Canvassing – Valerie’s Best Odds for Finding New Customers

If you are looking to build your business, the only way you can do so is to always find new customers. Your friends and family are a natural place to begin, but should only be considered that…a place to begin. They can’t be expected to order from you every campaign and are going to have their own preferences as to what they use, which may or may not be Avon. If you would like to build your sales, you are going to have to get as many eyeballs on your brochure as you can and delivering brochures to neighbors in your area may be the best way to do that.

There are three ways you can get your brochures out there.  If you ask enough other Representatives, almost all are going to give you a different opinion. (and as a forewarning, the subject can get pretty hot because each person strongly defends their methods as the ‘only’ method)  This information is based on my own personal experience over the years and I will give you the pros and cons of each.  Try out and determine which brings you the most success.  Incidentally, I have used all three methods and have found varying degrees of success with each — they have all helped me make President’s Club and Honor Society with Avon over the years.  The bottom line is to get your brochures out there.  I’m just giving you ‘the best odds’ way of doing so!

1. Tossing brochures is what is referred to throwing them in people’s driveways, like the newspaper delivery service.  (however, do not put your brochures in or around your neighbors’ mailboxes — that’s a big legal no-no and can get you fined if you do it to the wrong neighbor or a grumpy mail person finds it!)  You just need someone to drive and someone to toss with you.  The up side of this method is being able to get a whole lot of brochures out to neighbors in a relatively short amount of time, compared to the other methods.  If you have a partner driving and you are tossing brochures out the passenger window, you could very easily deliver several hundred brochures in an hour in the right neighborhood or area.  The down-side of this method is, in my opinion, many of your neighbors are going to take one look at that brochure laying there and view it as trash and throw it away.  (honestly, I have had many neighbors tell me that is exactly what they do and feel) Even if they would like to order Avon from someone, if it is laying in their yard or driveway, they see it as littering and get really upset.  My belief is that tossing has it’s place and is a great way to quickly get your name out over a large area; however, I do not believe it is necessarily the ‘best’ way to find customers, especially if you are tight on money.  If you are needing to cut corners beginning your Avon business, try one of the other two methods below first.  Toss brochures only when you are confident about ordering large quantities and have a helper to drive you around to do this.

If you are going to do the tossing method, I would strongly recommend learning how to seal your brochures in our plastic brochure bags, include an introductory note in with it, and please try to be respectful when you toss them. (do not toss them in the middle of people’s yards, don’t throw in a mud puddle, etc.)  Molly Stone-Bibb is a well-known and loved Senior Executive Unit Leader with Avon and has a great number of helpful videos available on YouTube and Facebook.  When she first started tossing Avon brochures, she also had a newspaper route.  So she tossed her brochures with her newspapers.  In the following video, she tells you how she does her brochures and even how she wraps them.

2. A second option in getting your brochures out there is simply hanging them on people’s doors.  It takes more time than doing a big book drop, but is often viewed as the ‘more polite’ and generally better accepted method, so (again, in my opinion) is going to give you a great odds of connecting with a new customer.  However many extra brochures you can order, pick a street in your neighborhood and go hang some brochures.  Keep track of the streets that you leave brochures with and each campaign pick a new street.  This is the method I have used most often during the years — from time to time  I may revert back to tossing or knocking, but ultimately I always go back to hanging.  I would just offer the following suggestions if you are going to do this.

  • Consider how you are going to carry the brochures.  Bring an over-the-shoulder tote bag, if your brochures will fit.  Or, my husband has quite often driven around with me and had all the brochures in the truck there for me to grab through the window.  That way, I can take an armful, hit a few houses, and come back for more while he keeps an eye on me and our surroundings.
  • Please watch out for and be respectful of No Soliciting/No Trespassing signs.  I realize that some Representatives will claim they didn’t seem them, but you sure don’t want to upset the wrong person these days.  (side note:  I have found that most of these no soliciting signs are not intended for Avon Representatives and you will eventually find Customers who have them; however, the bottom line is you have no way of knowing which side your unknown neighbor is, so just pass them by)
  • Go prepared.  Bring water.  Dress appropriately.  Wear sunscreen and/or a hat.  Make sure you have eaten a good meal beforehand (maybe with a healthy dose of caffeine included in it!)  Choosing this method of getting your brochures out there is a workout if you do it yourself, so make sure you are ready for it!
  • On the subject of ‘dressing appropriately.’  In addition to dressing comfortably and for the weather, remember that you are going to hopefully make new Avon friends.  You may be tempted to just throw on some old shorts or sweat pants and yesterday’s t-shirt.  I promise, you will run in to a potential customer.  And even if you don’t physically meet them, someone’s got their surveillance camera on you.  You certainly do not need professional dress, but certainly dress as if you are going to meet a new friend or a casual blind-date.  Technically, you are!  Dress comfortably, but dress to impress.
  • Have kids?  For years I have taken advantage of my baby stroller with each of our boys.  My mother-in-law called it ‘the Cadillac’ because it had this big space underneath and was nice and sturdy and had a nice hood over it. (a gift from my Avon girlfriends when my oldest son was born).  I would put our son in it and fill that big basket up with books and off we would go.  Or perhaps you could use a nice pull wagon.  And when your kids are old enough, by all means have them help you!  You would not believe how fast my oldest son can run those brochures up to the doors now.  I don’t even have a chance of keeping up with him,  I just drag the brochures along and it’s like a relay race to him…passing the brochure as he’s running!  And there is always a reward at the end…an ice cream treat, pizza, or whatever…for their help!  Get creative with your own family!
  • Be friendly and smile!  Leave your worries at home, enjoy the walk, and remember that you are entering what other people consider their world.  Be a bright spot in it and consider your brochures something to brighten their day!  And if you run in to somebody less than cheery, keep smiling and thank them, letting them know that’s perfectly ok and keep smiling!
  • I have also taken advantage of a method called ‘four-square’ or ‘the clover-leaf’, where I simply drive around a neighborhood with my boys, park, and do the four houses surrounding my vehicle.  (sometimes there might be only two or three houses within a short walking distance or there might be more than four, but four is a general rule).   I personally do this in the mid morning hours during the week when people are normally either at work or just starting the day and their streets are not busy.  If there are too many people around the car, then I would not be comfortable doing this and I only do this in neighborhoods where I have a good feeling about them.  This allows me to be able to get brochures out there with my boys safely inside the vehicle and not out in the extreme temperatures we tend to get here.  I will drop my son off at school and pick a neighborhood on the way home to quick bring some books through.   You can also make a habit of doing this when delivering customer orders — deliver a brochure to their neighbors surrounding their house with a note saying hello and who you are!

3. A third way of getting your brochures out there is the classic way of just starting knocking and ringing some doorbells!  This method takes the longest and is probably considered the most ‘scary’, but I’m telling you…it is how I personally grew my business from $50/campaign to an average of $800/campaign back in 2001.  I had my clipboard with me and I wrote down the names and phone numbers of everyone who said yes.  This by far is the most cost-effective way of using your brochures.   People who receive your brochure and get busy and forget — you can’t follow up with them if you don’t have their name and phone number.

You may find other ways of getting your brochures out there, such as simply leaving them wherever you go, making contact with area businesses, or establishing a referral system with your current customers.  Do what works for you.  Connecting with different neighborhoods is what I have been most successful at and what I truly believe in.  I would be happy to answer any further questions you have.

Find a way to make your brochures stand out also.  Here are a few suggestions of what I have done.

  • You can find templates for labels for your brochures and links to order your brochure stamps through our website.  Simply go to the Community tab there (final tab on the far right) and go to Avon Advantage.  You will find there many resources and Avon affiliates to help you with your business, such as Avery and Town & Country.
  • In addition to stamping the back of the brochure, I include a note on the front.  Some people will use labels and some will simply drop the notes unattached in the brochure bag, but I personally print little business card sized notes and staple to the front of the brochure.  This note includes my contact information, my next two or three order dates, and any other message I would like them to have.   You can use your own creativity with this idea, but I personally currently use the Microsoft Publisher program and their business card template to create the image below (prints 10 to a page).

avon coupon example

  • You can find additional ideas and resources by following other successful Avon Representatives on Facebook or reading different idea books.  I have posted an Amazon link on the home page of this website with many of my favorites, if you would like more.

Just do it!  Don’t wait until you ‘feel like it.’  No one ever necessarily feels like it.  Consider it part of your job description, remember your vision and goals, and get it done!


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