May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 2 0 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 EMBROIDERY Stitch Solutions J e n n i f e r C o x Stand Out Amongst the Crowd WHEN YOU ARE DIFFERENT, THEY WILL BUY yourself up to the same measuring stick. So, what can you do to make your busi- ness different? First and foremost, you are your own greatest advantage. When your customer connects with you as a person, you have al- ready elevated yourself above others with whom they did not connect. Second, when you bring your expertise into the conversation, by letting them know you can advise them on what sizes to order, for example, you will have a higher 'perceived value' than your compe- tition. Or that you will bag and label the goods to make it easier to distribute the order to their employees. Or that they can contact you in two weeks and order just a few more. Or that you will create an order form that can be distributed with the next payroll. Or that they can hand over all the order forms and you will consolidate the information for them. Price will matter less when you add value, service, and exper- tise before, during, and after the sale. H ere is the challenge: If your customers and potential customers don't perceive a differ- ence between you and the other embroidery or apparel decoration businesses in your area, you cannot stand out or apart from them. Need some confirmation that your business is perceived as the same as the others around you? If you have ever been asked, "Why should I buy from you?" there is the proof that, from your customers' perspective, you are just like your competition. In order to elevate your business above the rest, this is one question you must be ready to answer. STEPPING OUT OF THE BOX Here are some ways to stand out from the crowd: • Take a different approach. When you know that you are going up against others for the order, go after the sale with a unique angle. Creativity counts quite a lot when it comes to making yourself dif- ferent. Show up with interesting color ways, tone-on-tone examples, and even reversed images of dark designs on light backgrounds next to the same design in white-on-dark backgrounds. • Find their why. They are not talking to you about ordering deco- rated apparel because they have no clothes. They are ordering these products for a specific reason, and to achieve a certain outcome. It could be a new company, logo, or new color way of the logo. Or, it could be for a specific sales group within the company that hit a goal, to help customers find sales people easily on the retail floor, to celebrate 25 years in the industry, or one of an unlimited number of reasons. Your objec- tive is to get them to see their desired outcome by ordering from you. • Be prepared for objections. You know what their objections are likely to be as they are the same ones you've heard in dozens of other sales conversations. Work out your answers and become good with delivering them easily. Objections will be what sizes to order, knowing they are ordering the right products in the right sizes and correct quantities, price, delivery times, quality of the garments, shrinkage, etc. The objections are not rocket science. You can prepare for them so that they are an easy part of the conversation, rather than difficult. • Be confident. If you come across as hesitant or uncertain, the customer will know it. When you let them know that they will meet their objective (their why) with your deco- rated products because the work will be excellent and delivered on time, they can men- tally visualize what that looks and feels like bringing them that much closer to placing the order with you. DEFINING DIFFERENT Now comes the hard part. Name one thing that you claim to have that is different than what your competition can claim. Top quality? They claim that too. Great service? Ditto. On-time delivery? Check. Great staff? Yep, they say that as well. And that right there is the challenge your customers face. They perceive you and your competition as the same when you hold When helping a customer choose sizing, remember 124421. This translates to an average sizing scale of: 1 small 2 medium 4 large 4 XL 2 2X 1 3X Show your capabilities in a fun way for some differentiation. (Image courtesy George Helena)

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