May '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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32 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 8 screen. Duh! We should have known better! Plus, we lost the in- tention in the first place. The eagle was almost unrecognizable. We totally overthought this. Instead, we decided to print the eagle in the same frequency and angles as the rest of the design at 45 lpi and 22.5-degree angle with the subtleties in the shadows and some overprinting to look more natural and to avoid any patterns as before. We ended up with this watercolor look that was very cool, no matter how unintended. They say you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. This design was limited in colors, but we did manage to pull off a very strong, bold look for M&R and GSG that ran without inci- dent at the show. We can always tell if the print resonates with the attendees when they line up at the end of the belt for a shirt, and the line was consistent the whole time. After the trial and error, we clearly hit the sweet spot! FROM SOFTWARE TO SUBSTRATE continued from page 19 with prospective clients too late in the sales process. Also high on the frustrations list is not identifying which salespeople need their help, when is the best time to intervene, and how to best help them without taking over the sales effort. Business owners ought to have a sales activity dashboard so that, at a glance, they're able to accurately forecast the near-future revenue and profits for the company. Some businesses have purchased and implemented contact-man- agement or customer-relationship-management (CRM) software programs to get a handle on the "state of sales" in real time. But the most common push-back from the sales force has been the amount of time required to enter and update information into the program. It needn't be that hard. If streamlining the sales process and driving new sales activity is on the top of your wish list, you may want to consider these useful tips: • Implement and enforce a new policy stating that every sales call or contact must include setting the next appointment. A sales professional is only as good as their next scheduled conver- sation with a prospect or customer with repeat or add-on poten- tial. If a sales organization were to commit to this simple practice company wide, it can expect to see the average sales cycle from first contact with a prospect to a signed purchase order shrink by at least 25 percent. • Insist on every sales call having a written pre-call plan and call objective. Too many salespeople think experience is a substitute for pre-call planning. Some don't appreciate the power and im- portance of pre-call planning, let alone what goes into such a plan. If your salesperson would take as little as 15 minutes to set an objective for the call and a list of questions that should be asked to (a) confirm what she suspects she knows, and (b) uncover vital information she needs to know but doesn't, you'd be amazed how smoothly more sales calls would go and earn the right to close sooner. • Consider arming your sales team and management with a new business-activity driver. When I first started in sales, I was re- quired to fill in and submit a call report that documented with whom I met, what we discussed, and how long our meeting lasted. Sounds like Big Brother was watching over my shoulder, doesn't it? I thought that too, until my district sales manager showed me how to complete the form in less than 30 seconds per call and, more importantly, how to analyze my activities for any given quarter. With that information, I was able to accu- rately predict my future success, concentrate on areas where I needed improvement, and run my sales territory like it was my own business. There's a good chance one or more of the conditions above are present in your business. Tackle one at a time and reap the benefits of a smoother-running, more profitable operation. Good luck! YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER continued from page 15 Even with limited colors, you can pull off a strong, bold look.

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