I have been asking this question:jack, I sent a sample to a customer, which is bought by the customer intentionally. He checked it for a while and told me that the sample was qualified. However, after some days passed, I still can’t hear anything about the order. What should I do?
I also often encountered this kind of problem and felt anxious at the beginning. Later, when they were frequent, I became accustomed to them, and with the deepening of communication with these customers and more cooperation, I got some truth from customers.
There are many reasons for this:
First of all, we have to analyze what is the product of this process, he asked you to send him samples after long-time consideration and communication, or talk about nothing but directly asked for samples?
Many people say that the second is not unreliable. Definitely not. Some customers ask for samples after they have finished talking about the requirements while some do it before it. These two kinds of cases happen very often.
Secondly, customers often do not only ask your samples but also others’. I have met many such kind of customers, especially the end customers. They would ask several samples at a time and arrange inspections in a centralized manner to analyze which sample is qualified or unqualified and whose quality is good.
I clearly remembered once, the customer told me that my sample was qualified, and then did not give me an order. Later I went to visit the customer and knew that although my sample was qualified, others’ quality of was better with almost the same price. So he definitely give up cooperating with me at once.
There is also a situation where the trading companies want samples. If a small trading company does not have the conditions to test the samples themselves or is unwilling to pay for the samples, they will only take one sample (as most trading companies do) and will take them directly to the factory to check for eligibility.
But there are definitely more than one trading company that provides samples to the factory. Your samples are qualified and so are others’, so you don’t have any advantage.
I have also worked with some big trading companies which can check the samples themselves, so they will take a lot of samples back to inspect and choose the best for the end customers. At this time, your samples may be qualified, but might not the best. Or, you have no advantage in your trading conditions, and the trading company will not submit your samples. To say that the sample is qualified is only a threshold entry, not a sufficient condition for the order.
If the sample is qualified, don’t be gloating. On the contrary, you have to be more nervous, because it means you have to invest in the next stage of the battle.
If the customer talks to you about the price before the sample, talks about the payment method, and bargains, in general, after your sample is qualified, if the customer intends to cooperate with you, he will conduct a second round of bargaining with you.
If the customer just tells you that the sample is qualified, there is no other news, indicating that there is a problem, or someone has provided a better sample and better conditions; or he is only to inspect the new supplier. Actually, he has a regular supplier and just adds a few alternatives according to the plan, in case something goes wrong.
So, when the customer tells me that the sample is qualified, I will ask a few questions directly: What is the plan of your company’s order? Will you add us to your supplier sequence? Can we talk about the details of the order or what questions do you have about our products and trading conditions? I hope to resolve the cooperation between the two parties as soon as possible!
Most people like to talk nonsense, or go around, hear the sample qualified, and they dare not advance forward but wait for the customer to take the initiative.
Always remember that a sample is qualified, just meaning that you have the qualification to compete with the same qualified competitors, or that you have the qualification to challenge the original supplier of the customer. As for the results, it depends on who will be a better negotiator.
There are other factors to consider:
For example, is this person who is docked with you a decision maker? You have to find a way to understand or investigate. In fact, when I have asked the above questions, I can basically determine whether this person can make a decision;
For example, is the company that wants your sample a trading company or an end customer? If it is an end customer, you can directly use the above words. If it is a trading company, you must add some other words. For example, I often say that if the sample is qualified, it is worthy of happiness. We must find a way to take the order. If you have any questions, or if the factory gives you any difficulties, you must tell me that we will win this customer together.
Regardless of whether you have talked about the price or payment condition before they ask for samples, when the customer tells you that the sample has passed the test, regardless of whether the customer asks, you should immediately organize an email about the price, payment terms, and send it to the customer.
If your price has changed, especially if it is loose, be sure to tell the customer the first time even if the sample may still be tested and there is no result, you still have to tell the customer.
We used to lose a big order for this reason. At that time, we contacted the trading company. The trading company recognized us very well. The price was also negotiated before taking the sample. As a result, during the sample testing process, the price dropped. We did not tell the trading company. The trading company, only contacted us but not receive other news, so he still negotiated with the end customer at the original price. As a result, the order was lost!