How to Create the Ideal Sale Strategy | Laura Lee Botsacos
Laura Lee Botsacos
Episode 48

How to Create the Ideal Sale Strategy with Laura Lee Botsacos from Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality

with Laura Lee Botsacos

Episode 48 – Coffee Nº 5 – Sales Strategy

Laura Lee Botsacos went from selling cars to launching her brand of skin-care products, Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality. But we all know that being an entrepreneur is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work. What happens after you have your products ready? How do you make your first sales? Laura shares the different challenges she faced with having her products ready to go to the market, and the sales strategy she developed, focused on building a relationship with her customers.

Laura Lee Botsacos is the founder of Apollo & Artemis Beauty by Equality. She shares her sales strategy and the secrets to launching her brand.

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • The secret formula of getting to know your brand and your audience. 
  • Where and how you can find your ideal buyer?
  • What does it mean to have a business persona? And why it is necessary for networking. 
  • Laura shares her strategy of how she reaches out to beauty editors to introduce her products and explains the key role of the follow-ups.
  • Laura gives us a few tips to sell yourself and your brand. 

Visit Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality

Instagram: @theonlylauralee

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Lara Schmoisman, CEO & Founder of The Darl and Marketing Simplificado

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Facebook: @LaraSchmoisman

LinkedIn: @laraschmoismanTwitter: @LaraSchmoisman

How to Create the Ideal Sale Strategy with Laura Lee Botsacos from Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality.

SPEAKERS

Laura Lee Botsacos, Lara Schmoisman

 

Lara Schmoisman 

This is Coffee Nº 5, I’m your host, Lara Schmoisman. Welcome back to Coffee Nº 5, today I want to talk about something that comes out always, in every conversation that I have, it comes out, in every discussion I have with new clients, it comes out. And it’s something that there’s not enough education. Well, nobody teach you how to be an entrepreneur. But I think the moment that you decide to be an entrepreneur, you also need to know the risks that you’re taking. And like, yesterday, I will say in another podcast is about risk management, you are managing how much risk are you taking how much you’re investing, how you play your cards, but you need to play your cards, right. Of course, you need marketing, of course you need product if you’re going to be selling a product, but also you need sales force, I would think if there’s a school to teach you how to sell. So I brought today, I invited today and she accepted Laura Lee. And she is amazing. She is an entrepreneur, many times an entrepreneur. And not only that, she just launched an amazing line of beauty products called Artemis and Apollo, and I was gonna put all the links in in chapter notes. Because if you guys need to look at this beauties, because they are beauties. Welcome, Laura, how are you?

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Oh, I’m great. Lara, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. Thank you. This is great.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

So tell me abou…a little bit about what’s going on. When you have to do a sale, now you have a product, you have a product in the market. What…how do you approach yourself. I mean, you went into a business knowing that you need to sell a product.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Yes, I think that when you have a product and when you’re especially when you’re trying to enter a industry such as the skincare beauty industry with a brand new product, you know, as we are with Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality, it definitely can be very challenging, you know, especially now with the pandemic, because, you know, we’re not in a position where we can go out and about and have, you know, demonstrations. So I like what you were saying before is that, you know, there’s this thin line, right, this thin line of demarcation between marketing and sales. And I definitely think that you need both. And I think right now, when it comes to Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality, obviously, a lot of it is direct to consumer, directed from our website. But you know, a lot of it also is word of mouth, and just and just being tirelessly out there and selling and pushing. And that’s kind of what, how we are we navigating ourselves right now with the brand,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

You also needs to know the right channels, because every industry is a little different. And it’s not the same that you want to sell a beauty product that is going to go in certain channels, like let’s put it for example, if you’re going to want to buy something, sell something to Target, it’s not the same buyer in Target or no is that for cosmetic products,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

that’s a very true statement. I that’s why I think it’s very important one to know yourself, right? Know thyself, and then to, to really make sure you know your product, you know, your brand, and to really make sure that you have a visceral connection to it. Because once you know who you are, once you know your brand, then you’re going to know your audience. And then once you know your audience, I mean, obviously when you know this, then that in alignment with marketing and strategy, that’s where you need to point yourself in that direction. So it’s sort of like this, all the different pieces create that compass. Does that make sense?

 

Lara Schmoisman 

We call it the ecosystem

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Yeah.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Let me ask you a question. Because is putting a product on the shelf it’s not easy.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

It’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s been years of work. You know, I mean, look, fortunately, for me, my business partner happens to be a chemist, and she, you know, has 25 years of r&d. So in terms of the viability of our products, you know, listen, I know that our products can compete with any major player out there. I believe that and I know that and I know that they will. But yes, it’s the whole process is challenging, because it’s not just brand awareness, right. It’s like Okay, so how do I create the best packaging under these financial constraints, right? Where do I find a lab that’s going to also help me be my distributor and, you know, also helped me, frankly, be my warehouse under these because money plays a huge role. You know, we were self funded. I’m self funding this entire project, right? You know, that plays a role in it. And then of course, making sure that you really are choosing the products, the ingredients that you’re living, that you have an ethos for your brand, and your product, and that you are willing to take all the steps to make sure that you stick to that ethos. And it’s hard at building something from scratch. You know, it’s not like when you buy a franchise and you buy into a franchise, they kind of give you a template, right? They say, this is the advertising, this is how we’re doing this, this is how we’re doing that this, it gives you a little bit of an outline, there’s no outline, when you start this a brand new business. And in my case, it just happens to be skincare, there’s no specific outline. And so it’s it is hard, but it’s not something that I would I wouldn’t discourage people from not pursuing, you know, dirty numbers.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Let’s go to the basics, you have a product. And so how do you find who is the buyer and who to approach

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I think networking is key, I, I know that you know, even you and I… Our relationship is built through us connecting via other channels. So during this time, you’re home, you’re on Zoom, people think that in some ways that you’re shut out of the world, but in some ways there that the world exists right in front of you, right?

 

Lara Schmoisman 

And again, let me reiterate this, because it’s something that always come out, you don’t network, when you need your network all the time,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

you have to live your life, constantly networking, and it’s so I don’t want to cut you off, but I’m caught. But I’m so glad that you said that. Because one of the things that I was talking to somebody about today was everything you do, even when you go out and you go get your hair done, or you go get your nails done, it’s almost like you have to put on this persona of your business. Right? Bring your business self and talk about your brand and network. It’s an that’s been a huge thing for me and the amount of networking that we’ve been able to accomplish. I mean, actually being home.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Yeah, like we always say people don’t buy what you sell, they buy it, why you sell it on, if you’re going to be talking to a buyer, you as a persona and the story that you’re telling behind the product is super important.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I think it’s really important. I mean, you know, I, you know, everybody has this idea that selling is well okay, well, I’m selling this product, or I’m selling that product, the reality is, is that you’re selling yourself, you’re building rapport, you’re building relationships, and you’re selling yourself. So the more you have that ability to build rapport, ask the right questions, present yourself with in a passionate way, I believe the better off you’re going to be and more successful, you’ll be in making the kind of sales that you need.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Well, there’s something that I don’t like to call it sales, I feel like sales is like a bad word many times in my industry, I don’t even have a sales department. But I, I still believe in business development, I believe in develop relationships, because when you’re going to be working with a client, because even if you sell a product, it’s still a client, you need to develop that relationship. He said anything about negotiating that kind of relationship you’re going to have,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree, it absolutely is negotiating that kind of relationship you’re going to have, and it’s all part of that it’s relationship building, typically. And I think the more you know, about your brand, and I love how you said that, because I have found that when I start to talk to people about Apollo and Artemis Beauty by Equality, what the brand stands for, how we created it, the concept behind it, the name, people love it. And then of course, on top of that, it just happens to be incredible products that work. So I think it’s the whole kind of combination. And then of course you you know, as quote unquote, the person, that’s the sales person, of course, you know, you have to also have this, you know, I always say like, you have to have this, this almost like this inner conviction,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Also you need the patience and persistency because there’s something that you’re eager to sell your product, you believe in your product, you believe that it’s the best product in the market, and you don’t understand why the other people are not getting it. But let me tell you something, the other people that they’re buying it, they have a schedule, they have a budget, they are busy, so it’s okay to follow up. It’s okay if they tell you and it happened to me many times in my life and working with huge companies that they tell me call me in two months. So I will make a note for myself and I call them in two months. And then he will tell me call me three months and as long as they tell you that and you keep the conversation going that’s positive so you don’t you shouldn’t feel bad about it’s not happening. This is not something that is going to happen from one day to the next.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Yeah, and I think and you know, and I love that, you know, I you know in my past life, I’ve worked in the car business and You know, we were relentless with follow up. I mean, you have to have follow up and I get it. Sometimes people don’t like follow up because you you know, because yes, you’re making a nuisance of yourself or so sometimes it feels that way

 

Lara Schmoisman 

well, the ten time you’re bothering people but one you didn’t it was in the right time in the right place. And you did the sale.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree. And what is it that Wayne Gretzky said you miss 100 of the shot 100% of the shots but you don’t take so it you know, that’s sort of like the way it is you need that, you need unique consistent, relentless follow up. And and it has a… Now that follow up takes on a brand new meeting, because there’s all different avenues and all different ways to do it. Right?

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Well, but if you’re gonna do it, my recommendation is always make notes for yourself.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

It notes are incredibly important for any, for any business, any salesperson, you need to create a date, you know, oh, hey, when may I follow up with you? Tuesday, May 15, 2:30 you have to write that down. But what I was trying what I was about to say was and you know, now you have all these different vent, you have all these different ways to follow up. I’m personally I’m still old fashioned in that nothing beats a telephone call.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I love to talk to people. I feel like I cannot do business with someone I cannot take a client on that is not willing to talk to me.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree with you. I think that when you have communicating over the phone, there’s a specific cadence. It’s you know, you can you can understand you hear the tone in the person’s voice, you can hear the gesticulations… I don’t know about you, but you can misinterpret…

 

Lara Schmoisman 

oh, and with so many people like let me tell you, sister, when I was like, I had a very heavy accent. And my English wasn’t in a really good grammar got so many misunderstanding.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Sure. I’m sure of it

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I wish I will have even a video conference like that. And because it would have been even easier to communicate that they can see that I will say something I didn’t mean it that way.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree. I mean, I actually I have a friend that I was visiting a couple months, actually a couple weeks ago. And you know, and I was telling him that I was trying to get in touch with this specific individual. And he’s like, Laura Lee call them first thing in the morning. Call them again. At the end of the day. I’m like, really? And he’s like, yep, and I’m like, you know what, I know how to do follow up. But just that little reminder. I was like, Okay,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

well, if someone doesn’t answer my email or my call, I assume they didn’t get it because I cannot believe that someone will be that rude. Because I answer absolutely everyone, so if they don’t answer I assume that I need to follow up because otherwise it’s like, I don’t understand, what’s the problem you don’t want to work with me? That’s fine. Just say it.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I was gonna say that, I think that that’s a really… I think… I actually kind of liked that assumption, I think that’s a great trick because you know, also being involved in sales right? So we know that we need consistent follow up and relentless follow up but you know, you also have to learn not to take things personally. And that can really be difficult because people say that phrase of don’t take that personally, I don’t think they really understand what it really really really means. But yeah,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

yeah, you have to have a thick skin

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

you do because trust me, I get it there are people that don’t turn my phone on like oh you know that you know my evil twin Louis wants to say all these things to me, you know in my head but you can’t take it personally and you have to just you know, stay the course stay the course.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Okay, well, we lost track. So we have now… we have the person, and who do we approach? Okay, you tell them I have a product. What do you send them? A kit? You send them a PowerPoint, a presentation? What do you send them so they see that they have something tangible.  Or do you go and send the product right away?

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I don’t always the send the product right away. What I’ve been doing initially is I have the story…

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Because… sorry, it has a cost to send product not only the product is not free for you. Also you have to ship it

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

yes to everything. And you know, and sometimes especially beauty editors, you know, they’re inundated, they might not even want your product or they might be so inundated with product that they’ll have a stash that they might not even get around to opening your product. So what I do is I have a little Yes, I send something that gives an initial introduction to who I am and what the brand is I refer to it sort of like as our mission statement and of course I put the link to my website and then of course in my signature I also have the link to our Instagram which also has you know all of the press that we’ve done thus far. And that’s how I’ve been starting that initial intro and then a lot of it too… the other side of that is that I have product here and I have my little credit card swipe thing that I attached to my phone and when I go out I take my products with me and I am that person I am that person that goes to my hair salon and this is my product.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I am believe that in this first approach that we’re talking about, you need to go forward, explain who you are and what you want, you need to do it fast in the first email, if the person in the first 30 seconds, they don’t get that idea, they’re gone.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree, you know, these people, we have a very small attention span all of us, right? So as much as you want to be nice and be polite, hi, how are you hope you had a great weekend, blah, blah, blah, blah, you kind of just kind of got to cut to the chase and present yourself and present the product quickly. Yes, you absolutely do that, especially if you’re if you’re creating a contact via LinkedIn as well.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Yeah. And if you are, you have a your persona has a specific personality, use it in that first approach,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I absolutely agree. And sometimes you might have a connection. So you know, that’s always a great way to start off. And I put the person that referred up that might have referred me to somebody else, like in the subject,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I do the same, but also something I learned, and I was talking to someone about this today, don’t be afraid to ask you met all these people all around your life. And this is the time that you might need an introduction, you never know who knows someone. So the worst thing that they can say is, I don’t know anyone or I don’t feel comfortable making the connection.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I love that. And you know what? It’s so interesting, because you know, and sometimes I think we even the best salesperson, or whatever, you know, needs that reminder. And I’ve had to use that and still continue to use that throughout this exposition of my brand. And it’s so true. Because you because you know, when you sit back and you go, Okay, well, actually, how many people do I really know when you really think about the amount of time like I know, for me, I’ve had many different careers throughout my laptop lifetime. So when I really sit back, and I reflect upon the people that I know, there’s a lot of people I know if I have to be honest, I’m probably not really taking advantage of all the people that I know.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Wow, you have homework to do today

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I do! If I’m gonna talk the talk,I better walk the walk, right, so

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Exactly,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

There you go. But you’re right. But like, even like, you know, as I said, the way that I met you was through asking somebody else about.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

that’s how I get all my clients,

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

and I needed an intro to you and I had seen you out and about in some way. I think we had done a couple of other functions together.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Well, I was present. And we got to know each other first is a different level, which is always great. And if you can pray those relationships, and then something that I never gonna get tired of saying information is not power people information is only if you know what to do with it, I have no problem connecting people and introducing people because your contacts don’t give you that power. Only the relationship that you build with that person.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

See, that’s a really great way of saying it. Yeah. And I think that’s kind of like what we said earlier, it’s it’s, you know, it’s about building relationships, building rapport, building relationships.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Well, I know so many people that they say, I don’t feel comfortable in making the introduction, or I don’t make friends.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

You know those

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

yeah, of course, of course. And that’s okay. Everybody can, everybody has their own journey. Everybody has their own stick, that’s fine. I mean, I get it. But but that notwithstanding, you know, try not to be discouraged, because there’s a plethora of individuals out there that actually really do want to see other people succeed. You know, there are a whole bunch of other people out there that actually really do get excited. I mean, I know that I have friends in my corner, you know, so to speak, that want to help that want to see,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Oh, I love when one of those introductions… is fulfilling that you made that connection. And there was a reason for it. It was kind of meant to be that you made that connection.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I agree. And I love introducing new people to people to like, that’s been like, that’s awesome. It makes you feel good. It makes you when you when you’re also can reciprocate. It’s a great feeling, knowing like, Hey, you know, I had a great experience with this specific person, they have this wealth of knowledge, I had a great experience with this other person and put them in touch and that’s pretty cool. That’s that’s kind of the way it works.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, before I let you go, I want to ask you two things. I always ask everyone: three tips to sell yourself or your product. three tips. Yeah, go ahead.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

I always say that you know that it’s so important that the first thing you need to do if you’re able to close yourself and yourself, you’ll be able to close anybody. So three tips is definitely know thyself. I would say to you ask the proper questions. And I have this little thing I do I always say like, it’s, it all starts from the shoes, you know what I mean, like,

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I don’t know if you’re meaning the same thing that I do, but I always…

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

It’s true, like, there was an other was a there was a well known acting teacher by the name of Uta Hagen. And she would always say that, you know, you need to build that character and the way that she believed you started was from the feet up. So it was always the shoe. Because when you think about it, you’re not going to wear sneakers to a ball any more than you’re going to wear a pump to, you know, like run a marathon. I always encourage especially women find that shoe that makes you feel empowered.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

I love that because I’m all about my lipstick and my shoes.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Me too! I mean, listen, I’m gonna tell you right now, I did my lipstick not before this, I got my sweat pants on and a pair of high heels. And I am ready to go.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

You know what I think? I have so many conversations started because of the shows.

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Oh, I absolutely believe it. I mean, it helps you sort of develop that, you know, dare I say character and that persona that you need to come out there. Because it’s, you know, selling is emotional. So you have to feel rooted.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

Absolutely. Okay, so I know that you are creating opportunities for people to connect with you. So I don’t know how much you want to share about that. And so this is your space to say how people can connect with you and for what

 

Laura Lee Botsacos 

Sure, sure so people can find me on Instagram, @theonlylauralee and I’m in the process right now of actually developing programs to really help women understand the concept of clean selling and selling with a purpose. I’ll talk a little bit more about my brand. Talk a little bit more about where I came from and how I learned what I learned and share my knowledge and my experience with women. And yeah, and I definitely have some programs coming up in the next couple of months.

 

Lara Schmoisman 

That’s awesome. Can’t wait to see them. Okay, thank you so much, Laura Lee, it’s great having you’re here in Coffee Nº 5, and I will see you very very soon everyone. Thank you for joining us. If you like the show, remember to leave a review. I will really appreciate it. If you want to know more about marketing and and myself, follow me on Instagram. My handle is Lara Schmoisman. Was so good to have you here today. See you next time. catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.

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