I would recommend a couple of different messages – one that’s focused on what’s trending for apparel, the other focused on branding. In either case, you’re positioned as an expert who’s able to share knowledge that can help them.
For the trends message, we’ve been talking a lot about a unique type of apparel we call “The Indescribables.” The basic idea is that we’ve got a number of new styles that don’t fit the typical consumer categories with which we’re all so familiar. Styles like our Perren Lightweight Jacket go well beyond what many describe as “athleisure,” with the versatility to cross over between sport, leisure and corporate.
So when people tell you they’re looking for a sweatshirt, fleece, pullover or jacket, we’ve got this unique collection of crossover and hybrid pieces to show them.
It’s an easy introduction. Just present a piece like our Tremblant Knit Jacket, for example, and ask your client directly, “If you were to ask me for a piece like this, how would you do it?” The answer is typically, “I couldn’t have,” because these trendy crossover styles transcend traditional categories. And at that moment, you’ve established yourself as the expert with an array of trendy new products to show.
But finding the right product is just the first step. It’s a big win, but there’s still work to do, which brings us to the branding part of your upsell. The reality is that you can provide your client with a garment that offers the perfect combination of style and performance, but the wrong approach to embellishment can negate the impact for the brand. Because if the decoration method or location isn’t right, it’ll not only affect the look, it’ll make it far less likely that people will wear the garment.
Say your customer is a bank, and the client tells you, “I need a polo.” If the dialogue ends there, you take the old good/better/best approach with left-chest embroidery. But let’s say you advance the dialogue, digging a little further: “A bank? Terrific. Tell me more about the demographic. Is this for an event? What do we want the garment to communicate?”
Maybe the client responds like this, “Actually, I’m glad you asked. This polo will be a giveaway at a golf outing for our top clients. We don’t want to give them the ‘same old, same old.’ We want something modern and stylish, yet understated and timeless. We don’t want a brand name, though. This is champagne taste on a beer budget, and we want our brand to be the name they remember.”
You could respond like this: “Excellent. I’ve got a beautiful, private-label polo with a tonal textured finish, plus a moisture-wicking and snag-resistant finish. It’s really versatile too – it works just as well at the office as it does on the golf course. But to ensure we create that brand visibility with a piece that will be worn again and again, what’s really important is the decoration. We’d recommend something like a subtle tone-on-tone deboss of the logo on the left sleeve cuff.”
Or maybe the client responds to your original questions like this: “Actually, I’m glad you asked. The polo will be for a trade show where the bank will be introducing a new mobile app. It’s called ‘Rocket Banking,’ and we have some new graphic elements we want to incorporate. We’re looking for something bold, colorful and eye-catching.”
Here’s your response: “Oh, that sounds exciting. We can help you create a true showpiece. For example, we’ve got a terrific polo in the same bright citron as the bank’s primary brand color. If you did a large laser etching of the rocket graphic across the chest and over the side seam, it’ll definitely get the attention of people walking past the booth. We could also do a high-detail transfer of the bank’s primary logo on the opposite sleeve, plus a single transfer of the rocket graphic on the back yoke in metallic silver to play off the treatment of the polo’s buttons.”
The key to this upsell, of course, is initiating a conversation that really digs in to the brand and the specific nature of the promotion. That allows you to offer your expertise of not only the apparel, but what it takes to create a truly unique branded piece. We’re not talking about something they can price out online or bid out to a competitor, and even on an emotional level, you’ve established a connection through your hard work and the thought you’ve given to their brand.