Tips for Selling Your Line At Market

Mary Jane Smokewear

Now that you’ve come to the point where you’ve created your first line, and have your samples ready to show, how are you going to introduce it to the marketplace? While there are a few different choices, presenting it in the professional setting of a tradeshow is a great one.  Buyers will already be there, and more buyers will see it in less time than if you were running to them. Therefore, you have increased the possibility of getting more orders in a very efficient setting.

Check out the stores, first, to make sure you know which ones are merchandising to your target market. You’ll see what other lines the store is carrying and you’ll be able to determine if the store is selling to your target customer.  Also, it gives you face time with the buyer.  It’s much easier to work with a buyer you know than one you don’t.

Now that you’ve decided to spend the money to lease booth (or showroom) space to present your line at market, what’s next?  If you’ve done your homework you’ve made a list of stores and buyers you want to have see your line.  Make sure you call them and set appointments if you can. Sending out a marketing piece such as a postcard, prior to your call campaign is a really good idea.

So far, so good, but every trade show has multiple booths with lines displayed, and reps or designers who want to attract the same buyers you may be targeting.  That’s where these tips come in handy.

Create an eye-catching display. Find out ahead of time exactly what you’re getting in terms of booth space. Make a sign to fit in the booth with your logo and the name of your line that can be seen from across the room. Keep your table neat and tidy, and make sure you have plenty of line sheets and get some promotional giveaways such as brochures, or pens, etc., with your company’s name on them.

Bri Bridge

Wear Your Product. At market in the fashion world, dress code only exists so far as your product is concerned. No one can make it work like you can.

Giveaways. A pen with your company name on it, or notebooks (small ones are fine). If you have more money to spend on marketing, tote bags are great. Anything disposable is less effective.

Look Book. Keep your look book handy for the buyers to see. You may want to put it on a disc they can take with them.

Be Approachable. Buyers will have questions and enjoy chatting with the designer or knowledgeable reps.  Other exhibitors may come over with friends or colleagues. Your first responsibility is to any buyer you’re working with, but be polite.

Always Get a Business Card. You’ll be seeing buyers you may not have encountered before. Building your buyer database is essential for growing your business. After market, shoot buyers a “nice to meet you” e-mail. Don’t forget to include your contact information. Some buyers may miss the market for one reason or another.  You will want to make appointments with them to go out to their store and show the line, or maybe even do a trunk show.  It may be a lot of work, but you’ll be glad you did it.

*We love feedback! Post a comment or question about this article and you might win a free Phoenix Fashion Week t-shirt!

Article by Liz Riley, Editor

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

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