September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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14 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought-after seminar speaker and author with a unique perspective on busi- ness development and management subjects, primarily in the decorated and promotional apparel industries. With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and training, he is presently an independent consultant to various apparel decorating businesses looking to im- prove profitability and sharpen their competitive edge. Visit his new website at, and send email to YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O Get Fired Up to Make Cold Calls Unmasking the mystery of effective prospecting If this is the situation for your business, ask yourself the last time you placed a carefully sculpted action plan in motion to proactively solicit sales leads from loyal clientele. Has it been a while? Have you never done this? Shame on you! Think of how inexpensive a cam- paign to contact every customer you've done business with over the past six months compared to the cost of placing a print ad or pro- ducing and mailing catalogs or newsletters. For a predetermined period, ask all of your business contacts— including suppliers, employees, customers, and other prospects— if they know of anyone who could benefit by doing business with your company. Don't let such a campaign drag on for longer than S pend a casual evening with a bevy of consummate sales pro- fessionals, and inevitably you will hear their disdain for cold calls. In research studies, this activity ranks as one of the most avoided tasks of a salesperson—right up there with delivering price increases and collecting on past due invoices. Uncovering new prospective customers does not have to debilitate the sales growth of a business. Not if you take the time to analyze the beast and streamline the process. So, let us break down the role prospecting plays in successful selling, and try to simplify the pro- cedures involved. WHERE ARE YOUR BEST LEADS? Most business owners would prefer to have prospective customers magically drawn to their order-entry departments in lieu of having to pay a salesperson to beat the bushes and hunt them down. Al- though there is the occasional windfall of a customer who drives past the business and stops in to place a nice-sized order, it doesn't happen often enough to sustain growth. Since half of apparel decorating businesses have annual sales of less than $2 million, advertising budgets are modest. In fact, most hope the quality and timely delivery of their work, and the customers for whom they do that work, and will spread the word for them.

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