In 2012, I participated in a "leadership nesting" program with Avon. I wasn't an Avon employee but they tried to rule my life 24/7. The purpose of this program was to assign "floating" representatives to an Avon Leader who would motivate them to sale and, yes, recruit! This program was developed because they had so many representatives who had been in a leadership position to stop selling Avon. That resulted in representatives without a Avon leader other than the district manager. In an effort to restructure the business, Avon had drawn new district lines and moved successful District Managers to areas 60 miles from their homes. It was never about the representatives, the district managers, or the appointments. It was always about Avon's bottom dollar! We were nothing more than pawns in their game. During this time, I participated in recruitments in 100 degree weather in a tent. I went on a vacation through numerous states. I posted recruitment ads on bulletin boards on a daily basis. How was I paid for this? I received a telephone call from the district manager stating that she was told to call me and let me know that I could not contact any of the leads I had in the recruitment process. She stated that all of my leads had come through the lead program. Do you think this could have been because I participated in the recruitment campaigns with the district manager? Avon has always kept their campaign open until the Wednesday following the official submission date of Friday. Well, not this time. In the final gate of this program, Avon closed the campaign early.
What did I lose in this endeavor? I lost a great deal of time with individuals who had no serious interest in selling Avon. Who paid for the gas to go meet these individuals and post recruitment ads? I did. I was not an Avon employee. I was responsible for all expenses, including my time, yet Avon wanted to tell me when and what to do on a daily basis. I enjoyed helping the representatives that were "nested" under me and the new recruits. I like people and enjoy helping others. However, that wasn't Avon's goal. They discriminate against young individuals demanding they pay for their products before they are shipped. They refuse to provide customer service to these individuals. I attempted to contact Avon for my representatives to see if I could get answers for them. I was told they could not talk to me about their accounts, yet, I had all of their account information.
Avon wants you to order product. They don't care if you get paid or earn anything. They encourage representatives to discount products but they don't do so. What they don't tell new representatives is that you are charged sales tax on the full price regardless of the resale price. I have sent three emails in the past before receiving an answer to a problem. I have assisted my young representatives in sending emails regarding customer service issues and have read the responses. They simply don't give them the respect they do older representatives. Yes, I realize Avon is attempting to restructure their business in an effort to increase the bottom dollar but you can not abuse your representatives. Most of the people who start an Avon Business don't want to recruit others they just want to sell Avon. However, that isn't acceptable to Avon. It is all about increasing the number of representatives! So you ask, how did my "nesting program" end? Unsuccessfully, because they shorted the deadline and told me I could no longer contact any of my recruitement contacts. I had already been warned Avon was not going to live up to the commitment they made to the "nesting leaders." I contacted all of my young representatives at that time to tell them about my experience. Many chose to close their accounts. I have representative who closed their accounts but show an outstanding balance. Now, that might not be that big a deal but remember me telling you the young representatives were put on a cash-prior-to-shipment basis? So how do they owe for a product that Avon refused to send them unless they made payment first? Additionally, I have attempted to help get an answer from Avon and to find out how to just pay the outstanding balance to make it go away. Avon refuses to discuss this with me and I haven't been able to get any answers regarding the account from managers in the region. What had been described to me as a "win/win" situation ending up costing me more time and money than selling Avon ever had. Additionally, I didn't have any quality time with my family. I will never repeat this mistake.
Avon, you should know you need your representatives. Once their are recruited you should make every effort to assist them in developing their business not insisting they recruit other sales people for you. You guarantee them earnings for the first four campaigns, only. Many don't sell past the sixth campaign because they aren't making any money. The bottom line is you have to earn respect and your representatives don't respect the company you have become.