At a recent event, trunk show attendees try
on SALT frames inside a photo booth.

For SALT, trunk shows are educational for the company, not just customers, according to Ron Smith, VP of sales.

“We want to share the quality and design with SALT to a captive audience. Trunk shows are a chance for us to really connect and find out what will make us successful and a great way to find out what’s resonating in a particular market. We get to know the area and trends there. For us it’s about ‘What’s going to make the retailer smile?’

“The trunk shows come about from both sides. If we’re working on a new account, we show them that we’re interested in their business and not just our own. We want our accounts to launch SALT correctly. We do about seven to 10 shows a month. There are seven sales reps and they each usually do minimum of one a month. Sometimes our designer David Rose, our president and co-founder Taylor Whisenand or myself will go to the really big ones—it’s our way of saying thank you because we’re really privileged to be in these stores and it’s a blessing to get shelf space. We like to get to know their business and learn how to be better at our jobs. And we all share in the energy of our brand.

“There’s no shortage of great product in the marketplace but from the service and people standpoint, that’s where you can elevate yourself. Because there’s less shelf space and more brands than ever before, what’s going to set us apart? It’s ultimately about service, product and culture.”

Smith added, “If we’re at a trunk show, we work it—we don’t just stand around and shake hands. We’re putting frames on people. We like to find out what the customers are buying and wearing and we want to make sure that the customer leaves with a smile.

“Our sales force is very tech savvy. They all have their own Facebook and blogs to use and post among retailers. They link the retailers together as one big SALT family to develop a sense of one-ness from the whole group. It really connects the dots between the network of retailers to make the industry stronger and their business better.”  

At Division Optical in Chicago, a SALT banner hangs
outside, announcing the upcoming trunk show and
welcoming guests.

At Metro Eye in Milwaukee, SALT marketing material
adorns the windows above the frame display prior to
a trunk show.

Delia Paunescu, Assistant Editor