It’s fairly logical that it’s better to have a good relationship with your Chinese suppliers than not! However, building that rapport, especially these days when access to China is limited and it isn’t possible to visit them, is easier said than done.
In this episode, Renaud explains the difference between typical customer relationships, cultural factors fairly unique to China that can have an influence, benefits and drawbacks of good and bad relationships, and some actionable tips to follow to build or improve your relationship with a Chinese supplier.
By the way, this is part 5 of our series about doing your own sourcing from China, you can listen to the other episodes below.
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- 00:00 – Greetings & introduction
- 02:48 – Examples of 3 types of typical customer/supplier relationships
- 07:25 – Reciprocity for favors between suppliers and customers
- 10:18 – What are the inner and outer circles in Chinese relationships?
- 13:30 – Is it worth befriending your Chinese supplier to break into the inner circle?
- 16:04 – What is the concept of ‘face?’
- 23:13 – Tips for how to build relationships with suppliers in China.
- 26:20 – How to be seen as a ‘good customer?’
- 28:15 – Risks facing customers without a good relationship
- 31:31 – How to get better results from email communication?
- 33:22 – Wrapping up
Listen to the previous episodes in this series about sourcing from China here:
- Part 1: Good Fit, Sourcing, Vetting, & Backups [Podcast]
- Part 2: Negotiations, Terms, Leverage, & Quality Standards [Podcast]
- Part 3: Project Management & Checking Quality Early [Podcast]
- Part 4: Final Inspections [Podcast]
These resources will also help you understand how to build relationships with suppliers or improve (or end) those that you already have:
- Get help to find a good manufacturer in China with this free eBook
- When a relationship turns sour with a Chinese supplier
- Relationships with Chinese suppliers: be clean!
- Bad relationship with a Chinese supplier: just end it!
And, if all else fails and you need to ditch your current supplier and switch to a new one…
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