Slow Economy? Simply Slam-dunk Sales
THE CULTURE OF sport is everywhere. In the boardroom, managers are quarterbacking projects while employees take care of basic blocking and tackling. Good political speeches are home runs and off the field, everyone knows the terms “chip shot” and “gimme.” In light of this, Promo Marketing talked to three industry experts about the state of selling team and sport products with special emphasis on how distributors can continue to prosper with an economy that has lost a step or two.
CONTROL THE PACE OF THE GAME
Whether it’s grinding out a nine-minute drive before halftime in football or putting pressure on the ball as it’s brought up the court in basketball, the team that dictates the tempo usually wins. In sales, especially during a downturn, it’s important to think about the basic sales strategies which may not be so relevant in a stronger market. According to John Ricci, field sales manager for the Yorktown Heights, New York-based Game Sportswear, a distributor should focus on managing the conversation. “I would ask the customer what category of product do they have interest in, such as moisture-management polos, fleece, work wear, nylon tops, warm-ups and wool leather jackets,” he said, adding the emphasis should be on the end-users’ product interest, not the target cost range. “If you start with the price sensitivity, it’s harder to sell up,” Ricci added.
GIVE THE FANS WHAT THEY WANT
People don’t pay to see Manny Ramirez bunt or Annika Sorenstam hit irons out of the tee box. People want the long ball, the long drive, and end-users are people too. For distributors, the goal is to lead off with winning products that provide every advantage to make the sale. For Deryl W. Fauss, vice president of sales and marketing for Montgomery, Texas-based Spirit Industries, this means providing products made in the U.S. “95 to 98 percent of the products we carry in our line are made here in the USA,” said Fauss. “This means a great deal to me and to others, I believe.”