Currently, in our Worldwide Brands Product Sourcing Tool, we list thousands of genuine, verified Drop Ship and Light Bulk Wholesale Suppliers. We’re very proud of those numbers; it took a long time and a great deal of difficult research to get there. That’s more genuine Wholesalers, by far, than are listed in all the other lists and “directories” out there combined. We continue to add new distributors all the time.
However, once in a while we lose a distributor or two as well.
Why? Do they decide they no longer want to sell to home-based business? Do they go out of business? No. They decide that they don’t want to deal with the number of people we send them who do not follow their instructions when setting up a new account!
This can be a bad thing for both of us.
For us, it’s bad because we spend a great deal of time and money researching genuine Wholesalers. We don’t just pull these companies out of a quick trip to a Search Engine, like all the other lists and “directories” on the Internet. As you know from reading our site, we put a great deal of effort into our research, and spend a lot of money on large numbers of “raw leads” that we develop into just a few real Wholesale Suppliers that “make the cut” into our Product Sourcing Tool. We don’t like to lose those companies, but if they tell us to remove them, we remove them.
For you, it’s bad because every Drop Shipper and Light Bulk Wholesaler that drops out of our Tool is a lost opportunity for you. You won’t find most of these companies listed anywhere else, in any other list or “directory”. As I said, we don’t just search the Search Engines. Our “raw leads” are lists of thousands of manufacturers and wholesalers across the USA and around the world. We buy those lists from high-powered Research companies, and then we contact every manufacturer and wholesaler on those lists in order to find out if any of them Drop Ship, sell in Light Bulk Quantities, or will consider doing either or both.
We spend a lot of time, money and effort researching these wholesale suppliers and we love what we do!
The one reason, more than any other by far, that a Wholesale Supplier requests to be removed from our Tool is because they get tired of dealing with people who do not pay attention to their instructions on setting up new Accounts.
Let’s look at it from the Suppliers’ point of view. They think it’s wonderful to be in our Tool. We do not charge them a cent to be listed with us. If we did, there might be many companies who would not be willing to pay a listing fee. We would be short-changing you, our Members, by excluding legitimate Suppliers from our Tool simply out of greed. That’s not the way we operate. We list all qualified, genuine Wholesalers for free.
Again, the Suppliers think that’s great. We get emails and phone calls from them all day long, telling us how wonderful they think our Product Sourcing Tool is for their businesses. However, you have to understand that they are now getting a lot of new Account sign-ups, from our Members.
To the Supplier, that means Paperwork, and sometimes lots of it, depending on how they have their business set up. They all need to know who you are, so they have to process your New Account information. That takes them time. Most of them have to assign you to a specific Sales Rep. More paperwork; more time. Nearly all of them need to get a copy of your Tax ID. More paperwork; more time. After they have your New
Account fully set up and processed, they have a certain amount of time invested in you.
In the reality of the Business World, only about 10% of a Wholesale Supplier’s New Account sign-ups will ever do business with them. We know that a lot of our Members, when they get our Product Sourcing Tool, go a little wild and start signing up for accounts with nearly every Supplier we list! That’s NEVER our recommendation, but it happens anyway! Those people who sign up for so many Accounts only tend to end up using a small number of them, once they finally decide what they want to sell.
As a result, about 90% of the New Account sign-ups that a Wholesale Supplier gets from our Members end up being unused; that Member will go off and use Accounts they set up with other Suppliers instead.
That, in itself, is not a bad thing. Wholesalers in general are used to this kind of thing. It’s a normal part of the wholesale-retail relationship, and the Wholesalers can handle that. The point at which some Wholesale Suppliers begin to get upset is when some few of our Members don’t bother to follow the Suppliers’ instructions.
I was talking with one of the owners of a Drop Ship wholesale company in our Product Sourcing Tool just a few days ago about this issue. He said that they have a very clear and simple sign-up process outlined on their Web Site, and that they had spent a good deal of money setting up and automating that process. I went to their web site to look at the process myself. It couldn’t have been simpler.
“I get emails all the time from your Members asking about New Accounts”, he said, “and that’s great. I have a standard email I send back, with instructions on how to go to our web site and sign up. But then, many of those people write back, asking more questions about the Account Signup Process. It’s all explained right there on the web site, where I told them to go in the first place. It seems that they just don’t want to take the time to read it. We don’t mind answering calls and emails from our Retailers. That’s part of our Customer Service. But, when we have to take time away from helping our existing Retailers in order to tell someone something that is already very obvious, it gets frustrating”.
“Then”, he went on to say, “we get people who are incredibly impatient. I get phone calls from people who say, ‘I emailed your company three times already about setting up a New Account, and nobody got back to me!’ We know our Customer Service is better than that, so we check our email Inbox. What we find is that they emailed us three times within the past hour, and we just haven’t had time to get back to them yet!”
We then talked about the thing that frustrates him the most. “People just bypass the whole process sometimes”, he said. “We’ll get emails that say ‘my name is Joe Smith, here’s my address, and this is my Tax ID. Set me up a New Account right away’. We simply will not do that, when we have a process already in place that’s designed to save us time, and save them time as well. They can go through the process on our site in just about five minutes, and our Database automatically sets them up with everything they need. We didn’t spend time and money developing that system so that we could go back and manually enter an Account for anyone who doesn’t feel like following our process.”
As you can see, there are reasons for following the processes laid out by the Wholesalers we list in our Product Sourcing Tool. This gentleman was considering asking us to remove his company from our Tool. Of course, we did not want to lose him, so I told him that I would write this article in order to help all of our Members to understand what suppliers like him go through in order to set up new Accounts.
We know that most of our Members do follow the processes that our Wholesalers ask them to. This article isn’t meant to chastise anyone. It’s just meant to help everyone understand these things from the Wholesalers’ point of view. The better you understand the companies you work with, the more successfully you can work with them! 🙂
So, here’s a quick list of things to remember when signing up for a New Account with a Wholesale Supplier, or with any Service or Supply company you might use in your business:
- Read the company’s web site before calling or writing with questions. Most of the time the answer is already there for you.
- Don’t get impatient! In the real business world, things take time. Many companies can set you up with an Account either instantly, or within a day or two. Sometimes it takes a week or two. Again, you’ll usually find Processing Time information right on their web sites.
- Don’t try to shortcut the process! There are good reasons for the processes that Suppliers use. They generally do not like it when someone tries to “move to the front of the line” by calling or emailing outside of their process.
As I said, these tips work well for any company you work with, not just your Suppliers. You need the goodwill of the people who service and supply your business, so work within their processes, and you’ll find them very easy to work with!
photo credit: Keith Williamson