A Roller Coaster of a Day


Today was truly a tense and exciting day for me. A European client we collaborated with last year contacted me last night, saying they were ready to place another high-volume order. They needed me to prepare a quote right away so they could discuss and confirm the order the next day.

Given the urgency, I stayed up late that night to prepare the list. I continued working on it the next morning and finally sent it to the client around 1 PM. Shortly after, I received a grateful reply from the client, appreciating my efficiency.

I initially planned to take a short break that afternoon, but the client had numerous questions: alternative colors for certain styles, additional design features, stock availability, and more. As a result, I stayed online on WhatsApp to promptly address their queries. We spent nearly three hours going back and forth, and they sent me a handwritten order list to calculate the total volume.

Since most clients use Excel for these lists, the handwritten method was a bit surprising. However, understanding they might lack experience, I efficiently organized their handwritten list. The initial draft had a volume of 26 cubic meters, so I explained they could add another 42 cubic meters of goods. They revised the list, adding some items and removing others, but the total volume remained around 29 cubic meters.

I explained again that they needed to add more items, and their team deliberated further. After multiple revisions, we finally settled on a list with 68 cubic meters of goods. I thought I could finally catch my breath and went downstairs to get a coffee.

Just as I got back with my coffee, I received another message from the client. They had spoken with their freight forwarder and found that shipping rates had surged and space was hard to secure. They decided to take their time selecting products and delay the order until shipping rates stabilized. Understanding their situation, I replied that it was perfectly fine, and I hoped they would take their time to choose the right products. The client was touched by my understanding and praised me repeatedly.

For me, this was a normal part of the job. As salespeople, we shouldn’t focus solely on getting more orders but also consider the client’s perspective and costs. Only by thinking from their point of view can we truly help them. I then started to enjoy my coffee break.

About an hour later, the client contacted me again, saying they had decided to halve the quantity of all items, reducing the volume to around 35 cubic meters. I suspected they might be planning to share a container with someone else, so I asked if they had found space to share. The client was amazed by my intuition and said, “Melissa, you’re amazing. You guessed it perfectly.”

I immediately advised them to check if the other party’s products contained any liquids, infringements, or lithium batteries, as these could affect our shipment during customs inspection. The client followed my advice and fortunately, everything was fine. Thus, from placing the order to canceling it, and then to finalizing half a container, it was a roller coaster experience indeed!


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