May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 119 of 122

2 0 1 6 M A Y P R I N T W E A R || 111 ERICH'S EMBELLISHMENTS continued from page 36 line or paper order forms showcasing your bag and decoration. If you have online tools, you get the added benefit of copy- and-paste ease for name lists, but any pre- pared order form is likely to make ordering and organization simpler than a piecemeal approach. In addition to collecting information, order forms present a chance to inform the customer, so don't waste the opportunity; clarify anything that may cause hiccups later. The form should make the process of selecting product and specifying personal- ization like names and player numbers as error-proof as possible. Order-by dates, de- livery windows, pricing, and product speci- fications are all good things to include in the informational portion of your forms. Just as you are explicit with images of the proposed decoration and descriptions of your prod- uct, be equally as explicit with expectations and consequences, should the customer fail to provide information you need to pro- duce the finished product. Make it clear: correct information leads to correct decora- tion. Due diligence in making sure you get what you need in a format that speeds up your process means less effort in production and more profit in the long run. Cross-selling is so much more than a side of fries. Showing your customer that you've taken time to know them and to anticipate their needs is a customer service win that you can't underestimate. In the simple act of showing care and preparation, you com- municate a great deal. First, that your ex- isting customer is as important to you as any new acquisition. Second, that you are always looking to improve your offerings; and third, that you have both the initia- tive and the knowledge to create solutions beyond what they ask of you. Not only do you increase your potential sale, you elevate yourself above the status of a com- modity supplier of apparel to the level of a consultant and a partner in their endeavors. Whether you are selling bags to ballplayers or accessories to businesses, pushing beyond the upsell takes you from the "shirt shop" to a member of their branding team. continued from page 14 SELLING SMART WOMEN'S WEAR continued from page 64 color choices today, because the market is very sophisticated and demanding," says Seymour. DECORATING TIPS Decorators continue to push the limits by developing new techniques and options for women's apparel. Before selecting a cre- ative method or design, it's important to understand the intended end use and cater the technique according to the customer's desires. Simpler and soft-handed prints, designs, and sayings might be best for a traditional corporate brand; while bright, colorful ac- cents could appeal more to a tech brand or start-up company. "Sublimation is a trend that defines the product as different and unique," says Krebs. "It particularly con- tinues to be a force within the activewear market because of its artistic value and durability of use." Don't forget that the decoration place- ment also plays a key role in the deci- sion-making process. If you anticipate women will have their long hair down for the occasion, you don't want to place the logo on the top back of a T, hoodie or jack- et. Other creative options might be in the center back, collar, or along the zipper line. What women are looking for in appar- el may seem to change frequently, but the successful manufacturers/wholesalers have it down to an art. Designers of promo apparel are always on the lookout for the hottest retail trends on the market and place a great deal of importance on deliv- ering their versions of those fashions with- in an appropriate timeframe. Research, awareness, and intuition are all factors that contribute to getting and maintaining the interest of female buyers. In the coming year, as Krebs suggests, "focusing on the fit, quality of construction, color consistency, and high-quality dyes will be critical." No matter what type of apparel you sell, get to know the women's market thoroughly and recognize its fluidity. By doing so, you too will be embraced with the gift of knowing what women really want. including negative suggestions of rela- tives, friends, and acquaintances. 4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose. These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the principles of the Think and Grow Rich philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit. Now, I will grant you that some people will have read this and spit, "Hokey!" Reason? It's too simple and does not have an immediate how-to answer attached to it. The secret of persistence is not an answer, it is a realization. And if you read the above and didn't get it, you will get bested by someone who did. The Napoleon Hill philosophy of persis- tence is strong, yet soft. The only omission from the strategy is that it fails to men- tion with what to persist. Let me give you that answer in a word––value. Something more than you calling to imply, "I'm call- ing about the money, is it ready yet? Can I come over and pick it up now?" Want a few value ideas? Here are four. They require work. 1. Get the prospect a sales lead or give them a referral. 2. Give the prospect an idea of how to serve his customers better. 3. Give the prospect a list of things he or she can do to improve morale, pro- ductivity, absenteeism, and profit. 4. Get the prospect some free publicity or social media exposure. Help them win. Get the idea? See the steps? Make your persistence pay dividends for the customer. Now look past the work to the victory. If you can see clear to victory, then the secret of persistence is at last yours. And add to that the final wisdom of Hill: "What you need to develop persistence is will- power and desire. In other words, how bad do you want it? And how far are you willing to go to get it? Unless the answer is all the way, you will not persist, you will give up."

Articles in this issue

view archives of Printwear - May '16