Chapter 11 – Meet Your Welcoming Committee

As soon as you arrive at the conference room you will be welcomed by a group of people, which I would like to refer to as your welcoming committee.

It will be the sales or marketing manager (mostly female) one or two assistants and if your visit refers to technical issues one or more engineers. Normally, the factory owner will not be present because he is a very busy person. You can be sure that it will be orchestrated for you to meet him sometime during your visit.

Meet the Company Owner

If it is a small company, he may join the meeting at a later stage. Otherwise, he will meet you during your visit in one of the factory areas. It may seem that you met by chance somewhere on the staircase or any other place, but of course it was orchestrated by the company so that both sides will not lose face.

By watching how well these events are arranged, you gain another perspective about how well the factory and management team are organized.

The obvious question becomes, if a factory cannot make proper arrangements for visiting customers, that their livelihood depends on, how much attention will they pay to your orders after you leave?

About Showroom Product Models

When entering the conference/showroom you will learn how much care the factory takes displaying the products they want to sell to you.

In many cases, you quickly realize that very old models are displayed together with their latest models. The factory may still be selling these older models to less developed countries. There is good reason not to discontinue the older models. These old models can be good business for both the factory and the developing country that is buying them. The factory recouped their original investment long ago. Everything they sell today has a large profit margin. The developing country can buy older models for a fraction of what the newest technology costs. It is a win-win situation for both supplier and buyer.

I bring up this example to demonstrate that Chinese factories do not necessarily follow western ideals about presenting only the newest and shiniest products in a showroom.

On the other hand, if only old product models are displayed and the factory has nothing new to show to you, you may have come to the wrong factory and should begin planning to proceed to the next factory. Of course, it would be very impolite to leave right away but you should shorten your visit and spend less time on the evaluation of it.

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