Not surprisingly, this email received no response. Can you spot the problems? First of all, you should never ever say that you are a “new entrepreneur”.
Think about it this way. If you were a wholesaler, would you want to waste time with someone who has no clue what they were doing? Absolutely not. When you deal with a new vendor, you have to go in with confidence.
Tell them exactly what you are looking for, do your research before hand and don’t ask stupid questions. You don’t have to come across as cocky but you should behave as though you’ve done this before. The key is to be specific, succinct and confident.
To a certain extent, your initial contact with a vendor is like going on a first date. You don’t want to overwhelm them with questions or seem too desperate or eager.
You simply want to get a feel passion.com for the vendor and see if they carry what you want to sell. Most distributors are busy so you should be respectful of their time.
In the sample email posted above, this reader asked way too many extraneous questions right off the bat. While the logistics of how business is conducted is important, the key to the initial interaction is simply finding out whether they’ve got what you need.
Once I’ve gotten an initial response from the vendor, I then start to ask some of the more logistical related questions if I feel they are a potential fit.
The more vague you are, the less likely you’ll get a response. In the email above, Vivian mentioned that she was interested in some “baby products” but she was not specific at all.
If I were the vendor, this would be an immediate red flag. What is she looking for exactly? Is she on a fishing expedition to find out everything that we carry? Is she really serious about carrying my products? Does she really know what she wants?
When contacting a vendor for the first time, it helps to clearly specify exactly what you are looking for. By being specific, it demonstrates to the vendor that you did your homework, you know what you want and that you are serious about carrying their products.
On the other hand, if you are vague and/or wishy washy, you will not be considered a serious prospect and your email may go unnoticed.
My name is “Name” and I’m a purchasing agent for “Your Company”, a store in “Your Country” that sells “the products you want to carry”. We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.
If you could send us more info as well as your product catalogs, lead times for manufacturing, and MOQ we would greatly appreciate it.
If you feel intimidated by the thought of contacting your vendors, you need to remember that they are just people running a business just like you.
It all boils down to establishing a good business relationship and finding the right fit. If a vendor is rude or doesn’t give you the time of day, then they are not the right fit for your small business.
If you outright lie about the size of your business to get your foot in the door, the truth will come out eventually when you can’t afford the minimum buy. I can guarantee that once you find the right vendor, you will not feel intimidated at all.