Verifying distributors or suppliers is a critical step for businesses when importing goods from China. This will spare them the hassle of dealing with dishonest or unethical suppliers and assist them in choosing a supplier who can produce products in the required quality and volume. Instead of waiting until after you have chosen a seller, flawlessly include supplier verification in the shortlisting process. However, verifying a supplier isn’t as easy as it seems.
The language barrier is one of the biggest obstacles to dealing with China or Chinese suppliers. Understanding Chinese business and culture can greatly improve communication and ultimately make it possible to create long-term relationships.
Numerous buyers find it extremely difficult to contact China suppliers and receive a response to their query because of the language barrier, cultural differences, time zone differences, and lack of familiarity with Chinese business practices.
In many instances, you locate a supplier online, send them a message or fill out an inquiry form online, wait weeks before hearing back, and then call them only to discover that they are difficult to understand on the phone or that they do not speak English at all.
Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to improve communication so that it benefits both parties.
Sending a lot of emails quickly is never a good plan because importers then suffer the consequences. Chances of slang, spelling errors, and jargon increase a lot.
You might think that your Chinese supplier understands and speaks English. However, there’s a good possibility that they frequently copy your emails into an online translator to understand the content in their language. To contact China suppliers, keep your email short and sentences crisp, clear, and to the point. Use lists and bullet points to help your supplier quickly recognize crucial information and react appropriately.
Communicate Over a Phone Call
By contacting through email you can also verify if the supplier truly exists. Contact them on their official email and call them on their official number frequently to verify the same thing again and again. If you find them changing their statements, you may reconsider the options. If your supplier doesn’t react to a dispatch within a reasonable amount of time or is generally unresponsive, it’s usually best to contact them by phone.
Silence also indicates an issue or an unclear product. Chinese suppliers occasionally hide negative sides from clients simply by choosing to ignore their inquiries.
WeChat is a Chinese app just like WhatsApp messenger. However, the Chinese use it for all purposes like online shopping, buying tickets, paying bills, and communicating through text and voice messages. This is an informal mode of communication where you can send personal messages. Therefore, it is less used for business purposes as it may seem that the buyer isn’t that serious about their business.
However, WeChat is the best mode to contact China suppliers that are unavailable through phone calls or emails. WeChat is another way of checking from time to time with the supplier about production updates.
WeChat has an integrated translation function. Therefore, if a language barrier is a significant one, you and your supplier can communicate in your respective native languages and simply translate one another’s answers. To avoid exorbitant international calling costs, the platform also allows you to make free audio and video calls.
Face to Face Interaction
Nothing is as convincing as shaking hands and talking one-on-one with your supplier. If you’re serious about improving communication and building a long-term connection with your supplier, setting up a visit may be well worth the expense.
Thousands of orders are handled at once by large suppliers. And your order can easily get forgotten in this wave. However, if you travel a great distance to see them, they might give your requests a little bit more priority.
Moreover, in-person visit to the factory also helps in the inspection of the machines, manufacturing process, material, and component inspection as well as labour verification. After you contact China suppliers you can book a ticket to China, or you can hire a third-party agency or a China sourcing agent to do the work on your behalf.
Physical appearance informs you if the supplier exists if they’re a manufacturer or reseller and if they have the experience, machine, and expertise to fulfil your order.
Due to cultural and language barriers, dealing with China is frequently considered difficult. However, you can improve your communication skills by working with a professional, using technology like WeChat, attempting to learn the language or some basic phrases, and understanding Chinese culture. Most significantly, no matter which form of communication you select, keep your communication simple.