June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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96 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 5 OPEN COMMUNICATION Effective communication between the decorator and ad salesperson happens by building a relationship. If you can bridge that gap, you'll make great steps toward a successful order. As the decorator, you must relay necessary information from the client to your vendor. This helps ensure your customer receives the right product with the correct decora- tion, specifications, and colors. With the increase in potential comes the opportunity to service larger clients, such as franchises or corporations. This is when you run across branded or licensed images. Now that you have your foot in the door and permission to print for the client, follow the best steps for the best outcome. For any type of decoration, the salesperson must understand the product along with any imprinting limitations on said item. This can be a tricky combo when working with licensed logos. There are strict guidelines when it comes to the size and color of the logo. Usually, your customer will give you a manual to follow, and while it's easiest to pass this information onto your decorator, familiarize yourself with the same informa- tion. If you handle it this way, you're better equipped to catch issues with the design be- fore it gets to your customer. One of the most crucial steps in an order is proofing. Long before a customer places an order, you probably had him or her try on a set of sample sizes to ensure the proper fit. Follow that same practice for the deco- ration to ensure the instructions were fol- lowed and clear. Most times, virtual proofs are enough to ensure accuracy on the order. In some cases, you might need to get a physical proof. It can be as simple as sewing a test sample on a scrap of fabric for embroi- dery. For larger orders with a high in- vestment, push for actual spec samples. These may cost more upfront, but they could help avoid even more costly mis- takes down the road. KNOW YOUR CLIENT'S NEEDS This is one final detail that can get even the most seasoned salesperson. How much time do you have to get the product, proof it, and then produce? When does this or- der need to be in your customer's hands? It's a great idea to draw up a timeline. Find out from your manufacturer when BETTER COMMUNICATION

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