Approaching a company to become a supplier and sell its products can seem intimidating. In reality, it’s an easy and learnable part of the process if you’re looking to become a vendor for any kind of retail or online business.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the best ways of initially contacting a company, what the supplier will be looking for in a vendor and how you should communicate effectively to increase your odds of approval.
How Do you Ask a Company to Become a Supplier of their Products?
The key to asking a company to become a supplier or a vendor of their products is to look at it from their perspective. They want to work with people who will represent their brands and products in the right way.
If they agreed to work with anyone and everyone who approached them to resell their products, they would end up working with people who would tarnish their brand’s reputation which would decrease their product’s value.
Companies and manufacturers need to vet their suppliers, distributors and vendors before collaborating with them. Their main concerns are working with people who:
- Advertise their products below MAP (Minimum advertised pricing).
- Sell their products on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.
- Provide poor customer experiences when purchasing their products.
- Refuse to accept returns and refunds.
- Are complete beginners.
When asking a company to become a supplier of their products, you have to be aware of their all concerns beforehand. You need to address these concerns and reassure them that your priority is to represent their company in the right.
Whether you’re contacting a supplier by email or phone, the same principles apply. You need to;
- Sound professional but communicate like a human, not a robot.
- Build rapport with the company.
- Be perceived as an expert, nobody wants to work with a beginner.
- Address their concerns so they have no reason to refuse you.
You need to provide a logical case as to why you are the perfect supplier for their company until they have no choice but to approve you.
Remember, this communication goes both ways and you want to ask the company questions to assess whether they are the right fit for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it shows them that you’re a professional and you aren’t willing to work with anyone either.
How to Contact a New Supplier
You have two main options when it comes to contacting a new supplier. You can email them or you can call their company directly.
For most people reading this article, you’re probably going to email the company. The most common reason for this is fear. If you’ve never called a company and tried to persuade them to approve you as a vendor for their products, it can be nerve-racking.
The truth is once you have called a few suppliers, the nerves will fade because you realize it’s not that big of a deal. You’re simply having a conversation with a person just like you’ve done thousands of times before. The unknown is often scary until you do it.
Emailing suppliers can definitely work and some will approve as a reseller of their products via email. However, most will ignore your email, and the ones who do approve you will most likely approve everyone that enquires. This is not a good thing!
Ideally, you want to work and partner with companies that vet their vendors. These are the companies that often stock the best quality brands and you won’t face the same level of competition.
Calling them directly is without a doubt a more effective way of approaching a new company to collaborate with. If you still want to email, I suggest you send an email introducing your business and if you have not received a reply within 2 to 3 days, call them.
It may be worth noting in your email that you plan to phone them in 3 days. This may increase the chances of them replying to your email and will force you to call in 3 days as you want to keep your word.
Doing the tasks you’re uncomfortable with is what will get you the results you want in life. Everyone is fearful of things in life but the people who tend to succeed are the ones who act in spite of fear.
How Do you Approach a Supplier by Email?
Let’s say you want to become a vendor or distributor with a new company or supplier, this is the best way to approach them by email.
The key is to introduce yourself and your business and clearly state your intentions to do work with their company. Keep it professional, brief and to the point, many businesses receive copious amounts of emails and may ignore a long email.
Below is an example of an email template you may use if you want to approach a supplier via email. Each business will vary and you will need to modify it to reflect your business. I have a full article on supplier email templates if you need some more examples.
Supplier Email Example
Hello (Their company)
My name is (Full name) I would like to introduce myself and our business. We are a team of online retailers who run (Your website) an eCommerce store that specializes in selling (Your products).
We have seen your catalog of products and believe they would be a great fit for our business and customer base. They have the potential to provide high levels of sales volume which would benefit both our businesses.
Our focus is to create a long-term brand and build a community within our niche through social media which enables us to provide exceptional customer service.
We are interested in establishing a supplier relationship with your company and would like to know how to move forward with starting an account with your company. We believe this could be a mutually beneficial opportunity for both of our businesses.
We are not looking for any credit terms and will pay for all orders in advance.
If this is something your company would be interested in, I would be happy to discuss it further.
(Your phone number)
How do you start an email to a new supplier?
Hello, my name is (your name) I am the accounts manager for (your business). I am an online retailer and am very interested in stocking your catalog products as they would be a perfect fit for my store.
Should you call or email a new supplier?
Calling is the preferred method of contacting a new supplier. It helps you stand out, it builds rapport and it shows professionalism.
How to contact manufacturers to sell their products?
Most manufacturers do not work directly with vendors. If this is the case, find out who their main distributors are and contact them to sell their products.
How to contact a wholesaler for dropshipping?
It’s best to not mention dropshipping when initially contacting wholesalers. Instead, say you are an online only business and tell them you will take care of the shipping.
Can you resell other brands’ products?
You can resell other brands as long as you have approval from their authorized dealer. This is usually the main distributor who will have you sign a contract to give you permission.
How do you ask a company to sell its products?
Tell the company that their line of products would be a great addition to your store. This implies you want to sell their products without actually asking.
Often beginners imagine the CEO of some big corporation they need to convince to become a vendor. This is very rare and most supplier companies and distributors are small teams of people who will be more than willing to work with you.
Your perfect supplier could be in a little warehouse on the back streets of some industrial area and they may be a team of 4 staff. These are often the best suppliers that other vendors have not yet contacted and all you have to do is give them a call.
I have worked with distributors of quality branded products who are simply made of a couple working from home. These are the ideal suppliers you can build long-term business partnerships with.
It’s far nobler to call a supplier and get rejected than it is to not pick up the phone at all.