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    1. Franko23 is offline

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      #1

      E-mailing a Potential Supplier - First Contact

      I have this potential supplier that Im really interested in. What is the best way to approach a potential supplier by email? How should I come across? What should I tell them? How can I make the contact successful? I want to do more than just connect; I want to build a relationship.
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      #2
      Anytime you connect with a potential supplier, whether its a supplier thats on your wish list or someone youre just exploring, you want to come off as professionally as possible. The bottom line is that the supplier needs to know you are a legitimate business and that you can back that up. Email them with a brief introduction of who you are, what youre looking for, your buying power, as well as your business license number, tax ID, your resellers license and any suppliers youve done business with or any other references you can include.

      In your intro, what they want to know from you is how long youve been in business, what your sales are like, etc. Of course, anyone could just make numbers up, but the point here is to convey your legitimacy and your ability to buy and sell. If you arent honest, how will you back up your claims once youre in the relationship? Theres no need to inflate numbers here. Showing your past success, even if its in smaller volumes, shows that you run a legitimate operation.
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    3. Mickey_707 is offline

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      #3
      A lot of suppliers nowadays have online registration, which means you fill out a form of required information and then wait for approval. This kind of registration form will most likely require that you input legitimate business information, like your tax ID.

      However, you’ll want to include the kind of things Kwid Pro mentions for suppliers you want or need to contact directly. In any piece of communication, via email, phone, etc., the tone of your language also conveys your validity as a business professional. I would avoid any casual language, like “Hey, what are your prices?” I think this is a turn off and a big clue that you don’t know how to conduct yourself in the business realm.

      Think about it from the supplier’s point of view. Yes, they want to move their product, but they also are looking for a valid, successful business to work with. Isn’t that what we are all looking for? Someone who is consistent, reliable and keeps their word?

    4. Lana83 is offline

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      There are a few guidelines you should know about email correspondence. When using email, we tend to get a bit more lax because it doesnt seem as formal or permanent as a letter. But an email should be as business-like as a letter sent on official letterhead.

      Youre probably emailing to request a price list, as this is the first piece of information anyone needs to know in order to do business. Begin the email with all of your personal information at the top, just like a letter. This should include your name, title, business name, full business address, phone and fax numbers, website url, and business numbers (tax ID, registration, etc.). Dont forget to include the date.

      Then, begin by addressing the title to a specific person. If at all possible, avoid a general salutation, like to whom it may concern, as this tends to look more like a form letter.

      This leads me to the next point: personalize it. The reader will is more likely to take your inquiry seriously if you personalize the information to the company. Show what you know about them that applies to the situation (like any shipping methods or MOQs). Then, make it clear what it is that you want from them. Do you want a price list? How should they send it? Do you want any other information? Will you be calling them?

      Be sure to tell them about yourself as well. What kind of business do you run? What are your needs? Why are you interested in their products?

      Above all else, though, you want to get to the point. Dont include extraneous information that the supplier has to wade through to figure out what you really want. Be direct, but include enough detail so they can get a sense of who you are and they know you arent wasting their time either.

      AND--- dont forget to check for spelling mistakes. Nothing detracts from a professional letter or email request than spelling errors that leave you looking like a 5th grader.

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      eniotna (30 Apr 2013)

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