Class Notes Profiles
Carmen (Lopez) Conklin, Sp ’87, puts to rest outdated images of the Avon lady.
Conklin is division sales manager of Avon Products Inc. in New York City, the company’s top U.S. division with $60 million in sales.
“We’re the New York team,” she says and proudly boasts that her team made or beat every initiative and incentive the company offered in 2013.
Conklin manages 19 corporate associates and 8,000 independent contractors in New York, the Bronx and Brooklyn. The team sells Avon lines of jewelry, clothing and cosmetics, and also recruits new members to their ranks.
Conklin didn’t start out in sales. She came to Marquette from Puerto Rico and graduated with a degree in broadcast communication. She soon realized sales were a better fit for her personality.
After joining Avon in 2002, Conklin hit the road to meet customers and understand firsthand what it takes to be an Avon Representative. She discovered it begins with relating to others. “It’s about understanding what a person needs,” she explains, “knowing your products and getting her the right products she can afford.”
As division sales manager, Conklin tries to be the best coach possible to her team. “Avon gives opportunities to women in all walks of life to open their own business and be entrepreneurial,” she says. “My role is to develop top sellers and top recruiters, to understand what they want to make and sell, and where they want to go. I help them build a business plan to get them there.”
Conklin also hopes to use her background to help Avon develop strategies for the Latino market, the biggest segment of U.S. population growth. — Joni Moths Mueller