February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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12 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 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 R ecently, a well-established manufacturer's rep agency in Atlanta hired me to find "a hard-working, enthusiastic, top-producing sales rep" to help them reestablish, stabi- lize, and expand a sales territory in two neighboring states. I was careful to accurately describe the opportunity and the company's expectations in the job posting. To my delight, response to the ad was swift and numbered in the hundreds. After sifting through the tall stack of resumes, I narrowed the search to two dozen "best fit" candidates and prepared to con- duct phone and face-to-face interviews. I settled on asking each person the same set of questions designed to draw out, among other traits and thoughts, the candidate's attitude toward the sell- ing profession. Frankly, a somewhat disappointing revelation befell me. Most of today's sales professionals exhibit a lackluster opinion of the art and science of selling. If the very people that are charged with repre- senting your company, product line, and themselves are not proud and passionate about their chosen profession, I wonder how they can successfully inspire prospective customers to feel good about buying from your business? Maybe it's a good time to inject some energy among the troops by pumping up your sales force. TAKING THE PULSE OF PASSION The sample population of my mini-study was slightly biased. They were all seeking a new employer either because they were let go from their last position—perhaps because they weren't that proficient—or they were disenchanted with their current sales job and were looking elsewhere. But, shouldn't you think that someone trying to "sell" themselves to a prospective employer would be bubbling over with enthusiasm about their vocation? They weren't. Here were some of the questions I posed to the job candidates: So you want to pump up sales? Pump Up Your Sales Force

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