October '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 6 P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 How can effective merchan- dising sell items? Color: The human eye is attract- ed to color. Use a pop of color to direct the eye to a particular item or a monotone palette to create a visually intricate experience. Number of items: The display should avoid being busy. Don't try to cram all your products into one display. Grouping = upselling: Is there a theme? Would a customer who is purchasing custom T-shirts also use custom matching koozies, or bags or hats? Think of ways to up- sell before a customer even speaks to you. Keep it simple: Everyday items used effectively in a display can stick in a customer's mind long after they leave a store. Inspiration is all around. And, most importantly, do not be afraid to experiment. If you put something together and the message doesn't quite work, take the display down and try again! EMILY GAJEWSKI, TRANSFER EXPRESS My salespeople have been cranking out numerous proposals, but their 'win' rate doesn't seem to be as high as I think it should be or what it used to be. They say it's just the nature of the economy. Are they right? Your sales team is partially correct. Selling in the post-Great Recession has become dog- eat-dog because it takes so little effort for a prospective client to ask for a proposal. But that alone shouldn't dramatically lower your 'win' rate. Ask them, "What prompted you to put together a proposal?" If they respond with "Well, the customer asked for it," take a moment to ask them enough questions to determine if they are truly pursuing a quali- fied prospect. There are five criteria that must be met before you can confidently say a prospect is qualified: Who is the decision maker? Does that person have the authority to sign and vouch for a purchase order? How well do you know the decision maker? Is that the person that has the most to gain or lose by making this purchasing decision? What is the decision maker's strongest unmet need? What problem is solved or prevented, or what is accomplished as a result of this purchase? What is the dollar value of the solution you are proposing? Is the potential value of this account worth you time to pursue? Could this sale lead to multiple/regular repeat orders or will this just be a one-time deal? Does the prospect have the means or budget to pay you? What have they set aside or earmarked for this purchase? Does the client have acceptable credit and are they willing to put a 50% deposit on the order if asked? When do you expect a buying de- cision will be made? Has a definitive date been given as to when an order will be made? Often, prospects are less than forthcoming about the reason they need a written proposal right now. Some are charged by their boss to collect three proposals to satisfy some arbitrary requirement. Some- times, proposals from a competitor are used as leverage to get competi- tive pricing information. Regardless, your sales team should be certain they know the answer to the five qualifying criteria before initiating any effort to put together a proposal. VINCE DICECCO, YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER My production floor staff seems to check their phones too much. What can I do to allow them to take phone calls on their personal phones but discourage them from check - ing social media throughout the day? These days, employees expect to have access to their phones and many struggle with disciplining themselves to manage that preoccupation. On a shop floor with moving machines and garments that can be easily damaged as a re- sult of an inattentive staff, this practice is as dangerous as it is distracting. But who wants to give their staff a reason to be clandestine with their personal elec- tronics? My suggestion is to have a meet- ing with your personnel about safety at the workplace. As a part of your meeting topics, announce that there are new guidelines for the use of personal electronics on the pro- duction floor. Speak about the dangers of distraction and the threat to profitability, even with hands-free devices. In the interest of safety, all calls placed and taken are to be regulated to a designated area. This can be by the snack machines, break area, etc. BIZ MGMT Use color as a driving force for an attractive display. (Image cour- tesy Transfer Express)

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