Hiring the right fashion sales reps can make the difference between success and little to no business booked. Like hiring anyone there is a right way and a wrong way. Finding someone takes time and you should meet with several before making a decision. Here are 5 things to consider before signing someone on.
Are the lines the rep carries compatible with yours? You want your collection to be surrounded by lines that would sell to the same customer you sell to. If you have high end contemporary apparel than you want to be in a showroom that focuses on high end contemporary stores. It does you no good to have your line seen by stores who could not sell your product.
Does this fashion sales rep have lines that compete with yours? If you make cotton shirts and the rep you are talking to already has a line making cotton shirts than this is not the place for you. There is enough competition out there, you don’t need to have your own rep splitting his efforts.
Is the image of the salesperson appropriate? Whether the rep is traveling the road or has a showroom, the whole package should be right. If you are selling children clothes it doesn’t make sense to be positioned with someone who’s image is of a black leather biker. You also want someone who is professional and has polish no matter what the market is.
Does the fashion sales rep want your line? Salespeople must really believe that what they are selling has merit and is a good product. If you have to convince someone to take a line they don’t want chances are they won’t do any business. The best rep for you is the one who is excited about your product.
Is the rep a hard worker? Are they there if you call first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. How long till they return your calls? Do they travel to see stores? This is a harder thing to determine from talking to someone. Get references and speak to the references. Have your questions written down so you won’t forget what to ask.
While getting the right answer to these questions is no guarantee that you will have good business not having the right answers will guarantee you won’t. Remember you have to work with this person or people so you should like interacting with them. Having a good feeling about them goes a long way. If your gut tells you they aren’t right than trust yourself. Keep interviewing till you find the one that is the right fit.
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Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!