Why every "No" from a fashion buyer tells you something for your fashion brand or clothing line and by tweaking a few small things, you can turn it into a "Yes"

Have you ever approached a buyer, sent a CV or tried to get some promotion to only get a big fat “No”? It’s frustrating isn’t it.

In this post I want to talk about how you can change that into a “Yes” and take advantage of that “No” if it comes to gain some great information for your next try.

Why every "No" tells you something for your fashion brand and by tweaking a few small things, you can turn it into a "Yes"


There are a lot of brands and suppliers in the world, fighting for the same space so a “No” will always be around the corner somewhere.

Buyers are bombarded with emails and calls fighting for their attention. Magazines and newspapers are inundated with stories and photos begging them to publish anything that could make their reputation. Suppliers haggle and email anyone and everyone trying to sell them stock.

Yes the world is full of products fighting for the limited clothing racks, blog posts or editorial columns. You’ll be turned down more times than they will say yes, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.


Usually when someone turns you down you can feel a little hurt. Pride dented maybe and then a little embarrassment that makes you sink into the chair or try to leave as quickly as possible.

Over time, if you keep hitting that wall, eventually you’ll give up. I’ve seen it countless times to people who are very talented and it’s something I don’t want to happen to you.

But what if you took a moment to accept that this is always part of your fashion brand journey and everyone else has the same problem. What if you could improve your Yes/No ratio and even when it does happen, you could actually gain from this situation?

No so bad right?

Interested? OK so let’s just get into it.


The first thing I ask clients when they come to me with this problem is “Who are you approaching?”

The reason I do this is because most people don’t pay enough attention to the person they are approaching and more on their own products. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be professional yes, but you also need to go to the right people in the first place.

I talk about Customer Profiles A LOT!!!! Mainly for your own brand. I’ve written loads of posts on this, so if you need more information on a Customer Profile you might want to check out 3 posts that are great for this topic

Tight budget for your fashion brand? 3 key things you should spend it on.    Customer profiles: why you should do this before anything else!  And our webinar video Customer profiles

However you really need to think about the Customer Profile of the person you are approaching. If the Department Store, Magazine, Blog or Buyer isn’t right for your fashion brand or products, then you’ll never get a ‘yes’. This is nothing to do with your products and everything to do with their customers.

If they can’t sell your products, then they just won’t try. Think of it like this. If you design beautiful bespoke wedding dresses at $50,000 a dress, then do you think people that buy clothes in Walmart would buy one? No they wouldn’t. If you sold it in Harvey Nichols or Browns would those customers buy it? Yes they would. So never waste your time trying to approach anyone that just isn’t suitable.

Your Customer Profile and the person you are approaching must match to get that amazing “Yes”. In the same way if you are trying to get some press coverage, then you need to check who the readers are. It also might be a good idea to write the story or send photos that would suit the reader and put the information in a style that will be appealing.


The second part is still to with getting a “No” but gaining something from the situation.

So many people run away as quickly as possible, they forget to ask a really important question….. Why?

Buyers and editors have all sorts of restrictions and deadlines. They have budgets they have to think about. Trends for their readers or customers and all sorts of other things they have to consider.

If you are targeting people who you know would benefit from selling your fashion line or writing about you, then when they say “No” you must ask why.

It could be as simple as the products are too early for their buying schedule. It could be that they just did a similar feature. It might be that the price is too low or too high. It may even be that they are mid way through a contract and you need to come back later in the year……

There are so many reasons and situations where people say “No” and what they really mean is “Not right now” and the majority of people miss out because they just don’t ask that simple question.


So what do we now know. Well everyone gets knocked back and in fashion, it happens a lot. We also know that it happens to everyone. We’ve also talked about targeting the right buyers to reverse that Yes/No ratio and gaining something by asking “Why?”.

So onto your Action Steps and how to improve your ratio. It’s time to take action for your Fashion Brand.

[wc_fa icon=”cogs” margin_left=”” margin_right=””] Action Steps:

  • The first thing I want you to do is watch the video’s above a get to know what a Customer Profile really is.
  • If you already know, then I want you to make sure you have one for your own brand so that you truly know who your customers are.

This will help you to identify who the right magazines, stores, buyers and bloggers are for your next pitch. Remember yours and theirs must match up, so don’t skip the process. Take your time and do it properly.


If you want more information on building your fashion brand or if you know anyone that this information might help, including some more tips on manufacturing and products, then join our weekly Brand Building Email Family by clicking the image below.

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