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Old 04-01-2005, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default New SU Demonstrator needs help

I am a new SU demonstrator and I am trying to figure out a good approach to the discount question from my friends? How do you get to sell to your friends, explain your discount and still leave charging them full price? I would like to be able to walk away without feeling badly about taking money from my friends, but I am not sure how to do this without giving them a discount? I know the 20% adds up and always helps with supplies for demonstrations and business boosting, but how can you answer the question about your demonstrator discount and not give a discount? Thanks for your help!

Mary
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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I tell them ... when I start making a profit - I'll give you my discount. So far it seems to work.
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:19 PM   #3
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Default good idea

Thank you! I didn't think of that! Good Idea!
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:41 PM   #4
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Tell them this is a business for you. Tell them about the discount and ask if they want to sign up too. That should work positively for either reaction!
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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I'm a very new customer/stamper so if I understand what you're asking - I know my demo gets a discount, as I would expect anyone who sells something to, that's the incentive to become a demo/seller. I would never expect that I would get one. I also understand you have to sell a certain amount per quarter. I asked my demo when I had a $95 order in March if she wanted me to wait and place my order the next quarter, to help her out. She was very nice and said it was up to me what I wanted to do - place a huge order at once, wait till the next quarter, split it up however I wanted.
I would never think to ask about her discount in terms of one for me, that seems a bit rude.

Hope that made sense.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
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If you want to give them a discount, maybe consider a punch card, for every $25 they spend, punch the card and when they get to a certain amount, maybe give them a free ink pad or something resonable.
I have one friend that I was giving a discount to, because she said when I signed up, she would help me make my minimums. She just signed up to be a demo too. None of my other friends or family members expect me to give them a discount, they know that I am in this to make money.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:40 PM   #7
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I am a hobby demo. I give my 2 bestest friends a break and I don't charge shipping and tax. They help me when my quota isn't met and most of the time I still make a buck. One of them just signed up (my 1st recruit) so I'll have to make some new bestest friends :]

You can give them free shipping if they place an order worth $75 or more. The punch card is a good idea, too. A punch for every $20 spent and after reaching $200 - they get $20 to spend on a future order with you.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:55 PM   #8
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My advice is not to give free shipping, offer a free product because that boosts your sales, free shipping does nothing for you.
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Old 04-01-2005, 03:54 PM   #9
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I didn't think of that, thanks. :]
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Old 04-01-2005, 04:04 PM   #10
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Here's the thing...it's not a discount. It's called Instant Income. Your friends don't realized that becoming a demo costs money, time, and energy. If you were to give them 20% off you would be giving them your income. Not to mention the expenses of having workshops, other events, and business expenses. Your start up costs as a demo are high. All you are trying to do in the beginning is recoop what you've spent. If they are really your friends they should understand that when you explain it to them.

If they are SOO interested in "the discount". Perhaps you should suggest to them to look into becoming demos. Now's a great month to sign up because the kits are $30 off.

In the future you may want to post business questions like this in the demo forum. You'll get better responses there. Email one of the moderators for instructions on how to get access. I forgot how.
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Old 04-01-2005, 04:19 PM   #11
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My demo who is also my very good friend Raelene, doesn't give us, her friends, her discount. No matter what. And that is okay with us because we wouldn't be able to give her a discount on product or services in our work either. Now that is totally in general.

I sell AVON and there have been times when I have passed my discount on products to Raelene and she has reciprocated but those are special moments. And are agreed upon between the two of us at that time.

As a demo, I will not be passing my discount on to anyone except maybe my mother but only until she is thoroughly hooked on stamping! But that's just me!

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Old 04-01-2005, 04:37 PM   #12
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I agree with dncbanks. Especially when you consider the cost of replenishing your supplies (which is what happens when you become a demo), you need to be careful about giving a discount. SU! runs great specials as well. Besides, this can also turn into an ugly situation- who to give a discount to and who not to? I have also experience a "fun" situation when I would not give a discount to a close friend, but soon heard about a hobby demo with whom my friend was placing orders at the discount. Needless to say, my friend (who said she'd order from me when I signed up) doesn't order from me. I am not mad about this, but it does make for a tough situation, if you know what I mean... Anyway, the only person who gets my discount is my mom. Hey, she gave birth to me- she deserves it!

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Old 04-01-2005, 08:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: New SU Demonstrator needs help

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbfullernc
I am a new SU demonstrator and I am trying to figure out a good approach to the discount question from my friends? How do you get to sell to your friends, explain your discount and still leave charging them full price? I would like to be able to walk away without feeling badly about taking money from my friends, but I am not sure how to do this without giving them a discount? I know the 20% adds up and always helps with supplies for demonstrations and business boosting, but how can you answer the question about your demonstrator discount and not give a discount? Thanks for your help!

Mary
Think of it this way. I work at a store where we make and sell carved candles, and employees get to buy candles at half off. Most people are familiar with the idea of an employee discount, yet none of the customers who buy candles expect to be able to get them at half off just because I do and they are buying them from me.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:03 PM   #14
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Chances are people are you are going to be speding more than 20% (at first anyway) on things that you are going to do, just because they are your friend. How do I explain... if you buy inspiration sheets and give them those, or you play with a set or some new embellishments, chances are that you will send your friends the cards because you are excited and want positive feedback. So then your friends are getting free ideas. Now, as a demo at a workshop you are sharing ideas because you expect sales in return. But as a friend you don't want to horde your ideas, you want to share, but when you do that you typically don't expect sales.

Also chances are for your friends, you will let them borrow your sets and use your ink. They are doing that for free...

I'm rambling I know, but people don't stop to think about how much things really are costing you and them and in the end being nice to your friends may only benefit your friends. I like the post that said that once you start making money then you'll give discounts. It gets you off the hook for a while.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:39 PM   #15
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Here is what I do, I give a discount according to what they spend each quarter. For example If a regular customer spends between $25 and $50 during the quarter they get 1% for the next quarter, $50 to $75 2%, $75 to $100 3%, $100 to $150 4% and anything over $150 a quarter 5%. This has not hurt my income but helped it! I have doubled my sales since doing this! Just remember what works for one may not work for all. Good Luck!
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:53 PM   #16
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Have you joined the Demo Forum here at SCS? Just go to the home page and click on join a user group on the left side of the page. Follow the instructions from there and Britta will get you approved in a day or so. You'll get tons of help, ideas and opinions from experienced and newer demos there.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:56 PM   #17
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I work for a financial institution, which is where my friends and customers also work. I am also working on my second degree in accounting, so they know I'm into numbers. Whenever, the subject of commission or discounts comes up, I always crack a joke about how I constantly operate at a loss! We all laugh, but they know there is definitely a lot of truth behind the joke. They see how much I put into the workshops, so they don't press me too much about it. Also, since I believe that free merchandise should be FREE, I usually will pay the tax and shipping (if any) on their hostess merchandise. This maintains goodwill for me because they appreciate that I am doing something for them.

Sorry if I talked too much. People always say I talk too much.
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:19 PM   #18
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Most of my customers are friends from work. Some of them are very good friends, some less so. HOWEVER, none of them were into scrapping and stamping before I became a demo.

I have a non-work friend who is my closest friend -- she's the person I've put on my daughter's preschool forms as the only other person allowed to pick up my daughter from school in an emergency, etc. We've also borrowed each other's scrapping tools for a few years now (we're both really picky about our supplies, so we know we can trust the other person). If I'm out of town, she can send me an email about borrowing something, and I'll email her back and say: It's on the scrapping table, go get it. She can use her copy of my house key to take the thing home, then she puts it back when she's done. I know she'd do the same for me.

She's *that kind* of friend.

When I signed up as a demo, I told her first (well, after my husband, that is). I asked her to help me make my minimums if I needed, and I said I'd give her the discount. She agreed. She's not into stamping that much, so she rarely buys, but that's OK, because I haven't needed much help in making the minimums. Anyway ... she gets the discount. No one else does.

When I do an SU party for my friends, I spend TONS of time preparing for them. I type out the instructions, sometimes with alternate ideas, so they can take the instruction sheets if they want. I also spend my money on the cardstock, supplies, ink, you name it. I precut all the cardstock, to make it easier for them to feel happy and proud of what they've made (it's a thrill when I find out how they've gone home and shown their husbands the cards they've made). I don't much offer the discounts. I figure that 20 percent is my way to make up for what I'm spending to get them to have a good time.

Don't feel guilty -- it's not like you are taking money from them and they're not getting anything in return. They're getting YOUR EXPERTISE. If you think of that way, they're getting a serious bargain!

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Old 04-01-2005, 10:30 PM   #19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Stampin' Michi
I work for a financial institution, which is where my friends and customers also work. I am also working on my second degree in accounting, so they know I'm into numbers. Whenever, the subject of commission or discounts comes up, I always crack a joke about how I constantly operate at a loss! We all laugh, but they know there is definitely a lot of truth behind the joke. They see how much I put into the workshops, so they don't press me too much about it. Also, since I believe that free merchandise should be FREE, I usually will pay the tax and shipping (if any) on their hostess merchandise. This maintains goodwill for me because they appreciate that I am doing something for them.

Sorry if I talked too much. People always say I talk too much.

what do you mean pay the tax and shippping on hostess stuff?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:34 PM   #20
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sorry that came out rude. i'm just sleepy and confused, when have you had tax and shipping charged on hostess benes?
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:05 PM   #21
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some states require you to pay taxes on the value of the hostess benefits, even though they are considered free merchandise. not all areas do this, just depends on where you live.

i give my mom 20% off cause, well, she's my mom. she's also my biggest supporter and fan--anything i need and she's there for me. the woman deserves it! i've also offered it to my brother's fiance (who also happens to be my best friend) should she ever decide to make a purchase. she gets it not because she is my best friend, but because she gets me seriously discounted dental work so imo, only fair.

as others said be careful about selling things at your price to friends and family because that line can get really long. none of my friends have asked for a discount, but they do get other perks. my friends get to play with all my stuff free of charge, browse my demo mags for ideas and instructions and they get free inspiration sheets. any new technique or idea i'm trying out they get to check out and try first. and if they help me out with preparing for something--helping me clean up before a ws at my house (or cleaning up after one!), helping me put together hostess/recruit packets, cutting up materials, whatever, i throw a little something extra in their order free of charge. this lets them know i appreciate when they go the extra mile.
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:16 AM   #22
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thanks everyone for some really good ideas. Starting out is hard and trying to make enough samples for your demonstrations can really add up. I will use these tools to help me explain to my friends. I don't think they mean any harm or want to take advantage, but in the same time you want to thank them for being supportive. Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it and have a new approach when the situation comes up!

Mary
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:28 PM   #23
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Default One Thing I Do For All Of My Customers

is offer 10% in free products or an Idea Book when they spend $100 or more.
I have had more customers bump up their orders to get that 10% in stuff, I cannot tell you!
Just last week I put an order in for a girl who started out with a $55 order. Then she emailed me back and asked me to choose $45 more stuff so she could get the 10% - which turned out to be a pack of paper.
I'm still earning 10% as well and it helps me make my quota.
I didn't get into SU to make a living, just to get the stamps and supplies I wanted at a cheaper price and the rest is just a bonus.
It works for me, but it might not work for everyone if they are really in it to make a profit.
It does quell that "do I get a discount" question though. lol
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:04 PM   #24
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If they're good enough friends that you should give them a discount, they should be close enough to host a party for you right? I've offered a percentage discount for X months after the party, numbers based on show totals. That way they get the discount but they're giving you something for it.

I also have a Stamp Addicts' club. Their purpose is only to ensure that I meet my quarterly minumums. They save 10% on all monthly SA orders and 5% on other orders placed with me and during their month as "hostess" they also get free shipping. So I don't really make anything off of their orders but they keep my sales high and they are sales I can count on.

I'm only a hobby demo, so I don't need the income though. I believe in the Taco Bell method of operations. Offer discounts to draw them in and once they're hooked, the discounts are gone and they're lured in by the new products. Remember the 29 cent tacos? Now the same thing is 1.09 only a few years later!
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