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A Powerful Partnership, Part 1

Sarah Burns July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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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.

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Choosing the Right Vendor

By partnering with suppliers, professional insight and growth can be gained. It is key to align the establishment’s mission and your spa’s vision. Ask the following questions of a supplier that you are considering for your spa.

• Who owns it?

• Does it have local representation?

• Where is it based?

• Does it have separate distributors?

• What products does it represent?

• To whom does it sell products?

• What is its culture?

• What is its mission?

• What support programs does it offer?

• What training does it offer?

• What are its hours?

• Are minimum orders available?

• Are opening-order packages available?

• What is its return policy?

• What forms of payment does it accept?

• What is the turnaround time when shipping products?

Look for the following attributes in the company.

• Respectability and dependability

• A solid reputation

• Longevity

• A well-established history

• Strong customer service

• Local representation

• The provision of support programs

• Innovative business philosophies

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