August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A U G U S T P R I N T W E A R || 95 16. Asking for a test or a sample. Can I try this for a few days? Can you send me a sample? The prospect is saying, "If this works, I will buy!" 17. Making buying noises. Oh! I didn't know that! Oh, really? That's inter- esting! You know, that's in line with what we have been doing. These are all buying sounds. 18. Asking about other satisfied custom- ers. Who else is using your product right now? Who are some of your current customers? They don't be- lieve you, so they are asking questions about someone else like them so that they can have enough reassurance to buy. Customers don't always believe the salesperson because, at some point in their life, a salesperson has lied to them. 19. Asking for a reference. Do you have a list of satisfied customers? Reply that you have a list of loyal customers that you would like to share; that's how you make the sale. 20. Asking chicken questions. The buyer is always looking to lower the risk of ownership, but they start out with something like this, "Suppose I buy it and it doesn't work, or it doesn't fit, or it's not the right size." They're once again asking for more reassurance. 21. Simply asking, "How much is it?" This question is the single most pow- erful buying signal on the planet. If you tell your price at the beginning or send your price list in your info pack, you are taking away a huge tactical advantage in making the sale. The other "ask" that I did not put in this list but should be mentioned is when the buyer asks you, "What is the next step?" This is so blatant a buying sign, it's not really right to consider it a signal. It's more of a hit in the face with a shovel. Listening for, recognizing, and acting on a buying signal is critical to your success as a salesperson. You will go past the sale if you don't. And many do. time you call a meeting. People should expect something to come from investment of the company's valuable resources. When a series of meetings produces little to no results, don't be surprised if attendance begins to drop, ac- tion assignments fail to get completed, and commitment and esprit-de-corps wanes. THE DEADLIEST SIN OF ALL Deadly sin 7: No code of conduct. Some of the most effective teams I've ever been a member on took the time to set rules, guide- lines, and expectations for the group. When this step is skipped, it is sheer luck that chaos does not prevail. A team's code of conduct should be written and agreed upon by all members. Of course, the group is free to amend or modify them, as needed, but make an effort to establish them at the onset. The code does not need to be a 25-page document, but it should contain the following elements: • How decisions will be made. For example, "The optimal method of decision-making will be by group consensus. This does not include voting, compromise, or horse trading. If consensus cannot be reached promptly, the team leader will make the final decision" • Consequences for tardiness, unexcused absences, incomplete or late action as- signments, violations for disclosing or dis- cussing confidential team information, or counterproductive behavior • How conflicts—both task-related and personal—will be resolved and the degree of tolerance that will be given for diverse thought, opinion, or approach • Common courtesies and degree of respect that will be extended to all members and guests at the meeting Take a good, hard look at the way meetings are conducted in your company. Are any of these sins being committed on a regular basis? Is it time to repent for them and engage in an act of meeting contrition? If your meetings have been productive, I'll bet it's because your organization has avoided the temptation of these seven deadly sins. Good luck! Design files aren't universal. A digitizer sometimes must adjust designs for a par- ticular garment or fabric to create the best outcome, and most designs can't be resized much. A design made for finished caps must start embroidering in the middle nearest the brim and stitch out from the center and up from the bottom. This isn't the case with designs for flat garments. Size is also critical to embroidery designs. Thread thickness is a constant and the density (how close the stitches are placed in relation to each other) determines coverage of the base material, how dark shading looks, and the feel or hand of the finished piece. There are also minimum and maximum stitch lengths that can run correctly. This means some designs can't be easily resized, and even with those that can, much more than a 15 percent altera- tion may considerably change the look and feel. Shrink the design and stitches get too dense and details crash together. Expand it too much and there's extra space between details and straight-stitch shading looks thin and sparse. I hope these possible missteps don't scare you aware from embroidery. The truth is, embroidery is an excellent addition to your shop. It has a high perception of value and is still the choice for your hats, outerwear, high-end sport shirts, and all manner of gift items and accessories. Embroidery, particularly if you are starting with one or two single-head machines, also serves as a small-run, low-setup option for tra- ditional screen printers. With the recent flourishing of patch-collector culture and fashion embroidery, there's more and more demand to justify adding it to your capa- bilities. You can start small, but do it the right way. Get equipment once you can afford something worth running, overlap outsourcing with qualified embroiderers until you are comfortable, and give your- self the time to learn before you decide to digitize in-house. I can't recommend this craft enough. I and those who love it are here to help you learn. continued from page 35 ERICH'S EMBEL- LISHMENTS continued from page 18 YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER continued from page 14 SELLING SMART

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