In September 2015, a Macao company found me through the website, sent me a sample picture of the propeller shaft bearing, and asked if I could produce the propeller shaft bearing.
In fact, the other staff of this company had contacted me six months ago. I also asked if the propeller shaft bearing could be done, but after the simple correspondence, there is no following.
I have never done business in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, because communication is completely barrier-free, because customers can easily see factories and the like, and it is more convenient to compare prices between suppliers. So at first I didn't think it was an order that I could win.
Different from the previous one, the customer sent me the design drawings of their propeller shaft bearing. Since I sent the design, I also took a cursory look and sent them a quotation. (Remarks: Before the quotation, I have already got a general understanding of the size of the company through Google, the price of the product sold, and so on. I think it is a big company. Plus, I didn’t think I could get this customer before, so there is no Give them any discounted prices, and instead increase the unit price of the propeller shaft bearing.)
It didn't take long for the letter to send a reply from the customer. He asked me why the price of the propeller shaft bearing was so high. I quoted the offer of their old supplier's propeller shaft bearing. I also asked me in great detail. If we produce this propeller shaft bearing, what materials and processes will be used? What equipment is processed, etc. In short, it is very detailed.
Every time I see this letter with a competitor's offer, I have a headache, especially this time my price is almost four times that of the other party. The other party's offer is almost lower than the price I get, so I almost don't want to return this letter, because any explanation is pale in the face of 4 times the price difference.
However, out of courtesy, I still replied to them with a letter and answered their questions in detail. Then they were told that because of the different materials and processes, the cost is high, but the quality of the propeller shaft bearing is better than that of ordinary manufacturers. We welcome customers to compare prices, but hope to be based on the same quality standards.
The customer's third letter asked if I could provide a sample of the propeller shaft bearing so they could be quality checked. I also asked me more about some of the processes, materials, and construction issues.
I told the customer that there is no problem with the sample of the propeller shaft bearing, but we don't provide it for free, we need to pay for it, and we have detailed answers to other questions from the customer.
Because the time is already at night, I have not received any reply from the customer. Early the next morning, I took a moment to look carefully at the design of the propeller shaft bearing that they sent me, and found that there was a problem with the size of their design. This size does not have process achievability in mainland China. Therefore, I chased an EMAIL to the customer, telling him that we can't process this size. If it needs to be processed, it needs to be modified. And the modified design drawings were sent to them, clearly marked the size before and after the modification.
The customer wrote back to me: their old supplier said that this size is no problem, ask me if I made a mistake. Afterwards, I personally think that the most important link may be here.
According to my understanding of the processing technology of this propeller shaft bearing, if you want to achieve the customer's size, it must be developed in Europe and America. Due to the difference in precision of production equipment and equipment embargo, there is no factory in mainland China that can achieve this precision production process. However, if it is produced in Europe and America, the offer of the old supplier's propeller shaft bearing is completely wrong, because this price may not be enough to buy raw materials abroad. So I decided that this old supplier is lying.
At the same time, I made the following thoughts:
Thinking 1: Why is the same order, the same company, still consulting me after half a year?
Conclusion: They probably haven't found a good supplier yet.
Thinking 2: Why do they already have old suppliers, and have already made sure that my price is four times higher than the old supplier and continue to consult me about product details?
Conclusion: They are likely to be dissatisfied with this old supplier and need to be replaced.
After reaching the above conclusions, I wrote them very seriously. Focus on telling them:
First: If their size can be achieved, we don't have to make changes. However, if their size can't be realized, we will not modify it without achieving the customer's consent, even if this size will have no effect on the function of the final propeller shaft bearing.
Second: Since your old supplier said that you can do it, let them also make a sample of the propeller shaft bearing, and then we talk about the sample of the propeller shaft bearing.
Third: The sample cost of the propeller shaft bearing will be refunded after the order is made.
So the customer paid me the cost of the sample of the propeller shaft bearing. I arranged the factory to carry out the sample production of the propeller shaft bearing. However, I let the factory produce three samples of propeller shaft bearing, so that they can determine the final product plan.
About 3 weeks later, the factory informed me that the sample of the propeller shaft bearing was produced.
At this time, I made a new decision to send the sample of the propeller shaft bearing, because this is the only way to better show the customer the sample of the propeller shaft bearing. So I wrote to the client saying that I am going to a meeting in Macau. Can I bring the samples of the propeller shaft bearing to them at home? If they have questions about the sample of the propeller shaft bearing, I can explain it in person. The customer said no problem, then booked the time and place for me to meet.
Afterwards, I would like to come to see the customer is likely to be another key point to win this customer.
Upon meeting, they told me that the sample of the old supplier's propeller shaft bearing had been received, so we went straight to the subject.
I took out a sample of the propeller shaft bearing we produced, and he took a sample of the propeller shaft bearing from their old supplier for comparison. When I saw the sample of the old supplier, I was happy. Obviously this is domestic production.
When I used the vernier caliper to show the customer the size we were going to modify at the time, the customer understood that their old supplier had modified the size and scammed them to say no problem. Therefore, other quality comparisons have no operation for the customer. The data of the wall thickness is also lazy. I directly throw away the samples of their old supplier's propeller shaft bearing and ask me some products. Related issues, delivery, payment methods, etc.
When I gave the customer a detailed answer, I felt a sigh of relief, and this time I gambled. I peeked at the sample of the propeller shaft bearing of the old supplier who was thrown away by him. Practically speaking, this product is not bad in terms of materials, finish, and craftsmanship, and even some details may be processed. My sample is ok.
In the end, I successfully won this customer. As of the 16th New Year's Day, this customer has already placed 3 orders. Although each order is not very large, it is enough for my daily expenses.
Whether it is profit or value, this customer is not my biggest customer in 2015, but winning this customer is my biggest achievement in 2015. I also hope that this story will have some inspiration for your peers.
If you need any brand bearings or any models of bearings, please contact me!
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