Like most new fashion designers, I made a lot of mistakes when I was trying to launch my line. For most fashion designers, selling isn't easy - if you're a one-man show and doing all the work, you have to get comfortable picking up the phone to sell your line, otherwise you will have a gigantic business problem.
Unfortunately, it's not enough to just create something beautiful if the world doesn't know about it. But, if you're ready to launch a line, you've got to SELL it. Here's the top 5 sales tips I wish I had!
1. Create an elevator pitch. Sum up what your line is about and how it BENEFITS the consumer in a simple speech - 20 seconds or so. Practice it again and again -- in a tape recorder, to friends and family and even in front of the mirror -- until it is refined and you are truly comfortable with it.
2. When you sell wholesale, get the boutique's credit card information when they place the order. DO NOT give Net 30 terms (which means they get 30 days to pay). Call the store when you're ready to ship the order to confirm the amount, then charge their card BEFORE you ship the box. If you can't confirm the credit card, don't ship the goods.
3. If you're selling online to consumers, it's OK to use PayPal. If you're selling wholesale, you will need a credit card processor. You cannot expect boutiques to use PayPal - and it looks unprofessional.
4. When you ship the FIRST order to a boutique give them a surprise. Include a double of one item that they ordered as a little bonus (easier to do with accessories). This has 2 benefits; (1) the owner thinks "Wow, what a nice company to work with" and they won't forget you, and (2) you now have the store owner wearing your product - other people will see it, ask about it, and you'll sell more.
5. Focus on selling your current customers more, rather than getting new ones. It costs more money to make the first sale, right? But once you have a customer who likes and trusts you, the sales come easier.
If you need a confidence booster for sales, new designer group consulting can help. See how other designers are selling their line, and get feedback from an expert (me!).