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Lee小侠
2022-06-18 16:51

你很好 只是时代变了 我们也变了

【记一次谈判】

"Thank you!"  X  1000.

"Appreciate that!" X 100.

"We value you and your company very much!" X 10.

将近两年的蜜月期里,客户老J对我们的报价和条款几乎全盘接收,并且变着词说了无数遍感激的话,犹如新婚后新郎变着法子讨新娘的欢心;20个月后的一天里,突然给我发了一封论文长度的“纳妾”宣言 - 需要寻找备胎供应商。

宣言原文如下:

(地道的用语加粗标注,供有心人学习~)

Hi Lee,


We wanted to discuss the costs for our products and the quotes for the new item with you.  As you have asked a few times about the economy and how our products sales are being effected, we wanted to share some information with you to help you understand our situation. 

 

First, we want you to know that we are pleased with the service that you provide.  You are forth coming and let us know about all of the things happening in the world that affect the costs for our products.  This is very helpful. 

 

Unfortunately, with the economy suffering, our sales have dropped a bit.  We are also seeing reductions in sales in other products that we sell to xxx and other large retailers.  Obviously, this is hurting our overall sales and profits.  XXX is not in any danger of closing or anything like that, but we have seen a noticeable decline in sales.  We expect to see a bit of an up-side for the summer months due to tradeshows, but we do not expect it to be as large of an increase as we normally get. 

 

We have also suffered from the many delays with most products, just like all companies, due to Covid and other supply chain issues.  This is a problem that I mentioned to you with the xxx order as they have made it very clear that we cannot be late on orders any more.  This is why I am pushing you on the date all the time, so we do not both lose this business. 

 

Our owner has also pushed us to have a back-up factory in place in case there are other closures due to Covid, or congestion issues, or problems getting parts and pieces.  This is for all products, not just xxx.

 

Based on all of these factors, we are going to have to send out our products to other vendors to bid on costs and quality.  Obviously, cost is not the only factor in determining who will get our business.  Quality is a huge factor, as well as speed of delivery, reliability, honesty & integrity, as well as costs.  If we were to find a cheaper factory that can deliver the same quality that you deliver, we would still not plan to move all of our business to someone new.  We would more likely consider moving some of our Kerusso product to spread it out a bit between vendors. 

 

We want to be open with you about our situation and also let you know that we have already started having our products quoted with other factories.  There is a factory that we have found that is considerably lower in cost than your factory is currently.  This factory can also do powder coating on the 20 oz and 30 oz tumblers and the new sports bottle for less than your cost is for a regular painted base color.   I cannot tell you the factory or the cost they have given, I can only say that it is quite a bit lower.  We want to see if you can look over the costs for all of the 20 oz tumblers, 30 oz tumblers, and the new sports bottle and let us know if you can come down on your costs at all. 

 

Please know that I have already looked at the materials and they are exactly the same as the material you use in your xxx.  We have also had them include the costs for the same type of art designs, as well as, all of our normal packaging, so we do know that we would be comparing the same costs from this other vendor to the costs from you.   

 

We sincerely hope that you can understand that this is solely a business decision that we have to make to minimize the risk to our company.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this email, we are not unhappy with your products or services, but for the health and well-being of xxx, we need to ask you to sharpen your pencil and see if you can lower costs at all.  We will still plan to work with you on at least some of our products, but we may need to spread the production to other vendors also. 

 

As I mentioned above, we would like to see new costs on the xxx, as well as the new xxx.  We would like to see the costs for our normal base color painted and also powder coating.  Powder coating is something that we are going to need to get into to compete in the market place.  We are not looking at new designs for xxx at this time, but it would be great to get new quotes for those items also.

看完邮件,手里的咖啡也不那么香了,友谊的小船平稳地行驶了两年还是遇到了风浪;不过,it happens, 毕竟没有一个客户绝对属于哪个供应商,而只属于市场。

理了理思路,回复如下:

Hi J,

Thanks for being so transparent, it's very impressive!

 

Looking back, we've been working together for 15 orders since October 2020, and we're getting along well, at least in my opinion, even though there is some friction on the custom report, but overall, we're cool, I appreciate you and D's trust and support, I mean seriously, from the bottom of my heart.

 

Well, I totally understand your team's decision about getting an alternative supplier, as you said, it's solely a business decision to minimize the risk to the company, so no worries I won't cry about that, though it's not good news for a supplier that can make his day. 

 

What I want to say is that you're an expert in supply chain management and you know deeply that price is not the only factor to business success, or Dollar Tree should be the largest retail company in the world instead of xxx, and obviously, we're not the cheapest. The fact is that there is always lower prices in China, those family-owned factories which only have a few workers and only produce a few models can absolutely offer a lower price than us, but risks are behind the attractive pricing, not only one of my European clients forwarded their orders to us from those suppliers who promised to provide both rock-bottom cost, fastest shippment and excellent service at the beginning. It's just contradictory. (订单不可能三角)

 

J, confidently speaking, taking all the total costs into consideration, I believe our offer is still very competitive, especially for xxx, or you wouldn't choose us in 2020 and keep working with us. But things just changed in the past 2 years, we're both facing challenges and we're forced to increase the cost due to the higher raw materials cost, and I'm aware that you're even also struggling with the sea freight; so again, your decision is reasonable and your honesty is highly appreciated; so, of course we'll look at the current prices, negotiating with up-stream materials suppliers see what we can do to optimize the process and give you a new quotation, but please leave me a few days as I'm now in the Shenzhen Giftware Trade Show from Jun 14th - 17th and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

 

(but please note we won't offer a cheap price that will lower the quality and our service, competing only by price is not the way we do business and we know deeply it's not healthy for a company in the long-term run)

 

What else, regarding the delay issues, please be assured that we have enough material suppliers to support the stable production&delivery so there is no way that we can't get the pieces that lead to the delay; even though our factory is blocked, in the worst scenario, we still have brother-factory in another town that can produce for us and you'll get the same cost and quality as ours. Our factory is in a mutual aid league and that's the strategy to fight against the uncertainty that COVID brings.

 

And not to mention that the whole town is now running normally, the government now has more experience to deal with the outbreak after the last few accidents, so things are under control; if we're shut down, others will be stuck too.

 

And J, just a question after the long story: if we can keep up with the service and offer a new cost that makes the boss happier, will you still plan to get another supplier, take the risks and pay plate costs again?

讲的事情不多,但两封邮件都挺长,我的邮件也写这么长一个原因是为了跟客户的篇幅对仗。不然对方长篇大论我们几句话打发,可能会给客户他掏心掏肺但你不认真对待的感觉。

简单概括如下:

背景:该客户主动开发而来,20年10月份开始合作,至今合作平稳,人际关系也处得不错;但是原材料的价格上涨和去年底新冠造成的交期延误,让客户的公司有了找第二家供应商的想法。当然,客户铺垫这么长,也不排除只是想砍价格。

简要整理客户和我的邮件的要点:

【客户】

  1. 肯定我们公司的产品和服务;

  2. 新冠带来的销售疲软导致公司整体利润下降,需要供应商降低价格以提升利润;

  3. 新冠带来的交期延误,让最终客户不满意;需要一个备选供应商,两条腿走路以应对新冠带来的一切延误风险;

  4. 无论如何,不会把全部订单从我们这转移走;但是决定转移部分(纳妾已成定局)


理出了客户的点,对应地去回复即可:

  1. 主动开发靠缘分,感谢信任和支持,以及对这件事的透明态度;

  2. 关于降低价格,我们会跟上游供应商再议价试试,看看有哪些方面可以优化以减少成本,但是打了预防针,不会降价很多来争取订单,低价背后很可能就是偷工减料,带来潜在风险;

  3. 如果备选供应商跟我们在一个区域,那么如果新冠影响我们生产,也必定影响那个工厂,这样的备选供应商对保证交期并没有什么帮助;所以我们应对新冠封锁的办法是在另一个区域找了个合作工厂,如果我们被封可以把订单给他们做,保证价格和品质跟我们一样;

  4. 灵魂发问:如果交期和价格,我们都能做得更好,是否还考虑转移? (后续会再邀请客户打个视频电话,榨一榨找新工厂背后是否有其他原因)


新冠继续肆虐,战争拖累,海运费短期内不会回到以往水平,老美经济刺激力度不如前两年,两年前购买的东西还能用,种种原因导致终端消费者在非必要产品上的购买力下降,客户压缩价格是情理之中的事情。

不过无论客户如何选择,还是感谢他们把事情摆到台面上来讲而不是暗戳戳地转移走订单(我们的产品是大路货,短期内转移不困难);非常时期,这样的事情可能还会发生,我们要做的还是持续提供优质服务,并且不断开发新客户,以使业绩结构更稳固,这样不至于其中一个大客户要转移订单的时候方寸大乱,为挽留客户继而降价太多严重损失利润。

修炼自己,静待花开。

P.S. 补充一点,当我们的客户寻思着“纳妾”的同时,是不是也有其他同行的客户因为成本和交期的问题,也在蠢蠢欲动着换供应商呢?市场永远是一池活水,有进有出~

WechatIMG392.jpeg

 


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Lee小侠

伪知识分子,尚爱折腾;外贸进阶路上,摆弄瓶瓶罐罐。

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