If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve been there:
You spent 20 minutes crafting an email to your first ever supplier. You made sure every word was right, and you included all the info you thought they needed. And then…
They never respond to you. What’s the deal?
Suppliers are very busy people, or at least like to think they are, so you should treat them as such!
One big reason suppliers don’t respond to your emails is due to the sheer volume of inquiries they get on a daily basis — many of which aren’t serious. Your email may be too vague; if so, they probably need more details (which I’ll cover in the next section).
Additionally, the supplier may not be convinced of your investment in your business. Anyone can send an email. Fewer people take the time to make a follow-up call or visit a sourcing fair.
It’s also possible they’re not as organized as they should be and your email simply got lost.
Some other factors to consider include:
So now you know a few reasons a supplier may not have answered your email. Understand the supplier likely deals with a lot of spam inquiries, so give them the benefit of the doubt and try again!
There are plenty of ways you can improve your chances of getting a response:
First things first, make sure you ask for every piece of information you need. By showing them you know about the product and the product market, you’ll stand out in a supplier’s inbox and show that you will be a serious client.
Product requirements include:
The more details you can provide, the less email “back-and-forth” you’ll have to deal with — which makes things easier for you and your supplier, and increases the chances they’ll respond.
Show that you mean business.
This means using proper spelling and grammar, doing your research before you reach out to suppliers, and showing them that you know what you're talking about.
Featured Resource: If you need help drafting a great email, SaleHoo provides its customers with free templates that cover every kind of email you might need to send.
Of course, it’s OK to not know every last detail of your desired product or its market. A good supplier will help you learn more about it. Just be aware that if you come off as someone who wants free training and will take up a lot of the supplier's time, they’re less likely to answer you.
Additionally, if you come off as a knowledgeable professional, suppliers are more likely to quote you a lower price. On the flip side, if you sound like a newbie, they’ll quote you a higher price.
Do your research!
This is a simple, but important, concept. If you take one thing away from this article, take this:
Be someone you would want to work with.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get on the phone and tell a supplier that you just sent an email. Not only will this make you appear more professional, it also gives you the opportunity to see how well the supplier knows their stuff and decide whether they are a good fit for you.
Remember: Your supplier is basically your business partner. If they screw up, it’s on you to fix the problem for your customers, so choose wisely.
Before you call a supplier, be prepared with a few questions. A few well-chosen queries will not only signal to the supplier that you know what you're doing, but being prepared will also help reduce the nerves from making a call, especially if you’ve never done so before.
Some questions you can ask include:
For more questions and details about each question, take a look at this forum post on our forum.
If you follow the steps outlined above and keep in mind the golden rule (being someone you’d want to work with), suppliers will be much more likely to answer your emails and even quote you lower rates.
If you have any questions or extra tips to help get a better response rate from suppliers, leave them in the comments below! I love hearing from my readers, and I’m always here to help.
Also, don’t forget that SaleHoo customers have access to 8 different templates you can use when contacting suppliers in the SaleHoo directory, which already include most of the crucial details.
Good luck, and happy selling!
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