sales advice from a fashion newbie

Okay, who am I kidding, there is nothing fashionable about sales.

Yet, what is a (retail) company without sales? I am a firm believer that a business is not a business without cash flow. In other words, you must have buyers who are willing to hand you cash, write you a cheque or go into debt for your product.

It doesn’t start with trade shows, networking or a store location. It starts simply with figuring out who exactly will be wearing your product. I find this the hardest part of all. How will you know this unless you try to sell it to them? You obviously could consult your “bullet proof” business plan but even that is made up of extrapolated demographic statistics. No, 1% of the male market in Toronto may not going to buy my product, but a male executive with disposable income may buy my product.

Instead of dipping my toe into the red ocean, I jumped in feet first. Through it all I knew I had absolutely nothing to lose, so why not risk it all? Some of us are not that lucky. Here are some sales survival tips:

1. Don’t spend any money unless you have to. The irony of it all is I started my company by selling suits without even having a sample. Why did I ever think I needed to have an impressive  showroom?

2. You must have passion and persistence in starting a company. Your passion will speak for you when you are convincing others of your grand idea. Your persistence will stay with you even when you are not making millions 2 years later but are still trying to make it work.

3. FOLLOW UP, follow up and follow up. If your prospect is even somewhat interested in your product then you can sell them on it. If not today, then sometime in the next few months. If you don’t sell them then someone else will.

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