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Discussion Starter #1
Been reaching out to more and more wholesale accounts lately. Hand selecting/building our lists, sending out catalogs, packets, samples, etc - and having some moderate success.

With that in mind - we realized that getting into a few showrooms might be advantageous to reach more customers.

Contacted a few of them - and had some red flags come up during conversation.

A few of the basic ones such as:

What areas are you selling to?
What % of sales are you expecting for commission?

Didn't really cause any alarm.

But then I was asked for a list of customers we are currently selling to.

I'm thinking - OK - I can see this as a potential conflict of interest discussion. At this point we are still on the 2nd/3rd email exchange - and the rep hasn't even expressed direct interest in even carrying our line.

I reply with a general response to the list of customers question (i.e. - mostly small boutiques on the coasts, etc) and I am hit in reply again with: Send me a list of your customers.

My guess is that whatever nfo I would send him - would simply be added to whatever sales database this company has.

I'm not interested in either selling/giving away our customer lists, we work hard to establish our relationship with these people - and I believe such an act would undermine that trust.

With that said - is there any *good* reason why an outside rep would push for that information so hard? (Good meaning one that is of interest to both parties)
 

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They could be trying to qualify you as a vendor. For them to take you on as a brand, they want to make sure you are actively and successfully supplying retail stores. It's odd that they are being pushy, but perhaps they want to verify that your products are actually in those stores. Or maybe they want to know if those stores have locations in their territory they can contact.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I understand what your saying - I suppose to me it sounded like putting a cart before the horse somewhat.

As in - First express interest as it's something you want to sell - then second, how can we work together/what are the opportunities.

I provided some high level details that showed that are line is selling (average $ sales per month) and gave a link to our wholesale accounts that agreed to be listed on our site.

Enough to prove the point for sure! :)
 

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Ya bud thats sounds a lil off to me as well. Sounds like they are only after more customers to me, sales ppl are sales and are after that potential new leads. And as you said they have not even said ya we want to do bussiness..... so why do you need them. Maybe just list their names and what city, state, zip etc with out actual street addresses or phone numbers, so if they want the lead that bad they will have to do their own leg work in...... just my 2 cents tho.... I could be wrong tho
 

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definetely enough to prove your point.

i think with them being this pushy, your right, it seems strange.

1.) If it's someone trying to gain your hard earned list of clients - you don't want him to have it
2.) If it really is a legitimate rep they should completely understand your not wanting to easily give that list up, and i think that if they do not understand AND respect that, then they are probably not somebody you want to be dealing with anyways, walkaway.

just my two cents. i have no experience in this field or even in t-shirts for that matter, im simply here to learn.

hope it all works out for you tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As most things usually do - the real situation came to light given enough time. It was an amusing story for sure.

Basically after I refused to give out the client list - I had no contact for a few weeks.

I pinged again to either close the loop or move on - and this person then proceeded to try and get me to hire one of their friends/business partners for a "branding" and design exercise for a new line that he felt strongly about and supposedly had a market ripe for the opportunity.

Long story short, the friend had a very weak portfolio and was nowhere close to the level needed for what was being done.

I refused to hire them outright - countering the offer by saying that we would gladly hire real/graduate level designers whose work was a better fit for the project. This person responded by disengaging and stating that it didn't seem like the right fit.

Yah, I agree it's not a good fit to try and first exploit my customer list - then try a reverse sale tactic. Luckily for us, it was clear that there was more hustle then professionalism across the board. Quickest few grand I ever saved.


I guess this serves as a good warning to folks out there! If anyone has been approached with a similar deal - feel free to PM for contact details, as I don't like to call ppl out in public - on what really is just my interpretation of the situation.
 

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you know how the saying goes....if it dont sound right, well it prob isnt........ sorry to see it that way but again they say thats life....... wow I sound like quote man right now :)
 

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i wouldn't give away your customer list until the sales rep signs on with you and signs an agreement. there's no reason they should request this before they sign on with you. however, once they become your rep, it's standard practice to give them a list of all your accounts in that territory so they can start establishing and growing those relationships for you.
 
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