College major in Business English, Degree in Foreign Trade
2 years sourcing experience in a foreign trade company
Account manager in V-Trust for 6 years.
Jan 24, 2013
The key responsibility for buyers is to purchase goods at the appropriate quality, within a given time frame and at suitable price. First of all, you should make a factory database and establish strategic partnerships with the right factories.
How should you establish a favorable relationship with the factory? Proper communication is the most important factor, it can help develop a good supplier system and solidify cooperation. Let’s discuss the
things you should and should not say to the factories when communicating.
Things you should say to factories.
1.Prepare a professional company presentation to share.
A company presentation is an important part of ‘selling’ yourself to the prospective factories. In many cases, this will be the first meeting with the factory, and first impressions are critical. A proper presentation is vital to help the factory to get to know you better in a short time.
When meeting with the factory, do remember to bring a paper or electronic catalog with detailed company information like company background, staffing levels, turnover, product range, major markets, sales strategy, etc. The objective of the presentation can be different depending upon the target factories and the presentation should be adjusted accordingly. It is important for the factory to have a good impression of your company and see your potential as a buyer so that they will cooperate with you more closely and place your shipments as a high priority.
2.Describing company’s advantages.
Show that your company has many advantages compared to other rivals’, e.g. accredited enterprise, selling through different distribution channels, dealing with famous chains in XXX, paying on time, being able to communicate easily as you have Chinese speaking staff, etc….
3.You focused on this product area for years.
Besides the company introduction, another main part is to introduce your product and mention the product area you focus on. If you have focused on this product for many years, it is a good opportunity to mention how many years experience you have in this product and share some of your experience. Also you should bring samples if available, which would more easily convince the factory you are a high potential buyer.
4.You will have many / big orders in the near future.
This will be most attractive to the factory. It is a customer oriented market, factories can only survive with orders and if they produce what customers want. Don’t forget to mention your order prospect and market requirement and get the factory’s available production confirmation or support.
5.You are cooperating with several suppliers simultaneously.
As business expansion is needed, you would like to find more suppliers to support your order capacity. You are looking for more qualified and cooperative partners. Let the factory feel that you are a serious buyer and looking for the factory’s active support.
Things you should not say to factories.
1.You are a small company.
Don’t mention that you are a small company, you only have a few staff, your office is small, and you don’t have enough resources and so on. Otherwise, the factory would feel that there is no chance to get big orders from you, and will not be willing to provide necessary support, instead they will wait until the last minute to produce your goods. And they would not accept your payment terms to pay less deposit, but only start production after they receive the whole payment as they may worry about the financial ability of a small company.
2.You are new to this market.
Don’t mention you are a new company, or a new buyer for this product. Avoid passing the feeling that you don’t know the industrial materials, factories may use different (cheap, low quality, impure, etc) materials to produce your order, or give higher quotation to you.
3.You are suffering financial difficulties.
Don’t mention you have financial difficulties when talking with the factory. It will put you in an embarrassing situation. The factory will be scared to cooperate with you and would have no interest in communicating with you. If you have paid some deposit, the production will be put on hold and it will be difficult to get the deposit back.
4.Your offered price is low.
Even if the price is low, don’t mention that it is cheap, but you can ask more detail like what kind of material used, minimum order quantity, payment term, delivery time, etc. You may find some differences compared to other companies. If it is the same but really with low price, you may ask the factory to make sample for reference first. If you find that the sample is not ideal, you can have a chance to ask the factory how much an improved product will cost.
5.Don’t threaten the factories.
If some factories are not cooperative, e.g. they don’t answer calls or reply to e-mails timely, do not provide good quotations or do it rudely, you can contact their manager or other staff instead of quarrelling or threatening them. Due to some cultural or language differences, some people may not understand the meaning or requirement well. So, keep communicating in a patient and friendly way.
Generally, in order to get the support from factories and get their utmost attention for your orders, it is better to express yourself positively explaining that you are a good potential buyer and look forward to a long term business relationship with them based on mutual benefit. Take care of what you say and express yourself well.