My “Slow” Customer
Alfred is a purchasing assistant for a construction company in Ghana. From his photos shown on social media, he had a chubby body. It took six months from first inquiry letter to the original L/C payment. We said Alfred is a “slow” customer, because how quickly I pushed, he still kept his own pace.
First, payment discussion lasted for one month.
Initially, we talked about T/T payment. When price and quantity were on negotiation, the client did not have any objections. After I sent first proforma invoice, the customer said they would make a deposit payment as soon as possible. After a week, the customer said his company would like to pay by L/C ( letter of credit). We thought it was normal, after all this was the first cooperation and we needed to deepen mutual trust. But I still tried to tell the advantages of T/T and showed higher costs for L/C payment. Alfred said that he would report to CEO. The final result would be determined by the company. So I waited for his reply. In three weeks, I wrote email to him, and left Skype messages. However, Alfred didn’t reply. Finally, I called directly to him, he let me keep waiting. Be patient, customers were the first! Meanwhile, customers devoted himself to promote this business, and I was grateful for it. Until the fourth week, Alfred replied that his company insisted on paying by L/C.
Second, suddenly changed the configuration after agreement signed.
In general, after buyers and sellers made an agreement in configuration, price, quantity and payment, the buyer should take payment as the next step. However Alfred decided to change configurations of products suddenly. I told him to send me new specifications ASAP. Alfred replied that he would send me soon. Two weeks later, I received new configurations from Alfred, and it might be a “soon” reply in dear Alfred’s idea. Compared with previous specifications, I found that the new configuration was higher. I recalculated price and sent it to Alfred. He accepted the new price and he said his bank would open L/C as soon as possible
Third, From 2013 year to 2014 year, L/C tems was revised again and again."
During the discussing about L/C draft copy with Alfred, he agreed to adjust L/C terms as we required, except a collateral term. A lots of mails were sent forth and back. In this exchange, although we had disagreements, but trust between us were deepened trust gradually. According to my opinion, the customer went to the shipping companies, forwarders and banks. He consulted about the collateral term again and again. Finally, Alfred agreed with my amendments. When the L/C terms were confirmed, it had been 2014.
Fourth, I waited for his L/C, while he waited for your boss’s signature.
Everything was ready, the only thing I could do was waiting for original L/C. Alfred told me that issuing bank would open L/C soon, After a week, my bank didn’t received the original L/C. During this week, I contacted our bank consult for several times and ultimately I didn’t get any news about it. Then I asked the customer that how did the L/C go on or if he met some difficulties.The customer replied to me that his CEO was on holiday. The documents should be signed by CEO. The issuing bank would open L/C after receiving signed documents. Well, let’s wait together. I mailed to Alfred each week during the waiting time.
On the last day of February 2014, my bank received the original L/C from Ghana bank. From confirming L/C to receiving L/C, a month had been passed.
Every company has its own working pace, no matter it’s “slow” or “quick”, we should adjust ourselves according customer’s requirements. When we meet “quick” customer, we should follow them tightly, but if we meet “slow” ones, we should offer more patience. As long as we offer excellent service and products, customers will be happy to cooperate with us, no matter they like to be “slow” or “quick”.