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we are not a brand- how to find customers

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by KAM LONDON, Jan 3, 2017.


    KAM LONDON UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 1
    Hello there,

    We are UK based small ladies wear fashion supplier. After having worked in the same industry over 15 years, my own company was started in 2013. I found one UK brand from LinkedIn and managed get orders from them after having done many developments. I believe this is a rare occasion as we have so far unable find any more customers from the same source. We have one person operation in the UK (home based) while all other activities have been out sourced in China. Company has grown slowly and so far create some sizable turn over. However, company is heavily rely on this one customer at present .I am very versatile in this industry in all the areas except sales and marketing. Although I have had direct communication related the product related matters with retailers and brands, I have had no opportunities to sell products in my previous roles. Such connections are now no longer valid.

    We are not a brand, but a White Label company who can design and manufacture products for retailers and brands. I have been to reputable fashion trade fairs as a visitor to study the process. Since we do not manufacture in the UK, I feel, to show case at such faire is less effective (also very costly) and also I am not a sales type person.

    I am wondering as how to reach to customers,

    1. If I have to hire a sales person, I need to be office based. So I need to pay a basic salary+ commission + office rent. I believe it will take minimum 6 months to open an account with a customer. Is this the only option?

    2. Is it worth investing on digital marketing than a sales person ?
    Any comments/ ideas will be greatly appreciated as to what kind of marketing and sales strategy I should use to have few more customers.

    Thank you for reading this

    Posted: Jan 3, 2017 By: KAM LONDON Member since: Jan 3, 2017
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 25,906 Likes: 7,674
    Unless you can take the products to prospects how are they going to know to use your services? You need to get out on the road and start making appointments.

    If you are not a sales person you need to hire/employ someone who is. They will go out and find the leads.

    Why is it expensive to go to the trade shows? Surely you have all your samples in the UK to show prospective customers so why not take them to the show.
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  3. Idosell Shop

    Idosell Shop UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 151 Likes: 14
    I believe the first option is a must since you run a white label business. Digital marketing will be a waste of money at this stage. Provide to your customers the superior service to build up market position.
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: Idosell Shop Member since: Dec 2, 2016
  4. Oliver King

    Oliver King UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 24 Likes: 6
    Hi there. I'm a massive advocate for digital marketing, and it still can help - but you need to find your target audience and buyers. These people would still potentially have social accounts such as Twitter / LinkedIn.

    An alternative way I guess is to create a 'buzz' by connecting into the fashion based marketing etc and see if that leads to people contacting you..

    Ultimately I think you either need to go for a sales / inside sales to get you appointments, some sort of partner or paying someone via commission
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: Oliver King Member since: Dec 29, 2016
  5. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,173 Likes: 198
    Before recruiting anyone, make a list of all the people you can think of who you can sell to. For a salesperson to work for you they will either need their own connections (these can be easily overstated) or connections of your own. Your business will sink or swim dependent on who you know.

    Again, before recruiting, do what @fisicx says: you've got to get out and meet and talk with these people yourself. And don't forget "persistence pays off"!
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
  6. webgeek

    webgeek UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,637 Likes: 1,355
    Big juicy photos, posted on several social sites and your own site / blog is a key.

    You can blog about fabric choices, responsible sourcing, local this and imported that, how wholesale bulk purchasing can save them x%, lead times, styles up and coming, and so forth.

    Then, using your list of thousands of decision makers you put together from list purchase, industry knowledge, scraping, wherever, you start pinging them each week one of your emails when you post something on the blog, which you've mentioned on your social accounts, with juicy photos everywhere.

    Valuable content, shared socially, emailed to the business decision makers will drive interest - which you can then use to make smart appointments to sell.
    Posted: Jan 5, 2017 By: webgeek Member since: May 19, 2009

    KAM LONDON UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 1
    Thanks Oliver. Please can you explain more on fashion base marketing.
    Posted: Jan 5, 2017 By: KAM LONDON Member since: Jan 3, 2017

    KAM LONDON UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 1
    @webgeek- Thank you very much for your comments. Is it worth hiring a blogger though ours is not a brand ? What is the best place to find brand names if we are to have a brand name in the business. We cannot use our business name as the brand as it does not sound related to ladies fashion. But would like to keep the company name as it is and have a trade name.
    Once again, thank you for the commnets
    Posted: Jan 5, 2017 By: KAM LONDON Member since: Jan 3, 2017
  9. Oliver King

    Oliver King UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 24 Likes: 6
    Hi there. The idea is raised is basically to create demand for your product. I'm not saying it is the perfect way to go about your business but something to think about...

    Posted: Jan 5, 2017 By: Oliver King Member since: Dec 29, 2016

    KAM LONDON UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4 Likes: 1
    Hello Everyone
    Thank you very much for your valuable comments. I have now decided to hire a sales person on part time basis ( 3 days a week) I am listing down all the potential customers as @Nochcxman suggested.
    As this is a complete new experience for me, I would like to know whether I should ask the sale person to come up with his/her contact list first before I reveal my list.
    Does company needs to develop the marketing strategy or this should come from the sale person for company to review?
    My questions may be very basic level. But really appreciate your comments.

    Many Thanks
    Posted: Jan 7, 2017 By: KAM LONDON Member since: Jan 3, 2017
  11. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,173 Likes: 198
    Sorry, missed this first time around.

    Don't ask a sales person for a contact list specifically. However, it might be reasonable to expect that a sales person will have a profile on Linkedin that is choc full of worthwhile contacts you can have a peep at.

    And you and your company need the marketing strategy. You need to be able to tell the sales person what you expect of them.
    Posted: Jan 19, 2017 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
  12. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,173 Likes: 198
    Hey Kam, would be interested to know how you got on?
    Posted: Mar 13, 2017 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
  13. miaedwards

    miaedwards UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 31 Likes: 1
    Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to get good customers even if you are not a brand. For that you have to set proper SEO campaign for your website and measure the result of it. Initially if you are a newbie then I'll suggest you to go for Google AdWords. then after that make your move to the organic SEO as it takes time to generate results
    Posted: Mar 16, 2017 By: miaedwards Member since: Mar 6, 2017
  14. Needl Analytics

    Needl Analytics UKBF Contributor Full Member

    Posts: 32 Likes: 5
    If your driving good turnover from one client, it sounds like you are account managing that client very well. most typically, people who are not sales orientated do themselves down when it comes to their actual talent in sales. most customers want to talk to someone with knowledge who is passionate. I would have thought exhibitions and events, although costly, were more suited to your 1 to 1 strengths than trying to create classic online marketing strategies. ideally, you would hire someone who can run that side, but don't lose control of the content.
    Posted: Mar 16, 2017 By: Needl Analytics Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  15. Maulik Patel

    Maulik Patel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 5 Likes: 0
    Appreciate your efforts. And also, you are doing great.

    Anyways, you have the challenge to bring new local and international leads, right? To achieve this goal, there are lots of things you need to do in the well-organized way that gets you fruitful results.

    There are different strategies to market the product and services. And I think, you need both internet marketer and sales representative. Here I would like to share something related.

    My suggestion is to choose the best marketing channels for short and long term goals. For example, PPC, Paid Social media advertising for short term, Inbound marketing and SEO for a long term.

    Then decide the budget for each channel you can spend. Then set up a SMART goal for each channel with your marketing manager or marketing partner firm.

    Now, you must have clear work reporting formats for each team and the individual employee. On regular interval, you should check report and progress towards the goals. If you find any glitch or inactivity, set up a meeting and resolve it quickly. By doing this kind of approach you will achieve your business' short and long-term goals.
    Posted: Mar 28, 2017 By: Maulik Patel Member since: Mar 7, 2017