Phone Script Example for Calling Dropshipping Suppliers

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Avoid saying this when you call suppliers for dropshipping, “Hello, I have an online store, can I dropship your products?”. If this is your cold-calling strategy, be prepared for rejection.

The only suppliers who will approve you are the suppliers who approve everyone. Your goal is to partner with suppliers who won’t approve everyone, and in this article, I’ll guide you through exactly how to achieve that with a phone call.

To be clear, no matter what you say or how persuasive you are, some suppliers will reject you initially. However, by following the advice in this article, you will be able to secure every supplier that is approvable.

First of all, why would you want to work with suppliers that vet their merchants and may reject you?

These are often referred to as gold-tier suppliers and are very particular about who they work with. This is because they are more likely to distribute high-quality products and want to protect their brand’s reputation.

They don’t want their products listed on platforms such as Amazon and eBay, they don’t want their products sold on unprofessional websites and they want to avoid price wars between merchants. All this reduces their brand’s perceived value.

The Goal of Your Phone Call

Before you even plan on persuading and negotiating a supplier, you have to talk to the decision-maker of the company. The vast majority of the time the first person you speak to on the phone will not be the decision-maker.

Initially, you will speak to a receptionist or a secretary who does not have the authority to approve you. Your goal is to speak to or get the contact details of someone who can make this decision.

If you want to sound as professional as possible, you could ask to speak to the supply distribution department. With this terminology, a receptionist may assume the call is important and be more inclined to put you through to a sales manager or someone who can assist you.

If you receive the contact details of someone who can make a decision, be sure to write down the name of the person who you initially spoke to. You can then mention their name so the decision maker can be sure you received the details from someone they know and trust.

A common outcome is that the receptionist will take your contact details but you will never receive a phone call back. If this is the case, mention you will call back in two days if you have not heard anything to follow up. For more information, I have an article on how to get approved by dropshipping suppliers.

List your Suppliers and Track your Phone Calls

You should be contacting several suppliers within your niche. It can be very confusing to remember the details of each company you contacted and the outcome of each one. Never assume you’ll remember each conversation and don’t write it down on a notepad.

Use Google Sheets (It’s free) and make a spreadsheet with each interaction. This will way you’ll know each company, their product line, contact details, outcomes, and approval. This will be a resource you continually use and update.

Many companies will reject your initial phone call, but keeping notes on each will remind you to when to call back and what you can do better next time to improve your chances of approval.

Below is an example of the kind of spreadsheet you will need to track your list of suppliers and the outcome of each phone call. Take note of anything specific you can use in future phone calls to help build rapport with the supplier.

Spreadsheet to track phone calls to suppliers

My Related Article I Think You’ll Love:

How to contact Aliexpress suppliers for dropshipping

60 High ticket dropshipping suppliers

How to approach a company to become a supplier

Phone Script

Obviously, every phone conversation will go completely different. This is an example of a phone script if I was seeking approval for a range of pet supplies. If you’re more comfortable emailing suppliers prior to calling them, I have several supplier email templates you can use.

Hi, my name is Thomas Sleeth from Pet Beds USA, how are you today?

Good thanks.

Great! We’re an online retailer of high-quality pet beds, we’ve seen your catalog of products online and I would love to speak to someone about becoming a reseller of your products.

You will then either be put through to the sales manager (Decision maker), give you details of who you should contact or they will ask for your details to get back to you. If so, always leave your phone number and not your email. If you have not had a response within 2 days, phone back.

If it’s a supplier who accepts everyone, chances are the secretary will simply send you a contract for you to sign without needing to put you through to the sales manager.

If you are put through to the decision maker, here’s the phone script.

Hi (Their name), My name is Thomas from Pet Beds USA, we are an online retailer of high-quality pet beds and our new e-commerce store will be launching in 3 weeks. We are very interested in stocking your line of products in our store as they would be a perfect fit for our target audience.

Often they will have questions about your business and how it will work with their business.

We work on a direct-to-customer basis. This means we manage the website, do all the marketing and customer services. All we need from you is to ship the products directly from your warehouse to the customers as we make sales. We are not looking for any credit terms and will pay for everything upfront so there is no risk for your company.

People make decisions based on logic. By making it clear that there is no risk on their behalf and only an upside of more sales, the decision appears as though it’s a no-brainer from their perspective. You are giving them no reason why they should decline your proposition.

Direct-to-customer basis is another way of saying dropshipping. It can sound more professional as dropshipping has a negative reputation, mainly due to AliExpress dropshipping.

If they are apprehensive about agreeing to your offer, here’s what you should say.

I don’t want to pressure you in any way, if you like, I’ll call back in 3 days and allow you to think about it. In the meantime, I’ll send you an email to confirm what we spoke about today. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Don’t pressure them into making a decision at that moment if you sense they are not comfortable. If you’re trying to build a partnership and a relationship, suppliers are more inclined to approve you if they know you’re a reasonable person and not a pushy salesman.

Common Phone Call Questions and Responses

A good supplier should ask you several questions before approving you. They don’t know you and they need to be sure they can trust you and that you will represent their brands the right way.

Do you run any other e-commerce stores?

Let them know of any other experience you have had in the past and definitely exaggerate it a little to make it sound better than it is. If you’ve had no experience with e-commerce in the past you can still try and impress them with your skills.

Tell them this is your first major eCommerce venture but you have studied online marketing in-depth and you’re an expert with the latest online advertising methods including; SEO, Google PLA’s, social commerce, Facebook ads and much more. Chances are they won’t know what you’re talking about and it will sound impressive!

Are you working with other companies?

If this question is asked, they are asking what other suppliers you are already working with. They don’t want to be the guinea pig who is taking a chance with you first.

This is why it is important to get approved by the easiest companies first. Ideally, you want to have a few of the easier suppliers secured so you can mention them when you get asked this question.

Can I see other websites you have created?

If you have created other websites before, send through the URLs.

Whether this is your first website or not, it’s very important to create the website before you start contacting suppliers. With platforms such as Shopify, you can create a professional eCommerce store in a few hours.

Create the store and add some demo products from suppliers you have already secured or from Alibaba and AliExpress to make the store look complete to the supplier. Let them know it is a “demo store” so they don’t assume you are trying to deceive them.

Even if it’s your first store they will see that you know what you’re doing.

What are the estimated orders you will do with us?

Tell them you simply can’t give them an answer because you would be guessing and you have been surprised by the response of other stores you have created in the past. (If you have experience!)

Tell them you believe with your unique advertising methods you can target an audience who will respond well to their products. Let them know that it will take some time initially to optimize your store and ads to ensure they don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Questions You Should Ask Suppliers

It’s important to ask potential suppliers several questions over the phone too. Don’t feel like this is only a great opportunity for you, make them feel as though it is a great opportunity for them as well!

What is your preferred way of processing orders?

The larger suppliers will often have a section of their website where you can log in and simply input all your orders. The smaller companies may prefer you to email them each of your daily orders.

What is the best way of handling shipping?

Most suppliers will offer to ship the product for you on their account and charge the shipping price to your account. Some suppliers may expect you to take care of all the shipping yourself. (I’ll talk more about this in the section below.)

How do you handle returns and refunds?

Each supplier will have different terms when it comes to returns and refunds and you need to know this information beforehand. You need to make this very clear to your customers as each brand may have a slightly different returns policy.

Do you charge a fee?

Some suppliers will charge a fee to work with them, if they do, don’t work with them as this is nothing more than a money grab. The best suppliers won’t charge a fee as they understand that you are entering into a business relationship in which you both benefit.

You may also come across suppliers who will require a large minimum initial order. Explain to them that you cannot do this with your business model and remind them that this is a mutual business agreement. If they refuse, don’t work with them.

What if the Supplier Says They Do NOT Dropship?

If a supplier mentions their company does not dropship just say “No problem, we work with several companies who don’t dropship. We can organize everything for you, we pay for everything upfront, we can organize our own shipping company to pick the product up and we will ship it ourselves. All we need you to do is leave the product in your dispatch area so we can pick it up.”

This is a powerful statement as it makes it seem like a no-brainer opportunity for them that they would be crazy to refuse. All they need to do is have the product ready and they make money! It also gives the perception that you are experienced and you do this with many companies.

How you say this is really important, you need to use the right tone. When they mention they don’t dropship, reply like this is something you hear every day but use a casual tone when saying we can do it this way instead. Almost make them feel foolish if they refuse such an easy money-making opportunity.

Organizing the shipping yourself is relatively easy, you can organize a freight forwarder that will pick the products up for you and ship them. This may cost a little more to ship but if it gets you approved, it’s worth it!

Once you start making sales there is a good chance the supplier will ship the products for you eventually anyway. Your goal is to get them to say yes no matter what, you can negotiate better terms with them later.

Phone Script Tips

  • Change the phone script to suit your personality. Only say what you are comfortable saying so you sound natural and confident.
  • Prepare answers ahead of time.
  • Be yourself and if the conversation drifts into another direction, allow it to. You’re building a relationship as well as a partnership.
  • Make sure you tell them how this will benefit their business because remember this can potentially be a great opportunity for them.
  • There is nothing wrong with exaggerating your credentials a little but don’t lie and pretend you’re some big company when you’re not. Otherwise, you’ll eventually come unstuck and all trust will be lost.
  • Make it clear you are not seeking credit terms and you will pay for everything upfront so they understand there is no risk for them.
  • No does not mean no, it means not right now. If they reject you to dropship their products, be respectful and ask why. This will provide you with a strategy when you call back.
  • Don’t ramble on and get to the point as there is a good chance they’re busy. Respect people’s time.
  • Don’t read from a phone script word for word, you have to sound natural. If they know you’re reading from a script, you’re done!

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