October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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STITCH SOLUTIONS by JeNNIFer cOX | | | | Jennifer Cox is the president and co-founder of the National Network of Em- broidery Professionals (NNEP), a professional organization for apparel-decora- tion business owners. NNEP supports the success of NNEP members with best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, volume buying benefits, and services. Cox was recognized as a Top 50 Small Business Influencer and Community Choice Leader by Small Biz Trends in 2013, is recognized as one of the industry's "Most Creative Thinkers," and repeatedly ranks in the top 40 on the industry's "Power List." Reach her at or go to 5 0 | Printwear O ctO b e r 20 1 4 H ow many times has a customer said, "I can get it for less at (competitor) or another busi- ness?" Or have you ever been asked, "Is this your best price?" Or (my personal favorite) has your customer ever told you to "just make it look good," and then complains when the bill comes? As an embroidery professional, most of us have heard many versions of these comments nearly every week. The reality is that your customers want assurance they are getting the best deal from the best supplier, and that they are making the best choice in coming to you for their decorated-apparel needs. If you give your customers the opportunity to haggle, they win, and you win too—you close the sale. Haggling is a form of casual negotiating. Both parties try to get what they want while exchanging as little time or money as possible. Successful haggling ends when both sides feel good about the process and the final negotiated deal. MAKING THE MOST OF HAGGLING There are two key elements that come into play in successful negotiations: time and infor- mation. The timing of an order may be the critical, non-negotiable factor for a customer, or it may have no bearing on the order. If the customer needs to select something for a rapidly approaching company event, you can bet delivering the order on time significantly influences closing the deal. If you can guarantee you will meet the deliv- ery date, you can let the customer "win" and be less flexible when it comes to pric- ing the order. Don't Sacrifice Profit Successful haggling is possible

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