CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT

Finding new customers is difficult in the US retail market, do I need to spend money on a website, email marketing, or send mail directly to the buyer? 
  • An all-of-the-above approach is recommended, but keep in mind, buyers are extremely busy and may not get back to you. 

  • It is also recommended that you show your product at the major markets. 

I have been approached by a customer claiming to be a major US company, they have asked for quotes and samples, what should I do? 
  • Treat them like a potential major customer. Follow up on quotes, samples with email, and potentially a phone call. 

  • Always follow up on every price or sample. Many suppliers fail to follow up and reach out to the buyer. 

CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

As a supplier it is often difficult to manage a relationship with buyers who are 8000 miles away, change every year, or who you have never met. What should you do to maintain and help build this relationship under these circumstances? 
  • Always follow up and follow through. Be the supplier that always answers and takes action to take care of an issue immediately.

  • Be clear in your answers and never ignore a question. If you do not have an answer, say so and take action to find the answer immediately. 

  • Research your customer, understand what it is they are selling. Learn what the merchants are individually in charge of and do not waste their time trying to sell them unrelated products.