Home » Trade Skills » Trade Skills:Questions of inquiry

Trade Skills:Questions of inquiry

Posted by: Jenny | 2016-09-07 10:15:28

Recently, I received many questions from the foreign trade salesmen on dealing with the inquiry,so I would like to provide some solutions about the problems in the inquiry for you, hoping can help you.   

First, I reply the buyer but why he doesn't do that?
Reason analysis:

1) The customer does not receive it.

Analysis: Now many domestic manufacturers and businessmen still use the free mailbox or even the digital email (the email with 188, 139.com suffix). This kind of email is easily to be recognized as the junk mailbox by the foreign server. So the server will return or delete your email before your customer read it. Therefore, the customer will not reply you because he never receives your mail.

Solution: Use the international mailbox such as hotmail.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com. This type of free mailboxes are not easy to be recognized as the junk mail. In addition, you can buy the enterprise mailbox and contact the customer by the mailbox with the company suffix. But this is not for free but provided when build the company website and it charges extra fee every year. In the meanwhile, you need to find other related company's to build the mailbox with your company suffix for you. In such way, your email can pass the server and reach your customer’s mailbox.

2) The time difference of sending email and checking email.

Analysis: Many foreign salesmen think that reply the inquiry at one can get customer's appreciation and satisfaction. It is right but it neglect a very important thing which is that except for some countries in Asia and in Australia, most of the customers have time difference with China. Even if you reply at once, the client will also reply your mail at his work time. And his inquiry will be sent to many suppliers and the earliest reply will be placed in the bottom of the email list. If the customer wants to find the interested suppliers, he will absolutely not see your mail.

Solution: Your need to know the the time difference and their local working time and then send email according to their working time which only need to send the email in a fixed time. Besides, you can talk with the customer online in their working time which will be better.

3) The customer is day off or the density of sending mail.

Analysis: Except for contacting with the customers in time, you also need to know their local federal holidays or the rest time. Customers in many countries obey the timetable and they never work in the rest time or holiday. So it is very important to know their timetable. In addition, the density of sending email is also important. If it is too frequently, sending 3 emails at least each day, it may be possibly considered as the harassment or spam by the customers and add you in the blacklist. 

Solution: The lecturer of foreign trade pointed out the best email density: the 1st  day-the 2nd day-the 6th day-the 28th day-each month which means that when you send the mail at the first day, you need to send one more if receive no reply on the next day and send another one 4 days later in next week if reply no reply too and then the sixth day. If there is no reply, send it one week later and then half a month later and then send each month. Of course, the email title should be changed often and the email content can not be the same. 

Second, why we lose contact with the buyers after contacting several times?
Reason analysis:

1) The customer does not believe me.

Analysis: many foreign customers have been cheated by domestic illegal businessman which have led to their not contacting us if they feel a little problem in the communication. 

Solution: At the beginning of contacting the client, you can scan the customs registration to them and let him believe that you are legal and formal.

2)The market cycle.

Analysis and solution: you need to know the market cycle and clearly know when is the hot sales season so that you can grasp the chance and gain the contact with the customer.

3) They have contacted with other suppliers.

Analysis and solution: Many people will face the problem that after sending the mail, the customer replies "we have contacted with other suppliers". When face such kind of situation, do no give up and keep in touch with them. If the customer finds some problem with the existing supplier, he will contact you at once. If you find the customer a potential one, you must be careful for the quotation. Someone will think that if offered the higher price, the customer may bargain. But if the customer has received a lots of inquires and your price is much higher than the others, he will not consider your company and bargain with you. He will directly cut you out of the list. 

4) The expression in the mail is not clear.

Analysis and solution: This is mainly for the newcomers in foreign trade. The email should be simple. You should clearly know what you want to say and let the client understand your meaning.

At the beginning of replying the inquiry, sometimes, we have sent out many offers but received no reply. In the view of the customer, he has the right to keep silent. When he has the demand or your mail deeply impresses him, he will contact you. So do not give up the customer, and grasp any chance.

Third, there are many fee backs, but no one is my target big buyer.
The big clients can not be seen usually and there is few chances that we can meet the real big buyer. The big buyers is built and cultivated in the long term business transaction. The customer is cultivating the factory while the factory is cultivating the customer. Big customer usually needs the related high level product certification and factory environment. If you don’t have the relevant conditions, you could be refused by the big customer. Also, don't belive in the big customer totally and be carefully even to the real customer. The bigger the order, the more you lose. If occurs the quality problem, the big customer may let you Bankrupt.

Forth, you keep contacting with the customer but he doesn't place the order.
Analysis: When facing such problem, if he is a professional customer, he may have cooperated with other suppliers.

Solution: You need to try your best to find the direct contact of the customer but not just limited to the e-mail. You can use MSN, ICQ, SKYPE, YAHOO and even telephone to contact him. The modern foreign traders often forget the basic contact way, the phone. Don’t forget the phone. You can make a call to the customer and ask whether he receives your mail after sending him serval mails. It can let him remember you and pay attention to you.

Fifth, how to get the buyer's order?
This is not a problem actually but the goal of us. "Why some buyers lost contact after contacting serval times?" At this time, the customer does need the product. But how to let the customer place the order to youthe client at this time is the needed one, How can let the client give you the order? We need to correct our mind and carefully analyze and deal with the inquiry.

Analyze and judge the inquiry:

1. The types of inquiry.

1)The inquiry makes no sense.

2)The inquiry just looks for cooperation but not involve the relevant products.

3)The inquiry involves the specific products.

4)The inquiry not only mentions the products but also requires some prices packing and the shipment details.

2. How to deal with different kinds of mails?

1) Filter the inquiry that makes no sense.

2) Cultivate the inquiry that looks for cooperation. If receives no reply after offering the price, send email regularly with different titles for second follow. You can also change the mailbox to contact.

3) Focus on the inquiry that mentions the product and price, packing and shipment. Push the customer to ask for sample by different sales methods.

4) Pay attention that when classify the inquiry and reply, you must be cautious to the customers of using different mailboxes to ask your price. Pay more attention to the inquiry for the same product in the same area.

3. The criterion of classifying the main customers.

Judge the customer through his data and the inquiry and find his theme.

For example:

Ask the packing size of product (the customer is calculating the loading quantity for the order.) and the difference with other like product(the customer is comparing your product value). Ask about the corresponding certification of the products(the customer must be the formal company or perhaps the official customer). Ask about the key components requirements of the product, the application procedure in the manufacturing process or an unreasonable price requirements.(The customer must have made the price comparison. ).

4. How to develop the potential customers?

1) Establish a long-term contact mechanism and measure.

2) Take the special attention and promotional activities, driving their cooperation with interest.

3) Cultivate the customer by word-of-mouth marketing.

4) Make the accurate quotation and let the customer feel the pressure. (Remind the customer that the price will rise next month to pressure the customer.)

A. The theme of the mail.

The theme of the mail should be attractive and creative so as to attract the customer at the first time. If he is a real customer, we must spend some time on the email title.

For example, Sell Facemask (CE,ISO,FDA,BFE)? (Mark the certification of the product directly on the title.) The best price list for Facemask!


Facemask(CE,FDA,BFE)—USD10.00 (Mark the price on the title directly!)

B. The context of the email.

Make an important presentation of the company, highlighting the product's capacity and the certification. You can use the e-catalogue and price list.

Do not quote for the customer in a hurry. You need to quote cautiously after you know the demand of the customer and analyze and classify. You can also quote with pictures, sending the product pictures to the customer which is easier for the customer who doesn’t know English to understand.

C. Set the reply template.

It refers to make different quotations to the customers in different countries with different demands or price by summarizing the large number of customers. Avoid the same reply. Set the easy reply template with pictures.

Sixth,the quotation practice.
1. What is MOQ price? What is the price of LCL? What is the price of FCL?  What is the price of full year cooperation? How is the cost of mold etc? The mold fee can be returned when reach a certain quantity. How to deal with the people who ask for sample? For our cheaper product, we can send free sample but the customer need to pay express fee.

2. The necessary things in the quotation email:

-Product model number and specification (with picture).

-The quotation is according to the quantity of the order.

-The destination information, such as FOB xxx, CIF xxx.

-The valid of the quotation.

3. The signature.

You can leave your company contact informations including the company name, telephone, fax, address, e-mail address, the mailbox and the spare mailbox.


Reply the inquiry according to the time zone of the country to let your customer receive your mail at his work time. Do not worry to do the quotation but to find out the exact background of the customer first.


Analyze, reply, follow up ect., is a long term work in the inquiry which needs our persistency and positive attitude. Only in this way can we do well in the job and promote our own products successfully.


Tags: Trade Skills, Inquiry, Quote, Inquiry Skills, Customer, Supplier

Post Comment