How many steps does it take to deal with a professional, difficult and wary foreign trade customer?
Doing foreign trade will meet some customers with high quality requirements. Some customers are very professional about the products and their requirements for quality are so severe that they almost treat the goods as handicrafts.
I have met such a client before, and it took me more than a year to negotiate a cooperation.
This article will share the case of this customer and how to win such an American customer with extremely high quality requirements and difficult to handle.
01 customer background This customer was developed by me on Google and is a local brand in the United States. Look at the customer’s website and other publicity, as if the scale is quite large, and later proved to be indeed a relatively large brand. There is a special article in the website introduction: all the goods of the company are made in the United States and are definitely not imported from China.
According to past experience, whenever I see this sentence, especially on the websites of American clients, it is often the most untrustworthy one. I know several brand companies are looking for special processing factories in China, even investing in our domestic factories to do their own processing. However, the website insists that it will never import from China, and it is definitely its own production. In order to cover up, even set up branches in China, shipper on the bill of lading shows his Hong Kong company name.
So, I checked the customer’s customs data and found that the customer was importing from China. That shows a problem, such customers often have relatively fixed suppliers, which is difficult to overcome. They have rich experience in products and are mostly Chinese experts.
Initial communication, planned visit Therefore, this kind of customers need to fight for a long time. Only when their products meet with problems, the suppliers are not strong enough, or your products are fully attractive, can he respond to you. It was expected that there was no response to the letter sent several times.
But I insisted on sending him an email, and the key point of the email was to show my exclusive advantage.
The quality of our products is one of the best in the industry, especially we have an exclusive process to solve the foaming problem of our products, which few manufacturers can achieve. In addition, the surface of the product can be refined to be completely flawless.
Therefore, in my email, I continuously and non-repetitively show these advantages of our maps and videos. And how to achieve these advantages will be introduced in detail.
As mentioned earlier, this kind of customers are very professional, even Chinese. Only when we demonstrate our advantages and expertise with real evidence can we attract customers. Those on the main roads are easily blacked out by customers.
I think these emails have worked, although he has not replied. Because a year later, I received a customer’s inquiry from Alibaba, which directly mentioned that we could avoid blistering. That’s why I made such an inference.
The initial communication began immediately. Although I have written a lot of emails before, I only mentioned them in a single sentence to let the customer know that I have been paying close attention to him. In the mail communication, once again show all the advantages, especially the technological treatment for this foaming problem.
In fact, this time, the customer must have encountered a supply problem, but it did not show up at the beginning. Therefore, there is no need to worry that the customer only responded to me on an ad hoc basis. He really needs to change suppliers before replying.
After returning some mails, the customer said that he would visit soon.
03 “Two Steps” to Persuade Customers During Visit For such customers who are very persistent in quality, stable in suppliers and high in brand awareness, they often have a characteristic: they will certainly personally inspect the factory every time they change suppliers. This is the case with this customer, so I am full of expectation for his visit.
There was a small incident: we received him from the hotel, and he was drunk by the previous factory, but he was not drunk but very talkative. . . And because of this, he was more disgusted with the previous factory, and our meeting time was delayed by more than an hour. This is with guilt, and drink too much, so talk is more natural, more words. This is a good start.
During the communication on the way, I learned that the customer was really too professional about the product. He claimed to be the first Chinese factory in the United States to discover this product, and he was also the most professional person in the United States. It has been the 20th year in China, a typical Chinese expert.
While chatting, I quickly fed back the situation to the factory on my mobile phone, and then asked the factory to arrange the most professional core production manager to accompany the reception and be responsible for the main discussion of the technical part. I also immediately adjusted my negotiation thinking and changed my status to “technical translation”, which is only responsible for the connection between translation and negotiation. When it comes to technical issues, I only act as a translator and do not reply directly.
This idea has played a very good role.
The first thing to do in the factory is to go to the advanced workshop. After staying in the workshop for more than an hour, the customer looked very carefully, did various toughness tests, waterproof and fireproof tests, and stared at the products to find defects. Because we knew in advance this customer’s demanding requirements for quality, we directly showed the Japanese orders being produced, and the severity was “even worse” than that of the customer. Therefore, the customer cannot find the problem at all.
According to the judgment, the key point is to demonstrate our ability to meet his requirements for quality and our professional ability. Therefore, this kind of display is intuitive and can convince customers with reasonable grounds. The persuasion strategy of the first step was thus successfully reached.
The following is the process of “attacking the heart”, which is also an extremely important step.
From the workshop, the meeting lasted more than one hour and the dinner lasted 2 hours. During this period of negotiations, the process of “attacking the heart” was completed.
As mentioned earlier, customers are very professional about their products and very confident about their own specialty. Therefore, I judge that he is very willing to communicate with technicians, and this is when our professional production manager comes on stage.
Without us stirring up the topic, the customers themselves began to ask all kinds of questions. Because everything he saw in the workshop had already persuaded him.
Customers are really very talkative and speak at a swish speed. There are also a lot of questions. Any questions are talked about with professional data, including their own tests and the effect of each test. It can be seen that not only are we fully prepared, but the customers are also prepared. This shows on the other hand that the customer is absolutely keen on the previous email communication.
Smoke level 4 hours after fire test? Product change trend? When installing, how to prevent the screws at the corners of the wall from damaging the product? How to get these temperature data in the foaming control process? How to avoid hyperplastic substances caused by high temperature? ……
For too professional questions, I carefully translated them to the production manager, then the production manager explained them to me in great detail, and I translated them to the customers as clearly as possible. Some professional terms, I took out a dictionary directly in front of the customer, the customer also fully understood. Even if I can answer some questions, I will firmly let the production manager explain, because what he said is the data, what I said is the truth, the effect is completely different.
For nearly four hours, the customers talked a lot. I took notes and translated while serving the customers to eat, drink and drink. In the end, the dinner ended at more than 10 o’clock in the evening. I ate only a few dishes, and the customers and the production manager didn’t eat much either. As a result, the customer finally expressed emotion: I was persuaded by you.
The deep meaning of this sentence is that he fully recognizes our production capacity.
Let such confident customers express such feelings, and I realize that today’s negotiations have been successfully concluded.
04 cooperation After a “two-step” negotiation strategy, this customer basically has no big problems to place trial orders. However, the process will not go smoothly. After all, he is a demanding customer who does not change suppliers easily.
After returning to China, we began to make special samples in response to the demanding requirements put forward by our customers during their visit. It took two weeks to produce the special products that the customers wanted, send them to us, and the quality passed. This is expected, because his order requirements are acceptable compared with Japanese orders.
Next is the price negotiation.
After spending so much energy, I hope I can increase my profits as much as possible. But it is not easy, because the customer is too professional after all.
Therefore, I have adopted a strategy: I directly ask customers to provide target prices for their regular purchases. Find special products that we can produce and double the profits. In this way, the stable profit of the whole order will not be too low.
The target price is the price that the customer purchases from the former supplier. Of course, the customer will not tell me the real price, it must be discounted. Although the customer stressed that this is his regular purchase price, I guess the customer encountered a product problem, so this price does not have much reference.
I told the customer:
We really can’t do this price. Our process control has several more processes than that of other factories, which are all costs. According to the quality of our products, the minimum is xxx；. If his purchase volume can reach ≥10 cabinets per month, then some discount will be considered.
Although we can achieve the target price, I still tell the customer this way, because our quality is good and the customer has personally verified it. As long as the statement is in place and the attitude is sincere, the customer will understand.
Therefore, the price negotiation was finalized after several rounds. After all, compared with quality, price is second. The trial order consisted of 2 cabinets, which gradually expanded at the back.
End of 2005 By the time of the second year of cooperation, the customer was already talking to us about exclusive agency in the United States. His condition was: to guarantee an order of 300 cabinets per year, xx discount and exclusive agency were required. However, we did not sign the contract for the time being. We only persuaded the customers to continue to expand the order scale and offered discount support. Because the U.S. market is large, we already have other cooperating customers.
By this time, the negotiation with this customer, which lasted for one and a half years, has come to an end temporarily, which is regarded as relatively stable cooperation.
In conclusion, there are three key points to win this customer:
1) Continue to develop and demonstrate its advantages in a rational and evidence-based manner. This kind of customers will not easily waver and will have to wait patiently for the right moment.
2) Excellent quality. I know that our factory can handle this kind of customers with high quality requirements, and we have technological advantages, so I feel free to develop it boldly.
3) Flexibility of negotiation strategy. For this kind of customers, the salesman’s little professional knowledge can’t cope with during the negotiation. Only by changing his identity in time can the negotiation be successful.
Original Artical，Author：China Trade Agent，if repost，please give references ：https://offers-bg.com/how-many-steps-does-it/