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In this column we tell the reader about our practical experience
in consulting and conducting business in China.
About our mission and concepts
08/18/13 By: Igor A.Kozlov Source: © author`s text
As you can see, our offers put us in an advantageous position in the eyes of serious customers:
• The majority of those, who call themselves a consulting company, in fact turn out to be ordinary general traders, resellers and middlemen, as they take up any task, they seem to be ready to run for any product on any trader’s first demand. At that, they promise the customer to fulfill the whole range of works, including the search of provider, production and procurement project development, as well as courier delivery to the customer’s door in Moscow. As for us, we prefer to choose one or two clients out of dozens of applications according to the topics which are interesting to us, and we serve them at the appropriate level on the agreed list of issues and tasks, reaching the goal stipulated on the agreement. However, we do not undertake or promise to perform (that is, do not force the client) anything from the list that he does not need to be performed by us exactly.
• We provide services strictly according to our profile. For example, we find a supplier, or meet a supplier introduced by a client, negotiate with him all the preliminary conditions of cooperation, fixing all the agreements achieved, and hand this supplier as well as all necessary data over to the client. At that, we have implemented consulting, communication, negotiation and preparation of the draft stipulated on the agreement and have handed a completely functioning project as well as necessary contacts over to the customer. In most cases, the customer is able to perform the rest of issues by himself, that is he pays us the agreed amount for client search and holding negotiations, and after that receives the full contact and other important information about supplier, along with all the necessary recommendations; then he starts to work directly with the manufacturer. And he does not need us any longer in this chain and we do not claim any other additional payments. As a result, our customer has really saved his money on entrusting his business to us, and he has achieved the stipulated goal at the lowest cost!
• Many of the so-called “helpers-middlemen” gain interests, getting into the act with the Chinese supplier and taking a position between him and the customer from Russia. We are doing exactly the opposite, introducing directly the customer to manufacturer, and no interests are to be paid to us except for a one-time fee from the client for the work done.
• In the market of China some of our “competitors” can offer the following: “Dear customers! We can render you our services free of charge provided that you entrust us delivery of your cargo to your Moscow warehouse!” Our clients are thankful to us for not offering them, business people, such nonsense. This proposal, both with its attitude to the client and novelty, is similar to the story told to Pinocchio by the Cat and the Fox about the Field of Miracles and the trees with golden coins growing on them. Some of our clients are exasperated when telling us about someone trying to offer them such a thing. For them, serious businessmen, this in fact means that they have been definitively considered as Pinocchios, while this is not so...
• There are also many other significant differences in our vision of consulting as well as in the minds of some unsophisticated clients, suppliers and other players in the market of production and procurement in China.
Unfortunately, the concept of consulting in Chinese market has become distorted to some extent lately: it is losing its initial meaning and has transformed into ordinary market profiteering. We are not into it in any way. What we are selling exactly is consulting and assistance services, performed in the framework of certain agreements - that’s all! And we would like the clients to get this idea right. In fact, in most cases neither us, nor our clients would need anything more than that. There is no sense in doing things for people that you have not been asked for and no need in imposing unnecessary services and waste of money. Customers are not fools! They are well aware of everything, they can make appropriate conclusions and regulate relations with the service provider as he deserves it.
• Our proposals might cause our readers and clients a slight shock with their simplicity, unusualness and originality. But from the very first minutes of live conversation, a reasonable client comes down on our side and begins to trust us. At the same time, our clients finally entrust to us even more issues then they would to an official or an independent surveyor. That is the way it is and we can demonstrate this in the course of a private conversation. The reason why is in the fact that we are experts in the business that we discuss with every chosen client. And we will not take up a job even worth good money, if we have any doubts in it, or if we find out during our discussion that the subject is too complicated or unfamiliar to us, or we have lack of information and experience in this field.
People trust us just because our approach to business and to each client can be characterized as totally professional, most open and transparent to those who pay us the money.
It is in our interest that anyone seeking our services would make a deal with us consciously, realizing that he is going to have business with a consulting company - neither a trader or a broker, nor middlemen, but his faithful consultant and a guide to the world of business in China.
If the client persists that we should implement the whole production and procurement cycle, beginning from negotiation and product placement and finishing with this order being delivered to the warehouse in Moscow on the grounds that «everybody today acts in such a manner» (that is «I am comfortable with it as a client, I want it and I pay the money so that you deliver the goods to me as well as save me from all the troubles and misfortunes during the shipment of goods) - in fact, he is already not our customer anymore.
And we have to reply him in the following manner:
- either you pick certain areas of work and delegate them to us and we will do what we promise,
- or, following the needs of your big projects, we advise that you open a representative office here in China and hire responsible personnel and we will help you in the issues which are within our scope of expertise.
- otherwise, you can apply to other service providers with your huge plans, maybe directly to those who offer their «free services» with notorious door-to-door shipping. ☺
• Clients are mostly tired of being imposed those numerous service packages and inappropriate offers of «free storage» or «free QC services, negotiations, exhibitions, local delivery» and other pseudo-free programs.
And what we say at the first meeting is «This will suffice to give us just one assignment. Which one? Let us discuss it and you will select by yourself a really list of necessary services which would be cost-effective and expedient. And we will provide further advise on how to implement the rest of the issues in a cheaper, more reliable and easy manner, while you will not have to pay extra for that.» We charge fees only when we have to perform certain operations. For example, you ask us to visit the supplier’s factory or office on your behalf and to hold negotiations.
• Clients do not want to be afraid of various frauds, scams and hidden charges anymore. Intermediary participation in conspiracy of accepting kickbacks is a hidden theft, in other words. We tell them that the supplier gives them his price while we do not accept a penny from him. You only pay for our service and we are ready to speak with the supplier openly, as well as to give a written statement on our refusal from any offering coming from the Chinese supplier. We do not need any hidden commissions or kickbacks - we are professionals with more than 20 years of experience in this market and we value our name and reputation.
Well, who would not agree to buy just one service on such formidable terms, let’s say to order and pay for negotiations with the designated supplier or audit of his production? Experience has shown that every 4 or 6 out of 10 target clients (that is not just every applicant, but the ones selected according to the results of our negotiations) are ready and they buy! The rest take a time-out for thinking it over and, nonetheless, 4 or 6 out of 10 is a great result, just a super result! If every other of those who has applied and was taken to work with us with the exact goal of our project, will agree and pay - we should carry on and we are on the right track!
Now a few words about the psychology of working attitudes, attitudes to clients and ourselves.
• Everything had been made up a long time ago, even long before we were born, so there is no use in changing anything neither in yourself, nor in others, one has just to keep to the appropriate tactics:
- remain yourself under any conditions - do not lie neither to yourself, nor to others,
- be a gentleman in business
- find out the core of the case, its details and discuss to the maximum all the possible options, before taking any obligations,
- keep your word,
- fulfill your obligations,
- value your relationships,
- build your work neatly and carefully,
- try to be honest and decent with people in all situations
and everything will be alright!
• We are fully aware of the fact that our participation in projects saves their creators both time and money, allows them to develop freely and at maximum effectiveness. And they are well conscious of this fact, choosing our company for applying with interesting projects, but not those middlemen from the market!
• Customers get to know us, they see our successful projects, order just one service for a start, but still they are ready to pay even more then they would have to pay the middlemen ready to take up just any task. They are happy to pay us not only for the time spent, but also for our honest and consistent approach, for our open position.
So, this mutual understanding is a guarantee of proper and dutiful relationships in business!
With respect to all readers!
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