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A Powerful Partnership, Part 1

By: Sarah Burns
Posted: June 18, 2008, from the July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

When you decide to take the solemn vows of marriage with someone, you not only wed that person but also, for better or worse, you wed the rest of the family. When choosing a product, you should take a long, hard look at the company that represents it because only an accommodating, symbiotic relationship will support a successful venture. This often is overlooked in product selection. See Choosing the Right Vendor for ideas about what to seek when selecting your vendor.

Sales consultants

There are numerous benefits to having a local consultant. Use one to learn about the services available from a supplier, as well as how it will be of support in the future. Your sales consultant will educate your spa’s team, inform you about new product launches, and offer assistance at your open houses and events. Your business is your consultant’s business. Some vendors allow sales consultants to prospect new clients, open accounts and share product information. Usually, a different person is assigned to perform training sessions and conduct events. Ask the supplier about its protocols regarding sales consultants.

Opening orders

Most vendors propose incentive packages with initial opening orders. Some have a minimum requirement. Following are descriptions of common opening orders and reorders. Review these options to determine the best route to take for your business.

Optional opening packages. Having the option of an opening package enables you to decide the amount you would like to spend. Opening packages typically offer a discount, or free marketing and products, and they may be the best choice in order to receive free merchandise if you are prepared to order the amount specified.

Required minimum opening packages. Required opening packages are arranged in order to ensure that your spa carries the appropriate products. Minimum orders are a set dollar amount needed to purchase products. Opening-order minimums can range from $2,000–5,000 and can determine what products are needed to set up the account. Some suppliers require spas to carry their full line and represent it in a certain manner.