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    1. BPositive is offline

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      #1

      How should I approach new wholesalers?

      Eek, ok guys I’m slightly freaking out here. I’m going to be approaching wholesalers for my new business soon and I’m literally scared; I don’t know what to do! I guess that sounds ridiculous, I mean I knew I’d eventually have to do this, it’s just that things are happening so quickly that I’m feeling really lost! Please help! What do I do? What do I say? How should I do this? Would really appreciate anything you guys have to share, thanks!
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    2. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #2
      Whoa, no need to get all excited and panicky there, trust me. I know it seems mighty overwhelming right now but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll do fine. Now, I’m going to skip over the part about researching and shortlisting wholesalers because I’m assuming that you’re in the process of doing that right now. You can easily find a good number through recommendations or by doing a bit of digging around yourself. You should only be approaching wholesalers that you’ve done a bit of homework on, that’s a given.

      Now before you approach them, you’re going to need something which is known as proof of trading. It’s basically a document that tells the wholesaler that you are in a legal position to do business. This proof needs to be in the form of your company name, tax ID, but in some cases it can even be something like your letterhead or even just a business card.

      Next you need to make what is known as the First Contact. I think today, a telephone call or even an email is good enough. With this, you basically state what you’re interested in and the supplier will get back to you with a quote or their product catalogue.

      At this point, you might find that after approaching wholesalers, some of them aren’t going to work out for you. And that’s fine, it’s better to figure that out early on than after you’re working with them. But if you like what you see, then you need to make arrangements to meet your wholesaler in person. Some bigger wholesalers may not be able to meet you in person but from my experience, smaller suppliers are more than happy to meet you one on one and show you their products. Remember to call ahead and make an appointment first.

      Apart from this, I’d say, play it by ear. Approaching wholesalers and building a relationship with them is like every other relationship, you’re going to have to work at it. Make the effort to give a good first impression. This means dressing up in a professional way and making sure that your correspondence is professional too. It also means you don’t nag them for discounts on your first order! And don’t be disappointed if the product you were interested in, isn’t available a few days later. Stocks are fluid with most suppliers; so what’s available one day may not be available the next.
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    3. DropshipDiva is offline

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      #3
      Well, Dan pretty much nailed it there but I think it’s worth repeating and remembering that approaching wholesalers is the first step in making a strong relationship with them. Take things slow, keep an open mind and keep other options open as well.

      If things are going well, take that extra effort to strengthen bonds. You know, take them out for dinner once in a while, remember birthdays, that kind of thing. Those are important and make more of an impression than you might think.

    4. ShaneM is offline

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      #4
      But what happens when approaching wholesalers and you ask to meet them in person to see their stock and they say no? Even if they’re offering you a really good deal, should you still say no?

    5. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #5
      I think the smart thing would be to say no and find someone else. I mean, approaching wholesalers in person is very common and they should have no problem at all showing you the products they deal in. In fact a lot of times when I meet suppliers, they’ll suggest I drop in and take a look! So if any one of them say no, I’m asking myself, why. What have they got to hide? It’s very suspicious and you need to think about whether you want to work with someone who acts suspicious right from the start.

    6. JackBauer24 is offline

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      #6
      But didn’t you say that bigger wholesalers may not be able to meet you in person?

    7. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #7
      What I meant was that you’re probably not going to be able to meet the owner face to face and he probably won’t be able to give you the grand tour. Larger suppliers usually have a specific time set aside for the clients to drop by and see the merch and clear up any questions they have.

    8. Justin85 is offline

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      #8
      I hate to throw a wrench in the works here but I have found that for me personally, approaching wholesalers in person is a bad idea. Here’s the thing, I’m young. I know that when suppliers see me, they’re thinking oh, he’s just a kid. They see me and they’re already not taking me seriously. One guy actually thought I was there for some kind of project for business school!

      For me, dealing over the phone or through email has always got me a better response instead of approaching wholesalers in person. Sure, I may go in person to check out the merch but I never let on that it’s for MY business. Just thought I’d mention this. I mean the whole ‘good first impression’ thing sounds really nice and all but it doesn’t work for everybody.

    9. Mrs. Whiskers is offline

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      #9
      I think Justin has a really valid point. When approaching wholesalers, you’re probably going to have to work that much harder to prove you’re serious if you’re a young person.

      And sometimes you just can’t go and visit the supplier. One of mine lives in another country and I can’t just up and go make a visit, it’s just not feasible for me.

    10. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #10
      Sure, I’ll give you that. I do think approaching wholesalers in person is very important but I’m a bit old-fashioned. And I understand that today, what with the internet and all, it isn’t always easy to do, especially if your supplier is in China.

      I’m not sure I totally agree with Justin though. Ok, maybe a young face will make a few suppliers act a little condescending. But I think ultimately, they’re looking to do business, right? And if you can prove to them that you mean business, then why wouldn’t they take you seriously? I guess it seems stupid to me to rate someone’s acumen or professionalism based on how young they look.

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