Relationships are at the core of everything you do, everything you are, and whatever you aspire to be. Of course it's going to be important when looking for your dropshipping suppliers.
Given the fast-paced times that we live in, you could easily drift from this social media network to the other; from this email marketing tool to that one; from this business idea to that one that everyone else seems to be chasing.
You could have started a business just now, or maybe you’ve been in business for a while. Yet, relationships are at the core of it all, and you’ve just been too busy to notice it.
You are shaped by the culture you belong to, your upbringing, your past experiences (with people and things), and more.
Relationships have been at the core of it all until now. They will be at the core of it all tomorrow, and forever.
So, what do relationships have anything to do with finding dropshipping suppliers?
Your sanity, success, and everything else about your Dropshipping business depends on it. Dropshipping only works well when you have reliable, trustworthy, and awesome suppliers who are just as serious about their business as you are (or maybe even more).
Here’s how you should choose the right dropshipping suppliers for life:
Due Diligence & Some More
Almost anyone can hit up Google and do some research. Or if you use Shopify + Oberlo combination, you’d get a ready-to-dig feed of suppliers right into the system. It surely makes it easy for you but your job isn’t over yet.
Do some more research, place a sample order off your potential dropshipping suppliers’ website or directly and see how it all works. Create a simple checklist for the following:
- How fast do they ship?
- What shipping providers do they use?
- How is the packaging like?
- Do they deliver what they promise, and in time?
- How is the customer support?
As you can guess, you’d have to do this multiple times with each worthy supplier you might have shortlisted.
Talk to suppliers
The Internet makes it easy for you to hide behind screens and emails, and so most dropshipping enthusiasts exchange a couple of emails and call it a day.
You won’t, because you are not “most people”.
Hit up Skype and get on video calls (mostly because your suppliers might not be in the country you are in).
If you can, travel all the way to meet your suppliers. It might sound ridiculous but you should think of it in terms if making investments to ensure you pick the right dropshipping suppliers.
This is a business. This is YOUR business. A business runs on trust and dependability.
Look for Matches
When you look for someone to spend the rest of your life with, you talk. Then, you try to establish a connection (values, views, opinions, whatever).
In your dropshipping business, you are essentially still looking for matches when you seek dropshipping suppliers. Most people look at logos, websites, products, reviews, and ratings.
Instead, look for a match in terms of business values, how and why suppliers do business, what their goals are, how they got to this point, and more.
Do this when you email them. Do it by asking their previous customers. Do it when you talk to them over the phone. Always be evaluating your relationship with these partners. Have they dropped the ball on more than one sale? let them know. Have you made an error with an order? Address it in a follow up email.
The dropshipping business model is a very simple and easy one to follow. However, this leaves more accountability on each party, so make sure that your values align with your partners, it can be a critical difference between success and failure.
How do you find your dropshipping suppliers? We’ll be curious to know. Tell us all about it below!
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Also published on Medium.