I’ve heard it said, that the best sales people out there don’t try to do a hard sale. Instead, they lead very softly. In fact, it’s often so soft that the person they’re talking to doesn’t even realize they’re being sold. I can remember back in the old days where I would have an appointment to meet with the business owner. The first thing I would do when I walked into that office is notice what’s on his desk or what’s hanging on his wall. For example, let’s say it was a fish that he had caught and had mounted. I would bring it up and get him to start talking about it. This was a huge Icebreaker! The point I’m making here is that normally a person’s favorite subject to discuss is themselves. I hadn’t even mentioned custom t-shirts or embroidery and the guy already liked me and we had a connection. If I happen to see a trophy on a shelf or on his desk, I would do the same thing. I would say something like, I see you play golf. How did you win that trophy? Before I knew it, 15 minutes had went by and I said very little. This guy thought I was one of the greatest conversationalists ever and in reality, I hardly said a thing. Lesson to be learned here, the best sales people not only know what to say, but even more importantly, they know how to listen. In other words, it’s not necessarily always what you say but what you don’t say can be very important.
There’s certainly advantages to starting a St Louis t-shirt printing company being that we are located in the Midwest. The big advantage is that every time the season goes from hot to cold or vice versa the potential customer is going to need more apparel going from long sleeve to short or lightweight to heavyweight jackets, etc. The key is to somehow create that perceived value in your customer’s eyes that gives him a reason to give you a chance over the next guy who’s trying to get the same order. That approach would be to start out with an extremely attractive price point. This would be a good reason for them to give you a shot at the new order. Once you have this opportunity, then it’s up to you to make sure the job was done with excellence as well as delivered on time. You might even throw in a little something extra that they didn’t even order such as a hooded sweatshirt. He’ll not only appreciate the nice gesture but it plants a seed. He’ll be wearing that around and the other people in the office will take notice of that and ask where’s mine? Before you know it, the phone is ringing and he’s got a brand new order for those hoodies.
In reality, a free sample floating around the office, is an extremely powerful sales tool . This is a great example of what I was referring to when I said that the best salespeople I ever met use a soft sale method.