When I first started Naja Tea in 2008, I had a vision of creating one of the first direct-sales tea companies to bring quality, healthful, and unique teas directly to the consumer through in-home tea parties – the Mary Kay of tea if you will.
As my business expanded and food service establishments, spas, and boutique retailers began to receive Naja Tea with enthusiasm, we reevaluated whether going the direct-sales route was, in fact, the path we wanted to follow.
In March, I met a sales manager working as a consultant with one of our larger spa customers. She had become such a fan of Naja Tea that she often shared the line with her clients, converting neophytes and seasoned tea lovers alike into Naja Tea enthusiasts. She had become such an evangelist for Naja Tea that others wanted to know how they could become a part of our growing team.
With the interest being generated by this sales manager’s eagerness to share what she loved about Naja Tea, she quickly approached me about helping to expand our sales force, bringing on and training independent sales reps to expand the line. Over the next few weeks, we tirelessly discussed the viability of our sales team turning my one-man sales show into a team of soldiers sharing what we know and love about this company.
As the sales manager started to hold me accountable for designing a plan to bring this much-needed team on board, I soon became frustrated at her persistence, more so because I wasn’t certain going direct to the consumer was the primary way I wanted to connect with our customer. But as I began to interview the women who had shown an interest in working as sales reps to get their feedback on where their sales strengths lay and understand how they would each approach connecting with our target market, I began to realize we had a multi-dimensional sales model on our hands.
We have just finalized our selection of four rock-star sales reps who will be our street team, working to connect with both wholesale prospects and individual tea consumers. Our Tea Enthusiasts, as we call them, will conduct Home Tea Salons as well as reach out to spas, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques to wholesale Naja Tea.
We have a major training coming up and I am excited to see where this new adventure leads.
Constantly reevaluating what is working with your company and what is not is an important part of growing in challenging times, and staying on top of what your customers are looking for will keep you in the forefront of their minds. If our customers want Naja Tea to come to them, we’re ready to bring it.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress. Wish us luck!