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07-29-2014, 09:59 PM
I was thinking of joining Watkins, but then I found out that they were carried in either Walmart or Target. Ok, I will buy that line about "brand awareness", but then I found their product line on Amazon.

I told myself that everyone doesn't shop on Amazon. Then I found this article
Watkins extracts and spices make headway into grocery stores | Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/business/235824201.html?page=1&c=y)

But those days are long gone. While Watkins still has a contract sales force and sells products online, supermarkets and other retail channels make up the majority of its $120 million in annual sales.

So why are consultants needed?

I like the products but I don't want to waste my time chasing my tail.

07-30-2014, 09:22 AM
This is called Brand Awareness and it does benefit us as consultants. Here are some reasons why:

Retail stores can purchase some products (about 75% of the line) to put on shelves. Wholesale pricing is fixed by Watkins with the goal of maintaining a suggested retail price point that is competitive with all channels.
Retail stores must achieve minimum order sizes.
Watkins negotiates directly with the large chains for selected distribution.
Retail stores cannot access the entire line of products. Consumers who see a limited selection of products in a retail store must connect with an Independent Watkins Consultant or contact Watkins corporate for information on how to obtain additional products.
Retail stores do not benefit from any follow up online sales even though a website is printed on every label. Follow up online sales benefit Watkins directly or are referred to an Independent Watkins Consultant.
Retail store owners are not eligible to benefit from any interest in the direct selling / network marketing channel and the huge residual profits available from it. If a customer shows any interest, it can only be referred to Watkins to pass on to an Independent Watkins Consultant through the Watkins Consultant Lead Program.
Retail store owners are not eligible for the rewards offered through Watkins "Living Naturally" party plan system.
Retail store owners are not eligible to earn all-expense paid trips to exotic locations.
Retail store owners are not eligible to attend sales training events and conventions to help them succeed.
Retail store owners are not eligible to receive upline training support and tools to help them succeed.

So as you can see, the stores are only allowed to carry 20 of Watkins products on the shelves where we can carry the whole product line. If a customer doesn't see something they want on the shelf, they sometimes will ask where they can find a consultant and this has happened a few times with me. I have gained customers this way. Watkins is not phasing out its consultants, they do all they can to help us and this is one way they do that.

Don't let this deter your decision to join Watkins because it is really a great business. I have been with Watkins for 14 years now and love it. Good luck in your decision.

07-30-2014, 10:21 AM
Thank you so much for your response.

I was really looking forward to joining until I read that article. It says that the majority of sales come from stores. That means most people buy it from a store. It seems the brand awareness would work in reverse because if I work to promote and introduce people to Watkins, then they go see it in the store for cheaper + no shipping- Watkins has a loyal customer and I am cut out of the equation.

So my question becomes...what is my strategy? Who am I going to sell it to?

I can overlook that some of the products are in stores, but if most are sold from stores, what does that say for me, who is looking to get out there and sell as much as possible?

I am not trying to be argumentative, I am trying to figure this out because I was so excited and now I feel like my bubble has been burst.

07-30-2014, 11:04 AM
To be honest I felt the same way as you do when it first started and this was a lot of years ago when they began this. I still have a lot of customers on my list and do very well. Some stores may even charge more than what they can pay from you as a consultant. Stores don't know all the people you do so they only reach those who see the products in their stores. Word of mouth is a great way to get the word out that you are selling and instead of having to travel to Walmart or some store to buy their Watkins products they can just pick up the phone and call you or they can go online and order so it is much easier for the customer that way too.
Watkins has over 10,000 consultants right now so we have to be doing something right and making money or there wouldn't be that many in Watkins. There is a lot of information about the products that Watkins has that the stores wouldn't be able to offer. Watkins is much more than brand awareness but its up to you if you think its a waste of your time or not. I know for me it was the right decision and still is. If you have any other questions, please ask. We are here to help.

07-30-2014, 11:58 AM
Krina posts great information about brand awareness and being in stores and what they DON'T offer to people. Most people who buy from the stores don't even know there are Watkins consultants anymore. When I have my fair booths, people are always coming up and saying they didn't know Watkins still existed, or didn't know there were so many more products. We really don't need a retreat of consultants, we need an increase in consultants.

One thing to consider is your business goals. What do you offer your customers that a store can't? You can offer them information, personalized service, and many more products than being available in the stores. Most of my customers are aware that they could get a couple items they buy at the store, but not everything is there, it isn't always cheeper, and they get it delivered. they like the personalized service.

One more thing to chew on... At our last conference call, Mr. Jacobs had said that some retail presence also allows us to have such a diverse line of products. For example, items in the personal care line would be quite limited/different because consultants themselves may not sell enough of a particular item to justify continued production (low sales), but retail sales help keep it available to everyone.

(I also don't put much weight behind Star Tribune's article. They are in my home town and have had a reputation for sensationalizing the ordinary.)

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