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3 Tips for More Quality Leads

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Wearables

In a perfect world, sales reps would get heaps of warm leads from their marketing department, leaving plenty of time to cultivate a sale. Unfortunately, that’s too often the exception and not the rule, and the rep is frequently the one coming up with the leads.

Generate Leads

In this month’s Wearables‘ Business feature, Staff Writer Christopher digs up some great ideas on how sales pros can generate leads quickly and effectively. Looking to get more quality leads? Then this article is for you! In the meantime, here are three quick tips to better leads:

  • Start a blog: According to HubSpot, companies that blog six to eight times per month double their lead volume.
  • Get active in the community: Coaching, volunteering at community clean-up days, helping out at local fundraisers for reputable organizations – all are great ways to broaden your network of contacts and connect with potential customers.
  • Improve your Website: Populate your site with content – videos, blogs, articles – that positions you as a promotional products expert. Frequently update the site and optimize it with relevant keywords to help you rank high in organic searches related to promo products and your locale. – CR

How A T-Shirt May Save A Life – The Story of Haley Bellows

Filed under: Education, General, Wearables

Haley BellowsDuring last week’s college and professional football games I couldn’t help but notice the presence of the color pink. It seemed to be everywhere – on uniforms, penalty flags and even on the logos of some of the teams. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I knew what it all stood for, and I began to count my blessings. As a man in my forties, I have every reason to be thankful that this terrible disease known as cancer has had little effect on my friends and family throughout the years. At least, so far.

Then I read the October cover story of Wearables magazine, and I nearly lost it.

About a young college woman named Haley Bellows who, with the help of her friends and a tight-knit campus community, has taken cancer head-on, this is the kind of story that puts everything into perspective. Having a bad day because you forgot your umbrella and your hair got wet? Read about a normal day in Haley’s life and I guarantee your damp locks won’t seem that bad. The story describes in detail what Bellows went through upon being diagnosed, the joy of going into remission only to be squashed by a relapse, and how one T-shirt with the slogan “Eff Cancer” just might save her life.

This is a great read by C.J. Mittica and I recommend it highly. Kudos to Haley … keep fighting, girl! And Eff Cancer!

See a video of Haley shaving her head as a reminder of how awful cancer is. And here are a few images of Haley and her friends.

Hot Trend – Hoodies and Sweatshirts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Hoodies and SweatshirtsNow that fall is nearly here, cool-weather apparel is all the rage. And nothing is hotter than hoodies and sweatshirts.

This month’s issue of Wearables magazine launches a new section called “Trends” where you’ll find the hottest apparel and accessories, along with tips and advice on how to sell them. Included in September: Leopard Prints, Motorcycle Jackets, Varsity Jackets, ID Bracelets and, of course, Hoodies and Sweatshirts. Click on the article for more, and in the meantime here are two tips for selling hoodies and sweatshirts:

  1. Consider the audience. All sweatshirts are not the same. When Daniel Broudy, vice president of sales for Clayton Kendall (asi/162968), is selling to a client in construction, he will recommend a brand like Carhartt that has a strong reputation in that industry. “In the collegiate market,” he continues, “I would recommend a more fashionforward line such as American Apparel (asi/35297) or Alo (asi/35950) which have sleeker designs and nice brand recognition.”
  2. Pay attention to the details. Turning casual inquiries into sales means providing exhaustive details about product specifcations and issues such as shipping arrangements, all while patiently working collaboratively with the client. Did the client want color-contrast laces? Companion hoodie and crew-neck styles? Don’t gloss over the small stuff. “Getting larger orders takes time,” says Salmaan Andani, director of business development for Jerico (asi/63304).

T-Shirt Donations Needed For Charity Event

Filed under: Wearables

C.J. MitticaFrom guest blogger C.J. Mittica, editor of Wearables magazine.

Wearables has an upcoming cover story for October about apparel that helps charities and saves lives. In the process of gathering stories, one of its readers reached out for help with his charitable event. Neil Jorge of A Better Copy is hosting an event on September 14th called Comics 4 A Cure. The event uses artwork from professional comic book artists to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Throughout the year the group uses comic book art therapy for sick and dying children in Florida hospitals. Neil is looking for a supplier to donate 70 black T-shirts for the event.

If you are interested in donating, contact Wearables editor C.J. Mittica at cmittica@asicentral.com.

5 Ways to Improve Client Retention

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Improve Client RetentionFact: Over two-thirds of customers who stop doing business with a company leave because of the treatment they receive from YOU.

With times as tough as they are these days, that’s a telling stat. Your competitors might be doing something better than you, but that’s not why some of your business is leaving you in the dust. This month’s Wearables “Business Toolkit” feature is loaded with tons of great advice on everything from creating effective and cheap content marketing to going retail. Check it out here, and in the meantime here are 5 ways you can improve your client retention:

  1. Distinguish between a bad client and a difficult client
  2. Listen to your customers
  3. Have organized systems in place
  4. Nurture the relationship
  5. Follow-up is paramount to success

Top 10 Apparel Exporters

Filed under: Tip of the Day

China flagIt’s no surprise that China has dominated the apparel manufacturing landscape, but could changing conditions like rising transportation costs cause a shift in power? Unlikely, but China’s loosened grip has certainly opened up more opportunity for other countries. This month’s Wearables magazine cover story “To Every Corner Of The World” examines how some countries are looking elsewhere to source garments. It’s a great read and answers a lot of questions, including: Which countries are apparel companies turning to now for production?

Read it now, and in the meantime here are the top 10 apparel exporters in the world. (Data from the World Trade Organization):

  1. China ($153B)
  2. Hong Kong ($24.5B)
  3. Italy ($23.2B)
  4. Bangladesh ($20B)
  5. Germany ($19.6B)
  6. India ($14.4B)
  7. Turkey ($14B)
  8. Vietnam ($13.1B)
  9. France ($11B)
  10. Spain ($9.3B)

Pantone’s Color of the Year 2013 – Emerald

Filed under: Wearables

Pantone Color of the Year 2013 - EmeraldI love the color green, and all the shades in between, especially the warmer ones like turquoise and teal. That’s why I was so happy to see that Pantone selected a shade of green — Emerald — as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013.

How exactly does this affect the promotional products industry? If you deal in apparel, then you know that ASI has its finger on the pulse of fashion trends and our Wearables magazine devotes ink each issue to the hottest hues and how you can use them.

Want to see some cool examples of emerald in action and how to pair it with other hues? Then you don’t want to miss this issue of Wearables Fashion Sense.

3 Tips for Blogging Success

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Wearables

Tips for Blogging SuccessAnyone can start a blog these days, but how can you turn yours into a successful one?

Well, a great start would be to know who your audience is and to deliver useful content to them. Or else, what’s the sense, right?

In a recent WearablesBusiness Toolkit” article, well-known industry bloggers like Bobby Lehew (Robyn Promotions) and Mark Graham (Rightsleeve, Inc.) weigh in on how to increase customer loyalty and attract new customers simply by creating and maintaining a valuable blog. Eager to learn more? Then click here! And in the meantime, here are 3 tips for success from prolific blogger Brad White (Boundless Network):

  1. Commit: Writing a blog is not a one-time experience; it is a continuing process. If you don’t have proper time to work on it, don’t do it.
  2. Read blogs: There are some really great blogs out there that can provide good examples.  Don’t copy what they do, but get a feel for how other bloggers approach the craft.
  3. Publicize: Use your existing social media channels to promote the blog, e-mail it to people who would find your content valuable and ask people to share it.

5 Team-Building Tips

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Wearables

Team Building TipsAs a New York sports fan, I know that my teams will never fail because the owners aren’t dishing out tons of dough to high-profile players. The way they perform *as a team* on the fields, rinks and courts determines the success of the team, not the individuals’ performances, which brings me to the subject of today’s blog: Building success through teamwork.

You can have the best people in place, but they have to work well with others in order for success to be achieved. A recent article in Wearables magazine maps out how a communal mentality and team-building exercises can really help achieve your goals as a business, and how to deal with those who don’t play well in the sandbox. Check out this article, “There’s No ‘I’ In Team,” now for more, and in the meantime here are 5 team-building tips.

  1. Clearly communicate the collective goal and the role each employee should play to help the team meet that objective.
  2. Make sure you are engaged and set a positive tone. 
  3. Involve all team members in the decision-making process. This creates more commitment to solutions/plans-of-action from each individual.
  4. Engage in team-building activities and participate together in social events.
  5. Celebrate as a team when goals are achieved and recognize individuals for the roles they played in making the team a success.

5 Proven Lead Generators

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Cold CallingDid you know: It takes about 100 calls to yield 30 decicion-makers, who after two to four appointments will then yield a new client or deal?

Phew, that seems like a lot and it is, but you’ve got to put in the time if you’re gonna “always be closing” right? But thankfully it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. The current issue of Wearables magazine has some excellent advice on proven lead generators, identifying the perfect client, handling buyer objections and more. Check out this “Sales Buzz” article now, and in the meantime here are 5 proven lead generators to whet your whistle:

  • Cold calling. Knock on doors or pick up the phone. You may start with a gatekeeper but can likely get a name of a decision-maker when you inquire politely.
  • Referrals. Ask for leads from your current clients.
  • Business networking. Join a minimum of two networking groups such as an association in your area of market expertise or your local chamber of commerce.
  • Social networking. People want to work with people with whom they have something in common. Therefore, joining clubs related to your hobbies or getting involved with your child’s PTA can ultimately yield sales leads. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter also serve as socially-driven lead-generation tools.
  • Internet research. Use the Internet to mine for leads in a specific region or industry or for a particular size of business.

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