Need a Fresh Start for Your Internet Business? Grab My FREE Report!

How to Approach a Potential Dropshipper

Keller Hawthorne | June 19, 2009 | 5 Comments

In my last Ecommerce 101 article, 10 Questions You MUST Ask Potential Dropshippers, I explained the most crucial questions you need to ask your potential dropshippers and why they are so important. Now, I’ll discuss how to approach a potential dropshipper and request their services. In this article, you will piece together your standard dropship request email in 5 simple steps. But first, let me prepare you for your communication.

Be Prepared to Hear “No”

Trust me when I say not every dropshipper will bend over backwards to form a relationship with you. Some only accept a few clients and then close their doors. Others want to see that you have an established company or that your company’s goals and missions are aligned with theirs. And yes, some just care about sales.

You may find your dropshipper has a minimum sale requirement, such as requiring that you order at least $1000 worth of products each month. DON’T be turned off by this. If your store is new, let them know that and they will probably give you some wiggle room on their policy. If your store is already established, you should have no problem meeting this requirement.

Other potential dropshippers may end up not being dropshippers at all – just wholesalers or manufacturers. If they can’t provide a dropship service, ask them to refer you to someone who can.

Channel of Communication

It’s true that you can choose to simply pick up a phone and call your potential dropshipper. But, I tend to prefer email as you get all of your answers IN WRITING. You can save their response for future reference.

Your email should also speed up the relationship forming process as the dropshipper will know exactly what information you need from your very first communication.

Your Standard Dropship Request

Now let’s piece together your email.

1. Introduction

This might be obvious, but it is important. Make sure you start your email by introducing yourself as the owner of your company (adds authority to your request). Then, provide the URL of your website. It’s important to allow them to view your store so they can get a better idea of what type of company you are. Also, some dropshippers will offer guidance or advice on how to sell their merchandise and by viewing your store, they can better help assist you in selling their products.

If your website isn’t currently live, you can let them know this in your introduction. Simply state that you’re in the process of opening a new “whatever” store and would love to offer their product lines.

“My name is YOUR NAME and I am the owner of YOUR COMPANY,”

2. Sugar and Spice

If you’ve ever requested a link exchange from a website, you know that the best way to ensure the recipient will accept your request is to “butter them up.” You know – compliment them, their website, their content, etc. Well, you should use the same strategy when requesting a dropship relationship.

In this section of your email, tell your potential dropshipper what you like about their products (i.e. quality, variety, etc). This section should be easy and quick. Hey, if you can’t tell the dropshipper what you like about their products, how are you going to sell them to your customers?

“I love your PRODUCTS!” or “My customers would love Your PRODUCT LINES!”

Optionally, you can further explain exactly why their products would be perfect for your store.

3. Make Your Request

Now, we need to make sure our potential dropshipper understands what services we’re requesting. If they happen to be a wholesaler, they may send you information that is not related to your needs (minimum bulk order cost, wholesale prices, etc).

So, in this section we need to explain that our store is an ONLINE STORE and requires them to dropship individual products (we’re not buying in bulk) directly to our customers with OUR company name on the box.

If you haven’t read my article, 10 Questions You MUST Ask Potential Dropshippers, go ahead and do so now. We will be inserting the questions I list in that article into this section of your email. This section helps to further explain your request and ensure the dropshipper understands your needs.

“As my store is online, I need dropship services in order to sell your products. I have a few questions regarding your services:

1. Do you offer a Dropship Program for online stores?

2. Do you ensure my company’s information is on the packing slip/package?

3. What is the discount on your products for dropshippers?

4. What are your damaged/return policies for dropship orders?

5. Do you charge sales tax or require my seller’s permit?

6. May I use your products’ images/descriptions on my website?

7. How do I place my dropship orders (i.e. online/email)?

8. How long does it take for orders to be processed and shipped?

9. What shipping methods do you offer and do you provide tracking numbers?

10. Are you the manufacturer of your products?”

4. Request a Response

Finally, simply ask for their response.

“Thank you for your time! I look forward to hearing from you!”

5. Save and Repeat

Make things easy on yourself and save your email as a text file on your computer. Name it something like “Standard Dropship Request.” Now, you can use it to contact several dropshippers!

Stay Organized

I want to give you a few more tips that will help you stay organized and clear headed while hunting for dropshippers.

  1. Bookmark all potential dropshipper websites.
  2. Create a folder in your email client (Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, etc) and name it “Potential Dropshippers.” Only use this folder to save the following:
    • Responses from companies that CANNOT provide dropship services (by saving their response, you can follow up with them later to see if they’ve introduced a dropship program)
    • Dropshippers that cannot meet your needs at this time (perhaps their prices are too high, their order processing is too slow or you just don’t like the vibe you get from them. Go ahead and save their response so you can follow up with them at a later time)

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies and make your request – even if you’re not sure whether or not they actually provide dropship services. Some of my BEST dropshippers DON’T advertise their dropshipping services. I had to initiate communication and inquire about their services. I’ve even contacted retailers and requested dropshipping. And guess what – they said sure!

Also, remember YOU are the customer in this relationship. It’s their responsibility to meet YOUR needs. If you don’t like their policies or prices, either negotiate or say goodbye. Don’t sacrifice your customers’ needs for your dropshippers’.

WP Greet Box icon
Never miss a post - Subscribe To My RSS Feed and receive updates on new posts related to growing your Internet business!

Topic Tags:

, , , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2011 · · All Rights Reserved · StudioPress Lifestyle Theme Customized by KBH Web Marketing · Terms of Service · Privacy Policy · Site Map