Can’t deliver product? Vendors not able to deliver on a timely basis or at all? You’re not alone! Every August/September, selling team sporting goods becomes painful. 50% of the texts and calls are from customers wondering when their product will arrive. The other 50% are from customers who want to order and get the product delivered ASAP. There is no secret formula to avoid all problems during this busy time. But, there are a few ways that you can better manage your business.
Spend time being available for your customers
Make sure you are available to talk or respond to your customers. They want feedback. As good as it is to go out and get new business, you must make sure you set time aside to manage your current orders. The goal is to grow your business, you can’t do that if you are losing customers because they become frustrated with your lack of response.
Sell what’s available
Your company probably stocks some product. Make sure you know what you stock and sell your customer into that product. Don’t just take orders-make sure you sell what you can deliver.
Get up an hour earlier and look at the inventory of the brands you sell the most of. Check out what they have in stock. You don’t want to be caught going back an forth with your customer on what is in stock. Know before you go.
Sell the right brands
When you need quick turnaround, make sure you are selling the brands that can service the best in a short period. One example of this is SANMAR.
Sanmar has 8 warehouses strategically situated around the country. These warehouses can ship product to most places in the US in under 3 days, with most locations falling into 1 or 2-day ship. Even better, they offer a late cutoff time for same day ship. Most cutoff times are either 4 or 5 pm with UPS ground. Check out the warehouse locations and shipping cutoff times here: https://www.sanmar.com/about/shippingcutofftimes.jsp .
A lot of team sales reps think of Sanmar as a t-shirt company. But, they are so much more. Think of the Sportek lineup. This product mix of imprintable gear can service teams well. Items like moisture management t-shirts, shorts, jerseys, and travel gear are available throughout the whole lineup. One of my favorite items to sell is the ST350 T-shirt. This moisture management shirt is a value-priced shirt that features PosiCharge technology to “lock in color and prevent logo’s from fading”. This shirt comes in long sleeve, short sleeve, men’s and women’s styles. https://www.sanmar.com/cs/CatalogBrowser?todo=ss&productId=ST350
Another good example of a brand that can deliver quick is Garb Athletics. https://jockstrapsales.com/2017/07/15/garb-custom-uniforms/ Garb manufacturers fully customizable uniforms in 4-6 weeks. Garb has lots of fabrics to choose from as well as sublimation, embroidery and twill decoration.
Check on product early
Make sure you are checking on your orders through the summer. I know this is your time to take the foot off the gas; but, if you can get in front of your orders before they ask, then you will have that much more time to go and sell. Plus, when you ask your rep to help you before the busy period, they will have more time to spend on your orders. Which brings me to my next point: If you have an issue, make sure and get your local rep involved. They are going to know how to get the product delivered or at least give you some options.
Your not alone
This is a tough time of year. Your not alone. We are all going through it to some extent. If you don’t have problems, you are probably either the most organized person on the planet or you don’t sell enough. Keep plugging along and Christmas will be here before you know it.