a “suitable replacement” would be visiting me soon. Lets just say, there are some big boots to fill and by first impressions, my hopes have faded a tad.

10 days ago, the replacement rep. – lets call her the R.R. came by the shop, mid afternoon on a Friday. No call to see what day or time works for me. No appointment made. No email of introduction. Not even a tweet. She introduced herself, I the same, exchanged pleasantries and such. I let her know that my old rep. had a standing biweekly Friday at 10 appointment. I asked if that worked for her. She said yes. We decided on a date for our first official appointment, shook hands and said our goodbyes. Fast forward a week. Yours Truly had the order ready. Special customer orders had been added. Clients and customers had been assured an order was being placed that day and by Tuesday afternoon at the latest, as long as the product was in the warehouse, their beloved product would be in their hands. …or so I thought. Yep. You guessed it. Yours Truly was stood up…and you all know how much that thrills me. 10 a.m. came and went. No call. No email. No text. No fax. No tweet. No Facebook message. No Instagram. Not even a snap. Nada. Nothing. Not a word until this morning after I emailed my order and was told that Friday’s don’t work.

I have said it before and will continue to do so. We are in the business of Beauty. The business. When a rep. doesn’t show up for my order that means that my inventory gets too low or worse, my shelves are empty which in turn hurts my reputation and our revenue. Listen, I have been a rep. on the road. I know that you are told that “color accounts are key”. That they are your money maker. I have some news for you. So are retail accounts. When serviced properly and the value of your retail brands explained, retail can increase your commissions just as much as color can. Something many reps and companies seem to forget, or put on the back burner. I can’t help but wonder if I was a color account, would I have been dismissed so easily? Over the years I have brought over $250000.00 – $350000.00 of retail revenue to our shop…you’d think that everyone would want a piece of that pie. It seems not.

A little bit of advice, for reps. and companies alike – your small accounts could become big accounts, if you show up. Plain and simple.

 

 

0

…knowing is half the battle

So, it happened again. I had a Rep. come in, actually, just show up out of the blue. No appointment. No phone call. No email nor a text. Oh yes, and it was on a Friday afternoon. Nothing makes me feel like I am a valuable customer than a total disregard for my time. As they waltzed through the door exclaiming that they had new products to show me that I MUST HAVE!, I let them know that I didn’t have much time to chat, because I didn’t know they were coming. …sadly,  the hint was not taken. “Oh, it’ll just take a minute!” ….hmmm, only a minute to tell me about a new product line…must not be much of a line if it only takes a minute to tell me about it. Long story short, after a quick overview, I was told it was fabulous and one of a kind. I thanked my Rep. for their time and let them know that we weren’t looking to bring in a new line until at least March, and that when we do bring in a new line, I need it to be different, to offer a product that no other line offers. It was then that my Rep. put their foot in their mouth. “This line is different! I would hate to see you miss out on this and be left behind. No other line offers a BB Cream for the hair!”. “Actually” I said, “there are lines that offer a BB Cream…” and before I could name them I was told with a laugh “I don’t think so. I think you are mistaken.”.  …sigh. It was at this moment I gave my Rep. a crash course on P.K. (product knowledge), that AG Hair was one of the first to bring a BB Cream for the hair, over 2 years ago – it’s actually named BB Cream. Soon after Schwarzkopf followed suit with their BonaCure Moisture Kick Beauty Balm. Needless to say, my Rep. had nothing to add.

 

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. A Sales Rep. coming into my shop, guns blazing about a new product, with no appointment or call made, interrupting my time and my answers for that matter. The worst part? Their lack of product knowledge, not just about their “new product”, but of the other products out there that may be the same or comparable. So today, my tale contains a little list for the Sales Reps.. Don’t get me wrong, there are some FABULOUS Sales Reps. out there and I am blessed to have some of them. Appointments are made and kept, texts and emails are answered, orders are taken care of, proper product knowledge is given and many friendships have blossomed. If the above description doesn’t ring true to you, this list is for you. You’re welcome.

  • make an appointment and keep it. If possible, make the appointment for the same day and time each week or biweekly. Trust me, your Salon’s will appreciate it and it will make your job easier.
  • if you cannot keep your appointment, let us know. Text us. Send us a message via Facebook. Tweet us. SnapChat us if need be. In this day and age, there is no excuse for a no show.
  • when you have a new product to show us, let us know ahead of time. There are many times I do not have extra help in the shop, so if a customer comes in, they take precedence. If you want my full attention, let me plan my schedule so I can do just that.
  • when presenting your new products, it helps to have them with you. I understand that many companies do not offer samples like they used to, but a tester helps. So I can smell the product and actually try it, feel it and play around with it, even if it’s for a minute. I cannot sell what I do not see, or know for that matter.
  • THIS IS A BIGGIE!!! when telling me about the new products, give me a reason to retail them. The majority of the time all products are seen as Salon tools or back bar items. Yes, we are in a Salon. We are also in a retail environment, which can be the bread and butter of a Salon. Sell me the value of the product, so I can in turn sell it to my customers and the Salon’s clientele. ….pssst…the more I retail, the more I order and in turn, the more you make. Just sayin’.
  • never assume you know everything about products. When you are told that another line has a similar product, the proper answer is “Oh. I hadn’t realized. Can you tell me about it?”. TIP! – laughing and telling me I don’t know what I am talking about or telling me I must be mistaken insults me a little and makes you sound like one of the mean girls from high school and makes you look like an ass. Plain and simple.

 

Here’s the deal. If you are a Sales Rep., you gotta know your competition. You gotta. Educate yourself on the other product lines out there, not only to increase your sales but to save yourself the embarrassment of having egg on your face.

 

Timing

That Girl in the Red Coat