When it comes to building your brand, getting your product in the hands of
your customers and growing your
revenues, perhaps the most important
part of any organization is its sales
group. But how do you actually build
your sales team?
Distributors or Sales Force?
The first consideration when
building your “sales force” is to decide
if you are going to do it yourself, or
work with a distributor. In the beauty
industry, distributors remain few and
far between, so doing your research
and interviewing potential distributors
should not take too long.
In the spa industry, Universal
Companiesa remains the leading
distributor. The company’s annual
catalogue, showcasing 5,000-plus
products in 300-plus pages, is known as
the spa bible, and drives the majority
of sales. Universal Companies has a
call center in Virginia and recently
opened a training and learning center
in southern California. It also has a
handful of sales managers in various
geographies across the United States
who represent a variety of their
products and brands.
On the retail side of the industry,
E.C. Scottb is the distributor that I most
often come across. While the majority
of its 100 brands are fragrance, the
company carries some heavy-hitter
READ PART 1
Read Ada S. Polla’s first installment of this series, “How to Build
Your Beauty Dream Team” (January 2018), as well as all previous
articles, in our online archives ( www.gcimagazine.com/magazine/
pastissues/2017/ ) or in the Issue Library of your digital edition.
As you build your sales team remember that, in
addition to sales managers (sometimes called key
account managers), you will most likely also need
sales support people and trainers.
skin care brands, including Clarins,
Eve Lom and Ren. E.C. Scott works
with approximately 2,000 independent
and specialty beauty retailers, and
its sales and training center is in
Rochester, New York. Like Universal,
the company creates a beautiful annual
The benefits of working with a
distributor include their extensive
existing relationships—you do not
have to start from scratch. They will
also have a team of trainers and
customer service experts that will
help you meet your customers’ needs,
driving sell-through once your brand
has been sold-in. On the flip side, they
will not always do things the way you
would do them.
Sales Manager or
Should you decide to hire your own
sales team rather than work with a
distributor, you will need to decide if
you are going to hire full-time sales
managers that will work exclusively for
you, or find good independent reps that
work on commission and represent a
number of different brands. There are,
of course, pros and cons to both, as
seen in T- 1.
If you are looking for independent
reps, ask other brands for
recommendations. Some of the best
reps I have come across carry lines
such as Coola, Dr. Dennis Gross, Peter
Thomas Roth and Beauty Blender.
Asking your local spas and beauty
boutiques if they work with any reps
they love is another great place to start
looking for the right people.
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