As a wholesale buyer, finding and purchasing from a supplier can be a tricky business. You need to know you’re getting the best service possible and you’re getting competitive prices.
Most companies operate a PSL (preferred supplier list) and this also works for suppliers when dealing with customers. Wholesale suppliers need to know they are dealing with a good buyer – someone who is reliable, someone who is easy to deal with and someone who might offer them repeat business. If you can demonstrate these qualities and strike up a good rapport with your supplier then you should be able to negotiate better prices more easily and get yourself the best deal possible.
Here are some ideas to help you whittle down those prices:
Networking is crucial with most things – you must have heard of the expression ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? If you can network with people in the industry that you are likely to do business with i.e. the shipping manager, then it is far easier to strike a rapport. Don’t just rely on picking up the phone. If a supplier knows your face or has met you on more than one occasion they are more likely to offer you preferential rates.
This point ties in with the above. As well as networking ensure you build relationships. If you meet a supplier at an event ask them what they have been up to, how they are etc Don’t just keep it purely business – you can blur the boundaries a little bit!
On occasion you might get sent the wrong stock – maybe it’s more lucrative than what you ordered? Maybe you can sell it quickly? Don’t. You must be honest in moments like this and return the package or let the supplier know their error. It will prove you are a decent person to do business with and that you are trustworthy. Implementing strategies like building an e-Commerce website can also help to build your legitimacy.
Repeat business is the goal for any supplier. If you buy from them once and then go elsewhere it will make it very difficult to negotiate on your next purchase. So stick with it, make repeat orders if they are worth it and they have the stock you need and be patient. Once you have been on their radar for some time and continue to build rapport you should be on their preferred customer list!