At this point in the process, you've determined your niche, you have a website, and you're ready to get some suppliers on-board. How do you get approved with dropship suppliers?
This step is crucial, because you may only get one shot at making a positive impression with these potential business partners.
If you're not to this step, we recommend that you check out our blog post on finding dropshipping suppliers first. If you're completely new to this business, we recommend that you read our post "What is Dropshipping?"
Call Your Potential Dropship Suppliers, Don't Email Them
When contacting drop ship suppliers, we always recommend CALLING them. I have been approved with hundreds of drop shippers in the past. In most of these cases, I have only spoken on the phone one time and that one time is always my introduction call.
The reason we recommend calling is that it is much easier to get through to the right person than via email. This is the best way that I know how to get approved with drop ship suppliers. Calling is more personal and it will show that you are a serious business owner.
Once you talk to them on the phone, you can then get their e-mail address and if e-mail is your preferred method of communication, you will never have to call them again..
Keep Track of the Data that you Gather
At this point, you should have already compiled your “Master List” of suppliers. Before I start reaching out to my suppliers for my new niche, I always create an Excel sheet that looks like this:
[Note: You can use Google Spreadsheets if you do not have Excel]
This helps me to keep track of my contacts at each company and is necessary for staying organized when you are reaching out to hundreds of suppliers.
Column A should already be filled out with the information you gathered on your supplier master list. Fill out Column B as you go, by doing Google searches for the Column A suppliers names. Once you find their websites (99% of them will have websites) look for a contact number.
Again, I ALWAYS recommend calling the suppliers. If there is no phone number on the supplier's website, you should e-mail them, let them you that you own yourwebsite.com, and that you are looking to increase your product catalog by adding their products.
Explain that you would like to know who to speak to about setting up an account and always remember to include your contact information.
If there is a contact number on the supplier's website, you should call and tell whoever answers the same thing; that you own yourwebsite.com, you are looking to increase your product catalog by adding their products and that you would like to know who to speak to about setting up an eCommerce account.
If no one is available to talk, try to get their e-mail address and/or direct phone number to try back later. You may need to be a little persistent.
Example Phone Call Transcript
I try to keep my conversations as brief (and as effective) as possible; here is a typical conversation I have with the supplier's person in charge of opening new accounts:
“Hi [account managers name],
My name is Anton and I am the lead buyer for [MyCompany Inc], we currently manage ten different eCommerce stores in various niches and we recently noticed an opportunity in the [suppliers products] niche. We have just launched [newnichewebsite.com] and we are looking for suppliers who are interested in working together.
Based on the market research that we have done my team and I are confident that our marketing techniques will make this new venture our most successful yet.
We are not looking for payment terms, we are just looking to build a solid business relationship. Can you tell me how we can go about applying for an account?”
What's Comes Next With Your Potential Dropship Supplier?
At this point, the eCommerce manager will typically tell you that there are some forms that need to be completed and ask where to send them.
Have your personalized e-mail address ready to go and ask them to send it there.
Example: [email protected].
They may also tell you that they are not accepting any new retailers at this time. I always ask them when they will be accepting new applications and make a note in “Master List” Excel file.
NOTE: I typically do not tell the suppliers I own the company at first (unless they ask). This is because there are many suppliers who like to work with “larger” companies that have employees who take care of tasks such as recruiting new suppliers.
If the supplier is interested in doing business with you, they will then typically e-mail you a few basic forms that you need to complete. They need standard information from you such as your business name, address, phone number, and billing information.
It is important to complete these forms as soon as they send them and to send them back as soon as you finish filling them out. You want to keep the momentum rolling and push your account approval through as soon as possible. When I first started, I would sometimes receive an application then hold off a few weeks before sending them back.
Typically, an account manager will get back to you within a few days of submitting your application to inform you that you have been approved. They will provide you with an account number and contacts within their company.
What if I Get Rejected?
A difficult result, no doubt, but don't get discouraged! You can easily learn how to come back after you've been rejected by a supplier.
If you have any questions, leave them below and I'll be sure to help.