I’ve started reading a new publication online called Home Accents Today. It’s the wholesale and supply end of home decorating. For example, if you were to manufacture throw pillows or tablecloths, you should probably subscribe (free). It also includes furniture and the like. The reason I mention it is that I notice that the Gift and Home Trade Assoc is offering a sales associates training course for a very modest price ($125 for GHTA members and $225 for non-members per participant, per day).
The first day of Selling in the Gift and Home Industry covers prioritizing and managing a customer base; organizing a sales territory, managing sales books and samples; prospecting; making appointments; the order process; and best practices for business management. In the second day, experienced sales associates will learn techniques for selling at shows; developing relationships; synergistic selling; raising the level of professionalism; reaching inaccessible customers; and more by drawing upon the combined knowledge of the group. This course builds on concepts covered during the first day.
While specifically designed for the home furnishings industry, I still think that the course would be useful to anyone who wants to learn how to acquire and manage wholesale accounts. Link for dates and locations.