Creating sales for your fashion brand is one of the key activities for an entrepreneur. Whether you are doing the sales yourself or hiring someone there are certain steps you need to take in order to insure your success. For the purposes of this article we will be discussing selling wholesale to stores, big and small.
If you do these steps in order it will make a big difference in not only getting orders but also increasing the size of your orders. It will also encourage reorders and subsequent orders when you open up a new collection.
- Make sure your product is fabulous! While this may sound like a no brainer you would be surprised at how many people do lines that are just mediocre. First and foremost you need to know your products competitive edge. There are many lines out there and many that are doing what you want to do. Do we need another legging line? But, if what you are doing on your legging line is different and unique from your competitors then you have a reason to be. When developing your product make sure each body is as good as it can be. There needs to be a good price to value ratio so that the current price of your product relates to its intrinsic value. A balanced, well-designed assortment increases the likelihood of your getting an order.
- Identify your customer. I know everywhere you read they speak about identifying your customer. That’s because creating sales for your fashion brand relies on your getting to the customer that will not only buy your brand for their stores but also will sell it and be an ongoing customer. Creating sales for your brand is not a one and done undertaking. You must generate ongoing sales with each of your accounts and the best way of doing this is selling to the right stores that will sell your product well.
- Come up with a target list of stores to sell to. This is where you do your research. Thank goodness for the Internet. You can now let your fingers do the walking. You can either buy lists from the many lead generation companies or you can develop your own. In order to develop your own I suggest that you do Google searches for stores that sell your kind of product. For example: If you make expensive handbags, search for stores that sell high-end handbags in the USA. Or another way is to look by city. If you want to find stores in Philadelphia you can type in high end handbag stores in Philadelphia, PA
- Once you put together your list, now is the time to contact them. I always suggest 4 ways.
- Send a series of emails – make sure your emails are brief and to the point. Include some really good photos in the body of the email. You know what they say. Pictures say a thousand words
- Send something through the post office – There is nothing like getting a piece in the mail. It could be a look book, a postcard, or even a sample piece from your line. It’s much more engaging when a buyer has something they can open in their hands.
- Call the buyers – Most people avoid making phone calls. Lets face it – no one wants to be rejected. However this activity is very effective. Especially if it is in addition to emailing and sending out mailers. Personal connections are a great way to develop rapport.
- LinkedIn – I use this a lot. Reach out to buyers and management of retailers to make connections. You can also upgrade and use Sales Navigator, which will give you more options for outreach.
- Make appointments to show your collection and close the deal. The top result you want from your outreach is to get the appointment. Once you can visit with the store and present your line you will have an opportunity to get an order. When you show your line, first tell the story behind the brand and your vision for the company. Then when you present your product continue to inspire your buyer with a line that continues the story. Your samples must be correct, well made and pressed; you need a line list to give them with all the information, style number, price, sizes, etc. When presenting inform your potential client of all the features and benefits of each style. At the end of your presentation ask for the order! Or at the very least schedule a next step with your buyer. You should never end the appointment with a vague call to action. There should always be a concrete next step in place.
Now you have your 5 steps follow this in the order written and grow your sales for your brand.