• VINSIGHTS

    Common Traits of Successful Sales Candidates

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    January 2018

    In a sector as competitive as fashion sales it is noticeable that candidates who examine the common characteristics shared by people who have made it to the top of the tree climb higher, faster.

    I have been ‘lucky’ enough – and it isn’t really luck as I’ll explain later - in my career to work alongside and recruit some fantastic sales people. When you look at their CVs those stand out individuals have (generally) moved to the right company at the right time. That doesn’t happen by chance. These people have six things in common.

    • They are selective: the brands listed on your CV matter. Whether they are big or small is less important but they must be respected. The top sales teams will work with big brands they are confident they can grow or lesser brands that they believe have the potential for explosive growth. They won’t work with dying brands that they won’t be able to reinvigorate or with small brands that have only limited potential.
    • They choose a role with potential: while a brand may be going places, your ability to make an impact is also crucial to developing your career. The top people always ensure that they will have the support necessary to make the most of the opportunity. That support will depend on the role but will be a combination of internal support – through product innovation, training etc and external support – in terms of PR, marketing budgets etc. One person on their own can rarely make a difference, you need to be surrounded by the right people, relationships and support.
    • They embody their brand: it is easier to sell a brand you believe in. And if you believe in it you will most likely be a customer. The best sales people are "authentic” – they live and breathe the brands they are representing.
    • They are ‘people’ people: those who rise to the top know other top people. Why? In part it is because top people naturally get thrown together on occasion but it is largely because they have worked hard at building and maintaining extensive networks and strong relationships.
    • They make things happen: these people are independent, autonomous, self-confident and driven but maintain good relationships with contacts. People who make things happen get known. People who don’t are forgotten.
    • They have structured their moves: the best people have planned their careers, thinking about where they want to be in five years’ time and planning backwards to work out how to get there. They may change the destination en route but there is always a destination. Don’t forget that while they have always made things happen they also ‘served their time’ proving themselves at each level but seizing opportunities whenever they have been given them.

    When building a career in fashion sales, typically people attribute almost all their success to their hard work, talent and passion with a sprinkling of luck. In my experience having a career plan is crucial. Unless you make intelligent, considered career choices you will never achieve your potential.

    If you want to discuss your career plan then please feel free to call us on 0203 668 1466.

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    V&C Drapers Interview on FLEXING and the importance of Consulting in our industry.

    Following the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion retail industry will likely turn to temporary employees more than ever, says Matthew Vohs, chief executive of fashion retail recruitment agency V&C. Covid-19 has seen many retailers and brands either closing stores or arranging pre-pack administrations. The by-product of businesses evaluating their store portfolios is an impact on headcount, as executives question whether the organisation requires all its current staff. The furlough route may however have had a detrimental effect on the industry in forcing businesses to streamline and subsequently realise that they can accommodate their workload without the furloughed staff. This could leave many experienced employees a victim of redundancy.  Many retailers have already announced job cuts. British luxury brand Mulberry is to axe up to a quarter of its global workforce as a result of coronavirus, White Stuff has entered redundancy consultations within its head office and UK retail teams. Debenhams has cut hundreds of head office roles after placing them on to the furlough scheme during the crisis. Staff culling like this will, of course, reduce a business’s overheads, but also leaves an abundance of redundant skilled workforce across the sector in buying and merchandising, retail operations, design and technical roles. These candidates will now need to adapt to their situation by being more dynamic and entrepreneurial in their job search, as new, developing and emerging companies look to tap into their expertise via a freelancing route. Going forward, contracting across multiple organisations could very well be the norm for fixed or short term positions. It will allow variety of work for employees but also allow businesses to access skilled workers without the need for long-term investment.  Businesses will also need to change their mind-set. They will need set clear objectives for contracted or freelance staff and establishing tangible KPI’s that measure their output. However, they also run the risk that the employee may find full-term work or a more lucrative contract. The world is changing and retail is among the sectors that are changing the most, with more and more of us needing a flexible work solution.  Freelancing and contracting means a retailer could employ a team of buyers for one season, a merchandise director on a three day week, perhaps a designer for one collection or an ecommerce social media expert for a fixed 12 months. These roles are not traditionally temporary, however, with this new approach, retailers get fresh concepts and diversity without the burden of long-term employment issues. Retailers can also change their teams with regularity, introducing new ideas and responding with incredible speed to what the consumer wants. Post coronavirus, there are going to be lots of highly in demand skills and great talent available but those people will also be considering how they want to work, wanting flexibility. If companies don’t take note, they will miss out on the best staff and lose out to competitors.   

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    Flexing made easy!

    We’re Thinking Differently – Are You? We have been thinking about new ways of working and have something new to tell you about.  Something that we think is going to change the way you work, offering you exciting career opportunities or improved work/life balance – or both! It’s Called Flexing. The world is changing and retail is one of the sectors that is probably changing the most.  The past few months has seen most people review how they work more flexibly. It is just the start, going forward, this flexibility will be paramount for employees as well as employers. Why not consider your Flexing model? We still want to offer you new roles but in a different way.  Instead of being employed by one retail or supply business on a full-time basis, we can also offer you fixed term contracts or fixed term part-time contracts.  We can even offer you Flex to Perm and V&C Associates will effectively be your employer. We will guide you through the process on setting up an umbrella company or helping you register your company It might not sound different yet but read on – it is different.  It’s exciting, it’s new and importantly, it’s flexible. Flexing allows you to work for more than one retailer or supplier for as long as you want, for as many days a week as you want giving that flexible work /life balance if that what you are looking for. As an example; You might Be a buyer but only want to work twice a week without long-term ties? Think about working as a merchandiser but for a short term contract ? Want to do a special, one-off design job? Work as a Merchandise Manager, but part-time? Want to have the opportunity of working on a multiple assignments with a different retailer or brand? Flexing Makes it Possible We will find you the role you want on a short, medium or long-term fixed contract basis (minimum 6 months).  It gives you tremendous flexibility.  Imagine – you could work somewhere as a product developer for two days a week and for the other three days, work as a selector for a different business. You might want to work two days as an Account Manager, have a day off in the middle of the week and work the rest of the week for another retailer, in the same or similar role. There are retailers and suppliers looking for this type of arrangement. It suits both of your needs.   Huge Benefits for Candidates There’s a reason it’s called Flexing. It’s more than temporary roles or part-time contracts.  It’s more than fixed long-term contracts.  It allows you to work for two different organisations at once.  You get the benefits of two different companies, get to grips with different cultures, gain more experience and use your own experience to add a new dimension to another retailer or supplier.  It makes work life more interesting, variable and exciting – there’s no room for boredom!  Alternatively, use Flexing to create better work/life balance and work when you want to. Effectively, V&C Associates (with our FCSA affiliated Umbrella partners)  would employ you and take care of NICS, PAYE and holidays. We believe this is a new beginning, a new way of working for everyone.   We cover: Digital Design & Technical Buying & Merchandising Sustainability Sourcing Human Resources Sales/Account Managers Retail Operations Flex with us - let V&C Associates get it absolutely right for you. Click here to discuss your Flexing employment solution.

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    Your Flexible workforce!

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