Printwear

Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 || P RI N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 01 8 Jennifer Cox is the president and co-founder of the Na- tional Network of E mbroidery Professionals (NNEP), a pro- fessional organization for apparel decoration business owners. NNEP supports the success of NNEP me mbers with best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, volu me- buying bene ts, and services. Cox was recognized as a Top 50 S mall Business In uencer and Co m munity Choice Leader by S mall 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 jennifer @nnep.co m or go to www.nnep.co m. STITC H S OL U TI O N S B Y J E N NI F E R C O X W e sell to and into many different sectors as e mbroidery and apparel decoration business professionals, fro m the one of a kind, one-off gifts to the other end of the spec- tru m, out tting co mpanies, factories, and corporations with daily wear and special event pieces. As the year winds do wn, many e mbroidery professionals experi - ence an increase in the a mount of corporate work they are doing. This uptick may be for a nu mber of reasons, including trying to make sure they spend their full apparel budget allot ment to pro - tect it on future budgets, looking to purchase year-end gifts for their e mployees and custo mers, or maybe they made a change in their branding. It could be anything! In order to maxi mize this opportunity fully, here are so me secrets to help you land the accounts that have money to spend. One of the rst things to recognize is that, usually, these business buyers are dif- ferent than individual buyers, in several key ways: • They want to place the order • They have a budget • They are often more sophisticated than the average custo mer • They will co mpile and co mpare infor mation to make the best decision for their needs • It is usually a multi-step process • You may not meet with the nal decision maker Al ways re me mber that when it co mes to decorated apparel, you are the expert. They are counting on you to give the m honest, accu- rate infor mation so that they can make the best choices about what to get so that they look good to the people above the m. This buying process is about making your custo mer look good as an effective decision maker as much as it is about making the m look good in what they are wearing. You are selling more than a shirt with a logo; you are aligning yourself with the m as their branding partner. You are co m mitting to that person that you will make the m look good and be there for the m. One way to give your custo mer the con dence that you are their branding expert and partner is to look the part yourself. When you are calling on business custo mers, wear your logo and make sure it is sho wcased on your sa mples, your outer wear, and anything you carry into the meeting. The rst i mpression you create may be what wins you their business. If you are calling on corporate salespeople that will be wearing suits, dress more along that line, wear a logoed dress shirt and tailored slacks, not jeans and a golf shirt. If you are calling on a s mall business, business casual is probably appropriate. Just re me mber to never under dress. You are selling i mage, not just logoed apparel. Use well-placed bragging rights to add credibility. If you have done work for a major co mpany in your area, or maybe the co mpetition of the client you are meeting with, make sure a sa mple with that logo is in the materials you bring. It is al ways prudent to ask per mission fro m any custo mer to use their logo for sales and sa mple purposes, and al ways get per mission before including so meone's logo in any printed materials. Identify the needs of the custo mer when you meet with the m. Corporate and business custo mers' reasons for buying often are not what you think. It is essential to re me mber that this kind of custo mer has zero interest in your sales process. They have 100 percent interest in solving their proble m and meeting their Corporate Account Secrets for successfully selling to co mpanies Corporate clients often have money to spend this ti me of year, which is a great way to maxi mize your potential earnings as well. (I mage courtesy John Hrabovsky, Travel Cha mps—TC Pro motion & Apparel)

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