The gloves sold out and the commissions grew!

                                            Harley Warms Up - Sales Research

I remember I was in Fargo, ND years ago, when I got a call from my secretary telling me she had just set up a sales appointment for me with  Harley Davidson.  Harley was interested in long underwear for their test riders to wear during cold weather.  I was hoping they would also stock it in their stores.  The appointment date was three weeks away.

While in Fargo I was staying with a friend who during the last year had purchased a Harley, his enthusiasm about having a Harley was contagious!  I asked him if he had any recent Harley sales catalogs, he did, he gave me a stack.  Over the next couple of days I went through these catalogs to see if I had any other products that I represented that might be appropriate to develop more business for Harley.  My conclusion was they had a gap in their offering of  cold weather gloves.  I visited a store to see what Harley’s clothing presentation looked like particularly cold weather gloves they were selling.  I represented a quality glove company based in New York that sold a nice range of gloves.  They didn’t do a lot in motorcycle gloves but had a snowmobile glove that we modified and streamlined with some great features that was really attractive and versatile.  It was two weeks until the sales appointment.

The glove company was able to put together a nice prototype sample with Harley’s logo/name on it and give me the pricing.  

I rehearsed how I was going to do my sales presentation numerous times over the week prior to the appointment.  The day of the appointment went well.  We concluded writing a purchase order for the long underwear.  At that point  I  pulled out a Harley catalog and opened it up on the buyers desk to the glove page facing him. I said “Fred I was looking at your gloves for cold weather and I have something here you are going to like!”  At that point I pulled the sample out of my bag and laid it across the catalog with the logo facing Fred.  “Try it on, you are going to like this!”  Fred put it on and I went into the most enthusiastic presentation about the features and benefits.  Look at this, look at this.

Fred asked if we could make some minor changes and if so what the cost would be.  My response was if we can make those changes and come in at this price how many units will you take and when do you want them?  Obviously I wanted to get a commitment.  He gave me a number, a big number and a time.  Two phone calls later I had the purchase order in hand.

The research and the practice on exactly how I was going to present the glove with enthusiasm paid off with a commission well into five figures and it grew substantially when the gloves sold out.

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