How to Become a Beauty Supply Distributor

Research the requirements to become a beauty supply distributor. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to start a career in beauty supply distribution.

Should I Become a Beauty Supply Distributor?

Beauty supply distributors sell a variety of hair care and cosmetic products to beauty salons. Sales representatives for these companies distribute products to hair stylists, salon owners, and other clients in the industry. Extensive travel is often required, and evening or weekend work hours might be common.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Postsecondary coursework; some employers look for an associate or bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Sales or marketing
Experience 1-2 years of sales experience; some positions require additional beauty or cosmetology experience
Key Skills Excellent oral communication, interpersonal skills, organization, ability to work independently, strong sales and presentation skills, proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
Additional Requirements Valid driver's license and willingness to travel
Salary $58,411 (2015 median for branch managers/wholesale distributors)

Sources: December 2012 online job postings, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Payscale.com

Step 1: Meet Education Requirements

Candidates can prepare for this career by enrolling in courses or degree programs in sales, marketing, or a related area. Programs in these fields teach sales techniques and communication skills and may include courses in consumer behavior, business sales, and account management. While a degree is not typically required for this profession, experience in relevant subjects could give an individual an advantage when seeking employment.

Step 2: Complete an internship

While not required, internships will give potential distributors an advantage over applicants without this experience. Internships are frequently completed while the interns are still in school and allow students to gain real-world experience in beauty supply distribution. Duties might include assisting sales consultants, finding opportunities for business growth, and/or developing product education programs. Internships can also help students gain connections in the industry.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Most positions call for one or more years of cosmetology, beauty, or general sales experience. Candidates may work in a salon or beauty supply store to learn about products, brands, and industry trends. Beauty supply distributors in entry-level positions may sell one or several brands, open new accounts, and maintain existing relationships. Other duties might include scheduling sales visits, meeting sales goals, attending company seminars, organizing promotional events, and acting as a liaison between customers and manufacturers. As sales representatives develop their skills, they might take over larger or more complex accounts and receive higher commission on their sales. In that way sales representatives are able to climb the business ladder on their way to becoming a supply distributor.

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