If you are starting an e-store or running a business and need goods or parts produced outside your country, it is time to start looking for foreign suppliers. Keeping in touch by phone is helping to get more favorable terms of supply.
IP telephony increases the chances of successful negotiations - it will provide cheap calls to foreign subscribers, high-quality telephone connections, and the ability to use various VoIP services for business benefit.
In the article, we will talk about ways of searching and choosing an international supplier, what IP telephony tools to use to build communication with them, and make a beneficial agreement.
How to Find a Supplier Overseas?
Search for a supplier starts with figuring out the country you would like to get your goods from. For this, you have to consider several factors during the process of choosing:
- Goods. Every country will have a strong suit for the production of specific product groups. Make a list of suitable countries, but take into account stereotypes that have formed among your customers. For example, people won't like to see luxury goods marked "Made in China";
- Familiarity with business ethics and language. Knowing fine points of deal closing in that specific country, as well as foreign professional vocabulary, will help with negotiations;
- Regional customs regulations. Make sure you know every aspect of the trade process in the region and that the terms are acceptable for you;
- Supplier type. When working with small manufacturers, you can make a deal with special terms and conditions of a supply contract, but there could be difficulties from delays. You have to cooperate with several suppliers at the same time. Big manufacturers rarely work directly with companies, so you will have to get access to a distributor.
Personal connections are recognized in business, and your partners can share referrals for a choice of suppliers. If you prefer independent sources, then you can use the following platforms:
- Cross-border trade exhibits in your field. Attending events, trade shows, allows establishing personal contacts with suppliers, check product samples;
- Trading associations;
- Direct googling;
- Online directories for wholesale suppliers, like Alibaba or Makers Row;
- Supplier databases. Oftentimes, they are available for a fee, but they allow search based on geography or industry.
When you compiled your first list of potential suppliers, you have to move on to their further in-depth study and gauge based on quality, reliance, supply terms, wholesale and bulk purchase prices, the price for the initial shipment. It will let you make a shortlist from the selection and get on with actual negotiations.
How to Build Communication with Suppliers?
Before finalizing your choice of where to order the goods, send an email with a cooperation offer, and ask the supplier for the following information:
- Initial purchase cost (ordering a small quantity to check the quality of the purchased goods);
- Minimum purchase volume, price per unit;
- Terms of payment, whether advanced payment is needed, payment due date;
- The time required to process an order, its delivery;
- Guarantees for return of faulty goods.
Part of the information could be available on the manufacturer's website. But personal communication by phone with the manager will likely be required to establish individual terms of delivery. And here's where VoIP technology will come to your aid.
How IP Telephony Can Help Build Business Relationships with Overseas Suppliers
If the difficulties in communication with foreign manufacturers can be overcome when the team has a strong procurement manager who speaks the required language, then you can support the technical side of things with high-quality and inexpensive International telephone communications using IP telephony.
Start with purchasing a virtual number. It looks identical to a local foreign number, has a country, city/mobile operator code, which will help create the effect of presence in the region and ease the communication. Freezvon connects virtual numbers from the USA, EU, China, and other countries where you plan to look for suppliers.
Benefits of using VoIP telephony for negotiations:
- With this number, you get to make calls at cheap rates;
- If suppliers want to contact you, it will cost the same as calling local in their countries;
- When you're planning trips to another country (for a meeting with suppliers or another purpose), you won't have to purchase an additional SIM card from that country. A virtual number will work regardless of location.
In addition to the virtual number, you can set up more than a few helpful services. For example, recording conversations so that if the supplier goes back on the terms of the deal, you have more to go on with for negotiations. A virtual number for SMS allows you to receive messages from abroad - the service is suitable for informing about the status of goods deliveries. You can receive documents from suppliers even on the move using a VoIP fax number, and all messages will be forwarded to your email. And voicemail will save messages when you can't answer right away.
How to Get IP Telephony Services?
It's easy to get a virtual number from Freezvon - it's enough to sign up, choose the suitable country and type of the number, place the order. The number could be activated within 24 hours or more, depending on the country and operator. You get a free-of-charge SIP account for incoming calls forwarding and can set up any additional VoIP services.