Is it really difficult to do foreign trade now?
Let me tell you a story. It is not a story either, because it is my own experience, but in my opinion it is representative.
Recently, I was inquiring for a product, and it took me 12 days to push the price up, and the price was twice that of my peers. The price of the identical product, which is 1688, was 26 yuan in the domestic trade department of their company.
But through Ali International Station, they were asked by the foreign trade department for an inquiry, and the price they got was 8.50 US dollars. Moreover, this foreign trade salesman did not quote FOB, and still gave me an EXW price when I specifically asked for FOB price. What’s the use? After this incident, I was feeling that the differences in individual abilities are really different. Even the difference of thinking is a long distance.
01. A tiring inquiry Let me tell you the whole story. I posted my original mail, leaving behind the product and company information. Let’s take a look:
Dear Kerry, My name is Timothy. I’m in charge of animporting company in the US.
I’m looking for a xxx which matched yourItem No. aaa via Alibaba. Could you send us the offer sheet with FOB price and MOQ?
We are about to use our logo and packagingdesigning. And the items will be delivered to Canada by sea.
Regards, Timothy G.
I wrote this email, but I used the name and email of the American partner. Because this supplier may know me, it can’t make inquiries and communicate in my own name. It is better to use Laomei. Moreover, this is not a virtual person. People can be found on facebook and linkedin. The company’s website is also real, so the other party won’t doubt that it’s the same price or something because they can’t find anyone.
As a result, maybe this Kerry is the supervisor and there is no news. When I waited until the third day and there was no reply, I followed up the mail. The other party didn’t reply either, but forwarded it directly to the mailbox called Mia and copied it to me, but there was not a word in the content. I looked at the email suffix, well, it should be his colleague, because the email suffix is the same. The Mia, when I was waiting for a reply, did not have any news either. Then I will continue to write an email to Mia asking if she is in charge of this project. Can you give me an offer?
I waited for another two days. On the fifth day, Miss Mia gave me a reply. At first, it was a lot of bad self-introductions. I was not interested in reading it, and the grammar, words and paragraphs were full of loopholes. After I skipped four or five paragraphs and wanted to look at the price, I found that there was no price but a dozen questions, such as:
What kind of company are you?
Is it an importer or a retailer?
Which market do you do?
What is your annual purchasing volume?
What kind of payment method can you accept?
Wait, wait, wait, wait. A lot of 100,000. Why …
Does everyone feel familiar? Have you seen it in the book “foreign trade expert 2”? Yes, I said and said, stressed and stressed, there are still many salesmen who like to think they are beating their heads and negotiating, and like to negotiate by checking accounts, which is the most repugnant way for customers. What can I say? Ok, I’ll be patient and answer your questions one by one. But after the reply, there was no further comment.
After waiting for a little over 4: 30 p.m. the next day, I finally received an email from Mia. Thank you for your reply, and then sent two pictures to ask me if I need the price of this product. Tears filled my eyes immediately. I waited for six days and finally got down to business. I will reply by email every second. Yes, this is the product. Please quote me and inform MOQ. As a result, Mia disappeared again. I later learned that the factory closed at 4: 30, so even if I returned, the other party would have to reply to me the next day.
On the seventh day, it was OK. Mia at least returned to me. What I said was that the minimum order quantity was 1000pcs. Is that acceptable? Is there anything to change? Are there any special requirements? Can you send her a look at logo and packaging?
I suddenly felt dizzy.
Classmate, I need to know your price first. I need to judge according to the price to make my sales plan and then push back the purchase plan. Besides, I haven’t seen any samples. How can designers make logo and packaging specifically? How do you know if there are any details to change? Oh, no, I’m confused. I didn’t get the price. What sample? At least know the price.
When I saw Mia reply to me, it was 4: 30 p.m. I suddenly felt a little cold and worried that there would be no one else today. I wrote an email in the past and told her that there was no problem with the minimum order quantity, but according to the specific situation, the project manager and designer should study the samples before deciding what to do next.
So now, just according to your existing product quotation, without any changes, the existing packing method can be used. Sure enough, she is off duty, and I have to wait until the next day.
On the eighth day, there was no reply. I wrote an email with the content Re-send and no news. On the ninth day, there was still no reply. On the 10th day, when I really picked up the phone to call, Mia’s mail arrived late. The text is still a mess of English, but at least I found a core sentence that reads:
Please check our offer sheet in attachment.
Surprisingly, this sentence even has no grammatical errors, which is really rare. However, when I clicked the attachment, it was a pdf document, which immediately made me feel very weak.
First, the file is generated by excel or word, but obviously there is no page setup. When it was converted into pdf, there was no adjustment in the horizontal and vertical directions. As a result, only half or even more than half of the original form was found, and the key price information at the back was lost.
Second, she quoted me EXW price. As we all know, a small commodity, not raw materials and bulk equipment, what is the significance of EXW price? Even if you quote me $5 now, I don’t know at all what additional fees you will have to pay and what the final price will be. I am not sure how to confirm the order.
Third, the payment method. I don’t know if they are whimsical or have taken my course, but they are not good at learning. Their method of payment, incredibly set up a gradient payment, require orders below $50,000, 70% deposit, the balance paid before delivery; 50% deposit for orders of 50,000 to 100,000 dollars, and the balance shall be paid before delivery; For orders above $100,000, the deposit shall be 30%, and the balance shall be paid before delivery.
Fourth, fifth, sixth, I am too lazy to write one by one. Anyway, there are a lot of problems.
I replied to the email and told her that there was no price in the file. Was the page not set up when the pdf was generated? Please resend me. The other party estimated to be off duty again. The next day, that is, the 11th day in total, Mia’s reply came.
However, the quotation was not reissued to me, only a few words were written in the email:
Sorry, I didn’t pay attention when making the documents. Our FOB price is 8.50 US dollars.
I’m on the verge of madness, can’t you reissue the quotation? You wrote me $8.50, but your original quotation sheet was incomplete, not only the price was not available, but the packing materials in front of it were all cut off, and none of them were available.
Moreover, according to my experience, this price is obviously problematic and ridiculously expensive. I’ll fill in another email and ask her to still send me an offer sheet. I need to confirm the details with my colleagues, so it’s more convenient. At this time, she was very frank and replied to me directly. She will give me the quotation as soon as possible. This “as soon as possible”, and as soon as possible to the next day, that is, the 12th day, just sent me the quotation. There is no adjustment on the content, only the page is set up.
I also wonder why it is necessary to wait until the next day to send it to customers. Isn’t this something that can be done in a minute?
Why can’t you do foreign trade well?
When I discussed the matter with my assistant and forwarded the mail to her, her instinctive reaction was: the price is wrong, too high.
Then I looked at me with disdain. I knew her subtext was: “boss, what are you doing? It took 12 days to get a broken price, or a meaningless EXW price? ”
The following afternoon, the assistant came to report to me that their best price was 26 RMB including tax, FOB to the port, and they came with samples in their hands. I hurriedly asked, how to do it? She said that she searched the company through Baidu and found that there was still a domestic station for Ali, that is 1688.
She went in through the website, found the phone, called and asked the price, saying that she was a micro-trader, selling in circles of friends. After getting the basic price, we added WeChat to each other. Some additional information, pictures and packing quantity were all asked by WeChat. Later, I transferred 500 sample fees and asked the other party to send three samples. Shun Feng paid for them and solved the problem perfectly. This is the level, push the problem forward and solve it quickly, and the three axes will achieve the goal. Directly to a full moisture of $8.50, into 26 yuan.
All right, she performed meritorious service, rewarded her with an afternoon tea, and asked me for reimbursement.
However, this matter has given me a lot of inspiration, that is, most foreign trade enterprises have ever thought about whether there is something wrong with them when they complain that orders are difficult to do and customers are difficult to communicate. When you haven’t been a buyer, you can’t feel your negotiation and response. Is it impeccable? Perhaps in the eyes of buyers, you are a super bad salesman and don’t want to deal with you at all, but you still feel good about yourself because you can’t see the problem.
Is this the truth?
Most salespeople expect customers to come with orders. It’s best to sign the order and transfer the money as soon as you open your mouth, quote the price and discuss the details and quantities. But have you ever considered the Z variable that I specifically talked about in my management class, that is, peers? The order is not decided by you and the customer, but also by the third party or the reaction of the peers. How can you be confident that you can win the order when the quotation from your peers is 1/2 of yours?
What’s more, when I pay ten times the sample fee, get the sample from your domestic trade department, and then give it to your colleague to quote according to the sample? Therefore, all this is unknown. It is not the fault of others or customers to lose the order. In most cases, they are still incompetent.
Original Artical，Author：China Trade Agent，if repost，please give references ：https://offers-bg.com/difficult-to-do-foreign-trade-now/