Contacting Suppliers: What to Say, What Information to Gather, & How to Get Setup

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Purpose

In this lesson you will learn the simple process for contacting suppliers and how to use this to contact the suppliers for each of your product opportunities.

Agenda

•    Supplier Contacting Tips

•    What You Want to Learn When You Contact a Supplier

•    How to Get Set Up With a Supplier

•    Action Time

Supplier Contacting Tips

1.    You can use email, but contacting by phone is best.

This will enable you to build a relationship with them. If you are using an overseas supplier, email may be the only option. Contacting the supplier by phone also makes it easier to gather information. It lets them know you’re a real person, and because you took the extra step of picking up the phone instead of firing off a mass email, it lets them know you’re serious.

2.    You only need 1 supplier, but having multiple options is ideal.

Even though you are contacting multiple suppliers, don’t get overwhelmed. You really need only one. If you find one good supplier, feel free to run with that. It’s about getting started. You can always switch suppliers later, assuming they all have the same kind of product.

3.    Come across as a professional (they NEED your business).

If you haven’t done this before, it may seem awkward, but you still want to come across as professional. Have confidence in who you are and what you are learning. These are just people on the other end of the phone and as suppliers, they need your business.

What You Want to Learn When You Contact a Supplier

1. Do they have, or can they get, the product you want?

Just because you found this supplier while you were looking for suppliers who meet this product opportunity, you want to call them and ensure they have the type of product you are looking for. If they don’t, ask them if they know anybody that does.

2.    Are they able to label your product with your own brand?

If it’s a company that just makes their own brand and doesn’t private label for anyone else, they’re not worth your time. So, find out early on if they are able to put your own packaging with the product.

3.    How does the private/custom labeling process work with them?

This is going to be a little bit different with each supplier, so you want to ask them how that process works.

4.    What are the price tiers for ordering the product?

This is a very important question to ask. They may want you to sign up as a supplier with them before they give you a price sheet, but you still want to find out as soon as possible what the price tiers are for ordering the product. This will tell you whether or not this is a good supplier to be pursuing.

– Discover Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

The MOQ means the smallest amount of inventory you can order to work with that supplier. You don’t want to start out by asking what the minimum order quantity is because they may think you are a small player, but it is still an important detail for you to know. You may be just starting out, but you want to give them the sense that you’re in it for the long haul. You can tell them you are testing them out as a supplier, to see if they are good enough for you. It’s a good way to put them on their toes. Of course, you may not want to word it quite like that. You want to be professional in how you word it, but that’s the kind of presence you want to come across with.

5.    What’s the estimated time until the product will be ready to ship?

Whether you send them your custom label or they do the custom labeling, ask them how long until the product is shipped and then ask them if there is any way to speed that process up. For some suppliers, it may only be a couple of days. For others, it may take a couple weeks for the products to be ready. Any longer than that and you probably should start pursuing other products. If you were doing a custom product, which could take up to 8 weeks or longer, the amount of time it takes would makes sense, but all you’re doing is just putting your label on an existing product that they already have, so it should not take more than a couple of weeks maximum. While you’re waiting for your product, you can be learning how to optimize your Amazon product listing.

6.    How to get set up to buy?

How to Get Set Up With a Supplier 1. Ask Them the Setup Process

You will most likely need to fill out some forms. This is standard with most suppliers.

i) Reseller license? Neither Jason nor I ever had to get a Reseller license and you shouldn’t need to either, even if they ask you for one. You can tell them you don’t have one or just fill out the form. Obviously you don’t want to fabricate any information, so answer truthfully, leave any part to do with the Reseller license blank, and return the form to the supplier.

2.    Payment Method

You’ll have figure out your payment method. Most suppliers won’t take something like PayPal. The most common methods of payment are credit card or debit card. You may be able to pay with a check or wire transfer. You have to figure that out with the supplier. You’ll also have to pay ahead of time. When you’re first getting set up, most suppliers will not take a Net 30 payment.

3.    Get Product/Packaging Design Specifications

Some companies that do private labeling for generic products will do the design for you and you can tell them what you want on the label. But if they do not do the design for you, you need to get the design specifications so you can send it off to a designer. This is covered in another lesson. The specifications you need to get are: file type, size of image, if they have a template (ideally you want a template) and/or examples of other design files for that product, and any other information you’ll need to design packaging labels for the product.

4.    Get Design & Send to Supplier

Get the design done and send those design files, in the correct format, to the supplier.

5.    Wait for Supplier to Prepare Product

6.    Send Supplier FBA Shipment Items

This is covered in another lesson, but, basically, you’re sending the supplier a packing slip to go inside the box and a shipping label to go on the outside of the box. This is so they can send your units off to FBA.

Action Time

•    Contact the suppliers in your list. (remember – phone is best)

•    It will feel awkward the first time – this is perfectly normal.

• Write down the information you gather for each supplier. This will enable you to compare suppliers and product opportunities, so you can pick the best product opportunity for you to run with in the next modules.

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