This Post is part of the “FREE Wholesale Training Course”. You can view the entire course listing and introduction to the course here.
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Module 5: Wholesale Relationship Building
- Introduction to wholesale relationship building
- Sales mindset and expectations
- Making initial contact with suppliers
- Follow Up and Relationship Building With Suppliers
You can click on each of the links above to go directly to the area of the module the best interests you. That being said, let’s get right into the content!
Want to skip reading the massive wall of text? After the entire course is released, I will make videos for each of the sections for easier consumption. Make sure you are on our mailing list to be notified when it’s released!
Sales Mindset and Expectations
Up to this point, you’ve likely spent a lot of time in front of a computer in research mode. If you have an arbitrage background (specifically online arbitrage), you are almost always in research mode. Wholesale sourcing is much different, as you MUST shift into sales mode at times. When I mean “sales mode”, I mean being confident in what you are offering and build relationships.
You must shift your mindset to grow your business. You don’t have to go into full sales mode every single second of the day. But, when you are making phone calls, hitting up trade shows, or visiting suppliers, you want to put your salesman hat on.
What if I’ve never done sales before?
Don’t worry – a large portion of the population has never done any sales at all. There are some traits every good sales person has, and you may already possess some of them! Here’s a list of those common traits:
- They are respectful.
- They listen to others.
- They have initiative.
- They are persistent.
- They are good at problem solving.
- They display empathy.
- They are confident.
- They are resourceful.
- They ask the right questions.
- They are passionate about what they do.
- They are positive.
Take a look at that list. What are you already good at? What do you need help with?
Personally, I think the most important thing in that entire list is CONFIDENCE. You must be confident in what you are offering. Build up your confidence by testing and trying things out on your own. Once you’ve done something – it’s a lot easier to have confidence about it. Worried that you’ve never created a listing? Find a random item in a big box store that isn’t listed on Amazon. Buy 3 units of it, and create a listing for it. Worst case, it’s just a learning experience. You’ve never ran a PPC ad before? Run one on auto campaign to get used to the mechanics.
When projecting confidence to a brand owner, you only have to be fluent enough in the subject to cover the basics. 99% of the time, you just knowing the basics and being plugged into the seller community will be more than what the brand owner knows. You know the old saying where if you and your friend are being chased by a bear, you only have to be faster than your friend to stay alive? The same holds true here. You only have to know slightly more than your audience to be able to project your expertise.
But what if you are in over your head? This is where networking with other Amazon sellers can immensely help you out. Join our free Amazon FBA Facebook group, and when you are stuck, ask questions. There are a LOT of good people out there waiting to help you. No one giving you good answers? I can help you too. Just knowing you have those two resources should boost your confidence. The moment a brand owner asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, it’s very easy to say “you know what, I’ve never ran into that. I do have a network of business associates that I can ask to make sure I give you a correct answer. I’ll get back to you!” Showing you know how to find the right answers exudes confidence. Think of the last time someone said “I’m not sure, but I definitely know someone who would know the answer!” You probably didn’t think they were nervous and out of their league. You probably thought they are an expert networker that has a lot of resources.
Remember, you going through this wholesale course gives you more knowledge than what most brand owners have.
Once you have confidence in yourself and your business, a lot of other things can start falling into place. You’ll start to know what questions to ask. You can show how passionate you are at succeeding. Once you show how confident you are, it’s easy to stay positive.
Ok, Great. I’m confident. What else should I be thinking about?
- Think of yourself as a helpful consultant – not a sales person. What is the difference? A sales person might try to push products and solutions that don’t exactly meet the needs of the brand owner. A consultant wants to help the brand owner solve their problems. When you ask the right questions, you can find out what issues they are facing. Those issues are problems you can solve. Sometimes, you may need to give out free advice to build the relationship. This is what a good, helpful consultant does. Remember, a consultant has sales person traits, but doesn’t exactly act like a sales person!
- Rejection WILL happen. Get over it. A lot of people never start contacting people because they fear rejection. It’s extremely difficult for some people to separate themselves emotionally from the sales process. When a potential lead says “no”, it may feel like they are saying “no” to you personally. The reality is, they aren’t saying “no” to you personally – they are saying “no” to the solution you are offering. Take the “no” as a piece of information you can learn from. Asking follow up questions can give you even more information you can use to better your approach. There will be a lot of brand owners that will reject your business. Every time your offer gets rejected, write down the reasons why. Figure out a different approach, angle, or make a better offer.
- Creating Trust and Authority is your primary goal. Don’t go into every single situation thinking your entire life hinges on making the sale. Sometimes it takes 5-7 touch points for someone to make a decision. For touch points 4-6 to even make an impact, you have to create trust and show your authority on the subject. Share what you know, and show why you are the expert at what you do. If you do that, they will be much more receptive the next time you contact them.
- Listen, Listen, Listen. When you are talking with a brand owner, it’s not about YOU. It’s about THEM. Ask open-ended questions that spark conversation, and let them tell you what they need. The more you listen, the better off you will be.
- What would you do on a first date? Ok, not what happens at the END of a date. But what would you do during a date to get to know each other? You would probably just talk to them like they are a person right? Brand owners are people, right? Sometimes, that’s all they want – someone personable to talk to. Be that person!
- Set goals, stay hungry, and take action. Fear of rejection a problem? Make a goal of getting rejected 10 times this week. If you hit that goal, it means you are taking action! Staying driven towards the end prize will help push you through those days you don’t want to talk to anyone.
Awesome. I think I’m ready to talk to some people. What should I expect?
- It can be a difficult process. Some people have a really hard time talking to people. It’s OK – just continue trying. Make every single time you talk with someone a learning experience. At the end of talking with someone, immediately take some notes:
- How did I feel while talking with them?
- What could I have done differently to have a better outcome?
- Was I prepared enough going into it?
- What objections came up and how did I deal with them?
- Were my questions good enough to gain the information I needed?
- Did I listen more than I talked?
- How did I ask for the sale?
- You should learn from everything. Once you’ve taken the notes above, start learning from them. The answers you give to those questions can help you on your next call. Maybe you said you weren’t prepared enough. What can you do next time to be more prepared? Maybe you couldn’t overcome an objection, or didn’t have a solution to a problem. Write those things down, and figure out ways to overcome those objections, or come up with a solution that works.
- It’s hard to get in touch with the right person sometimes. There will be times where you’ll be transferred to different departments or different people. I find it best to be cordial and pleasant to every single person you talk to. That person in the “wrong department”? Maybe they end up getting promoted tomorrow, and now they are the person you need to talk to. It may feel like you are getting the run around at times. Just be patient – you’ll talk to the right person eventually!
- People are poor at following through and following up. Brand owners will say things – and they never follow through. You’ll send emails that never get responded to. This is where your tenacity comes into play. Be the person that DOES follow through. Be the person that consistently follows up with people. The more you show your consistency, the more people will want to work with you.
- Not everyone is nice. Some people are just flat out rude. Be nice to them, and keep your cool!
- Some people are incompetent, and you’ll wonder why they have a job. Same as above – be nice to them and keep your cool.
Now that you have started to shift your mindset, it’s time to start making some initial contact with suppliers! Move on to the next section of this module – Making initial contact with suppliers.
Need some help in your business? Check out how I can help your business.
Continue on to Module 5 Part 3: Making initial contact with suppliers