Increase Your Sweat Equity
IT IS AUGUST and the East Coast has been sweating it out in a massive 90-degree-plus heat wave since June, so it's highly unlikely that the cruel, grueling sub-zero temperatures of winter are at the forefront of anyone's mind. However, allow the chill to enter your thoughts. Picture, if you will, Chicago in January, as a construction team prepares to journey out to a project site, or an electrical company crew braves blizzard conditions to restore power at 5 a.m. It may not be cold now, but winter, without a doubt, will come.
In these hard-core conditions, there are still people who have to leave the cozy warmth of their fleece blankies to battle mother nature. For these folks, there are two key priorities: stay warm and stay dry. The key for the serious work crew or extreme outdoor enthusiast to maintaining warmth and dryness is high-quality work gear. Your key as a distributor salesperson is to use this summer's sweat equity to start selling into the profitable work wear niche.
Seasonal color and fashion trends be damned, what counts in this sector is the caliber of the product. "Make sure you supply quality work wear," said Robert Klein, president, Pella Products, Pella, Iowa. "Nothing fails as fast or gives as bad of an impression as work wear that doesn't measure up." A truer statement has never been uttered. If the poor fellow on top of an electrical pole in the midst of a February ice storm develops a tear in his coveralls and freezing water starts to enter the "dry zone," it will be you, the distributor salesperson who sold him the attire, who will be etched in his frostbitten mind.
With that being said, the most important trend in this niche is better technology. Jessica Strain, sales and marketing administrator for Dri Duck Traders, Overland Park, Kan., noted, "The latest trends in rugged work wear are all focused around technology." Strain elaborated that the market is looking for, "Rugged work wear that is waterproof, windproof and breathable [and will] keep the wearer comfortable regardless of the outdoor elements."