ST_Ch1_Pt3_Selling_and_Small_BusinessAs any decorator knows,  selling a decorated product takes a unique set of skills.   You have to understand the product,  including what can and can’t be done with the decoration technique in question.   You have to understand your market and the needs of your target customers.  Most of all,  you need to understand how the needs of your customers and the unique characteristics of your problem can come together,  and you have to show your customer how that can happen.

When it comes to sublimation, the first thing a decorator needs to understand is the strengths and limitations of sublimation as a decoration option. One large strength, of course, is that sublimation can be done on more items than garments or things made of cloth. Sublimation can be done on mugs, mousepads, clipboards, plaques and many more items. When selling sublimation, make sure you have plenty of examples or a look book of the hard good options available, so customers can see that sublimation is about more than just garments. Keep in mind this is also a great opportunity for upselling. Customers who buy garments may also want a coffee cup or a travel mug or a keepsake box emblazoned with their logo. Any additional item a customer buys is more money in your pocket, so make sure to seize every opportunity to super size an order.

One large weakness of sublimation, at least in some people’s eyes, is that it works best on polyester. A lot of people tend to equate polyester with the scratchy leisure suits of the 70’s or the old pantsuit that Grandma wore. The current polyester fabrics are nothing like the poly fabrics of old. In order to combat polyester prejudice, it’s always wise to have samples of the current poly fabrics on hand. Allowing customers to experience the new fabrics will go a long way toward combating any dislike of polyester they may have. Keep in mind that polyester prejudice can also be combated by offering hard goods instead of shirts.

Selling sublimation is like selling any other decoration technique, you need to emphasize the strengths and downplay the weaknesses. The biggest thing to remember is that selling sublimation will be most successful when you understand the needs of your client. Taking a few extra moments to talk about what’s needed and expected can go a long way toward making a sale.

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