Will You Be My Sales Rep?
Finding a sales rep as a new brand is no easy feat. You have to find a rep that believes in your brand and is willing to nurture it to its full potential.
It really takes warm-up time to build brands up…and in those times you nor your sales rep will be making any “real,” money so to speak. In fact you may want to plan on losing some.
That said…you as well as the rep you choose must be willing to be patient and prepared to deal with a bit of uncertainty as you climb the proverbial success ladder together.
To find a showroom/sales rep in Los Angeles I recommend looking up brands you’d like to share a showroom with on the LA fashion district website directory. This directory contains all of the lines showing in “The Intersection,” which includes (The LA Mart, The New Mart and the Gerry and Cooper Buildings.)
When you search this directory look for lines you may be compatible with not competitive with. You want to find a showroom that does not house direct competitors but that the same stores that buy the lines they carry may also be interested in your products as well.
Once you find some leads…walk by…take a peek in and see if it suits your company. If it does ask if they are accepting new lines…and if they would take a meeting with you.
If you get to the meeting stage it’s time to put your best foot forward. If you even think you want them…sell yourself and your new company like nobody’s business…get them to really want you.
Start the meeting by showing the the rep completed sales samples, marketing materials and sharing the long term vision of your company. Reps love to see that you have a long term vision and a plan to get there. Your communication skills will be key. You want to vividly display the passion and commitment you have for making your business grow.
You also should highlight stores you’ve gotten into without a showroom (yes..you should be trying to get yourself in at least a few brand building stores before taking on a showroom), press coverage you may have received, mention investors so they understand your business is secure and don’t forget to bring up your past work experience to give them insight into your competency as a businessperson.
Once you have them where you want them….It’s time to start negotiating things like commission percentage, rent fees and the term of your agreement.
The better you present yourself the more flexible the showroom will become. Give them the reason to believe they have much more to gain…than to lose by taking you under their sales umbrella. Even though showrooms tend to have a bit of a chi-chi…boo-boo snob appeal at the end of the day they are in the sales business and need you as much as you need them.
Present a great product…a great strategy and a strong business acumen and carrying your line can quickly go from getting a straight “NO,” to becoming a “NO-brainer.”
So don't be scared...Find the showroom you want and go after them with everything you've got...