Reply # 11 Street Smart
Posted 26 Jun 2012 00:04
Now let's talk from the buyer's point of view. I have seen several very interesting statements here that show the well founded frustration of certain sellers that deal with inexperienced buyers. We are a trade company, therefore, we buy and sell, which makes us be at both ends of the table and therefore we can judge better the why and how?
When we are in the sales chair, we treat inexperienced buyers equally as we would treat potential "real buyers" because the fact is simple, if the customer doesn't know about the product, and we educate him, not disclosing clue features of course as well as sources or soimply following someone's advise. move to the next one and forget about them if we indeed realize that they have no clue of what they want.
But.... what about when we sit in the buyer's chair? dealing with inexperienced sellers sadly the most common found in China. Poor English skills in many cases, not the representative's fault but clearly people without the proper training and or technical skills to manage such a position in the international market. It is very frustrating for an engineer (my case) having to deal with beginners in the other side of the line that in many times have absolutely no clue of what are they selling. Asking for technical sheets is a common practice in USA and in the most part of the world, I just dont understand how can a product be designed by a so called " manufacturer" and when you ask them for a technical sheet, they send you a "home made" excel or pdf file with "copy and paste" Internet pictures and a last minute made up technical information that is irrelevant or fake.
Dealing with suppliers that are not experts in their field (unfortunately the majority in search engines) is a very frustrating and time consuming experience that pushes many buyers to other suppliers. The lack of technical resources is devastating for a technical device. I have been dealing recently ith several companies that claim to be manufacturers of products that we distribute, when we ask them for technical information they are not capable of producing even the real CAD document that a real company has to have. It is impossible to design a product without proper documents and certificates, but when prompted for these documents they "make them right on the spot" this creates a vague sense of mistrust and sadly disqualifies many suppliers from entering successfully high end markets such as the US and Canada.
My advice: if you want to have quality buyers, become a quality seller. Offer professionally made catalogs, editable material, excel price lists, technical sheets for GOD sake! high definition pictures and a good customer support. If after you having all these tools you encounter a customer that "doesn't know what they want" then yes by all means let them go and move on, but before you complain about inexpert buyers, review your own selling policies and talk to real people from the region that you are trying to deal with, not every product is made for everyone and not everyone likes the same product. rule #1: study your market, your customer and provide the best possible service. The ample the information the lesser the questions, therefore the lesser headaches and no more time wasted for eithe party.