Ask The Entreprenette

How to recover from a slow market week

how to recover from a slow market weekOk, so your sales rep finally calls (you have been calling & calling to get the sales numbers for market week) and gives you the the “not so great” news that sales are down and she is not sure why since “everyone loved it”, they just didn’t buy it……and you are heartbroken.  You worked so hard on this collection and were sure it would be a hit. And you were counting on the sales.

What now?

First things first!  Close up shop and call your BFF for an immediate martini rendez-vous so you can get your crying out of the way and get back on your game tomorrow.  There is NO time to lose.  Bitch and moan, cry, lament lost sales, complain about certain buyers who never buy from you, agree that this collection is not actually that great, assume your prices are too high, and above all, be sure to remind yourself that you totally suck as a designer!

Ok, got that all out of the way now……. back to your brilliant self and time to get into stealth recovery mode.

Here is what you are going to do:

1. Examine your line-sheets and see if there is someway you can rearrange them to make the line look fresh again and perhaps give it a different twist.

2. Revisit your product images and see if there is some way they can look better (perhaps they rock, but good to double check) since you will be doing most of the sales now via email and internet… want them to be awesome.

3. Come up with some great incentives to offer stores.  Could be a free item, free shipping, try to upsell for bigger discounts.

4. Call every single store you ever sold to (even the ones you think saw your line at market) and give them your best pitch.  This might takes days and days, but it is a necessity if you want to survive, so sell it like you mean it.

5. Call every single store you have ever wanted to be in but never got around to calling, or were to scared to call…….and even the stores you were too scared to be scared to call……AKA the biggest stores you can think of!

6. Revisit your celebrity list and see if you can get your stuff to someone popular (see this post on how to find the most popular celebs) ASAP.   If you can land a good one, send that out immediately (emergency on fire fast) to everyone on your entire mailing list……especially your mom if she likes to brag about you.

7. Email your online shoppers and offer them a preview sale on your new collection.  This will give you a good gauge on how it will sell once in stores too.  This also builds good will as they feel special being the first to sport your new stuff – and they’ll love ya for it.

8. Contact bloggers (only the amazing ones).  Offer them a product in exchange for a review.  Be sure to get it all over social media.

9. Speaking of social media, be sure to post your new collection on Pinterest (all the big designers do), offer a FB only preview special with a coupon code to track sales, as well as a twitter only sale with their unique code…..see where your traffic is coming from – win win, sell stuff and get some marketing research done too.

10. Reach out to every single person you know in the entire world and ask them to help promote your preview sales……. Send them a short email they can forward to their friends, ask if you can post it on their FB page (or they might offer so have a short blurb handy), ask them to tweet it, and don’t forget to offer them a better preview sale price….they’ll smile.

The only way to pull out of a market week disaster is to put the train into full motion and to not step on the break until you achieve your sales goals.  I guarantee you will be tired, but most likely you’ll also be a lot richer…….and you can sleep when your dead!

Here’s to more sales and a happy and fat bank account.


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    Written by Sarah Shaw

    There are 8 comments

  • Great article. You share so much practical, useful information. A good reminder of the level of perseverance and determination it takes to succeed. Thanks!

  • stephanie- says:

    Sending you a big ‘YOU ARE AWESOME’ hug for this listtoday! Happy Friday!

  • Amazing!!
    You make it so simple!!
    It’s always so useful and clear to read your articles.
    Thank you so much!!

  • Nice article Sarah. I like the approach… 1. Accept the bad news. 2. Cry it out. 3. Get your ass back in gear and sell!

    – Mike

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