Embroidery, Industry Tips

Importance of Salespeople in Apparel Industry


For most companies in apparel industry, though, selling to their accounts, especially for the first time, the operative route remains human beings for all but a handful of enterprises.

1.) Do you really need to have salespeople at all? No. The owner or senior staff wears lots of hats and one of them is or can be selling -­ that is, if “selling” indicates handling inquiries and helping customers place their orders. You don’t have to hire or engage additional sales personnel if order quoting and order taking are the primary responsibilities your company requires. lf, however, selling becomes a matter of looking for new business, expanding existing accounts, or is deemed critical to developing a better, more loyal, and more service-oriented function of your company, people who’ll be dedicated to hand ling and managing accounts will likely be the solution -regardless of whether you  call them “salespeople”  or “customer service representatives.”

salespeople2.) If so, what type of salespeople? The choices here are several

  1. Full-time or part-time?
  2. House representatives classified as employees or independent reps?
  3. Outside salespeople -the ones who work to a large extent in the field? Or,
  4. Inside salespeople who work the phones, the Internet, and handle other sales-related tasks?
  5. Customer service representatives , who are essentially on the receiving end of inquiries , as opposed to generating them, and who perform various non-selling tasks (order taking, sourcing, customer maintenance), and contact customers when  instructed  to do so.As you can see, the answer is far from simple.

3.) How should you pay them? Here, again, there are several choices that need to be determined.

  • Straight salary (or fixed hourly wages)?
  • Straight commission? (And how much?)
  • Draw against commission?
  • Salary plus incentives (commissions, bonuses, perks)?
  • Does the position require a vehicle – owned by the salesperson or by the company?
  • What expenses will the company cover (or reimburse)?

About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!