Global connections anytime, anywhere

FAQs

Global connections anytime, anywhere

Question :
Can I see your clients' list?

Answer :
We have never made public our clients' list - not at our website or anywhere else for that matter. We have nothing to prove or gain by making it public. It has always been our policy not to divulge any of our clients' details to the public or even among our own suppliers and buyers.

We do have clients who are bitter rivals of each other in their market. As a third party we prefer not to take sides and to keep to our main function of connecting our buyers with our suppliers. We have learned a long time ago to hold our tongue and let our work do the talking. Think of us like a Swiss bank - client confidentiality is completely assured. That is why we can work with clients who are bitter rivals of each other in their market without much drama. Of course a bit of tact goes a long way in those situations. Most times we work under non-disclosure agreements where clients’ details are strictly under wraps at all times.

You might be surprised at some of the big names that have joined our supplier database over the years. The fact is, even big companies need sales to survive. And because we are known for our specialization in RELIABLE suppliers, buyers often come to us ready to buy. They already have a rough idea how much the products will cost them. They just need a RELIABLE supplier with good terms and a fair price - often that is all that’s needed to conclude the sale. We have always maintained a low profile. We don’t talk much - we let our work do the talking for us. Just look at our current projects HERE . We believe it is not a short list .


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Question :
What is your biggest advantage in helping suppliers get more buyers ?

Answer :
Where is the best place to find a buyer? At the source, of course. But for a normal supplier to get that kind of information from a buyer’s Purchasing Dept is like pulling teeth.   As we gained more clients over the years, we also developed the ability to tap directly into the Purchasing Dept of many buyer companies in our buyer database. We know many of them personally and this is our strong point. Infact 70% of our current regular buyers come from our in-house buyer database where our buyers’ Purchasing Dept staff contacted us personally to source for products for them. This is the “hidden buyer market” that rarely, if ever, makes it to the tradeboards at B2B portals. We are often regarded as a “neutral party” and in many ways we are as our main concern is often to get the best deal for our buyers.

This goes back to the basics of selling - given a choice would you buy from a total stranger or from someone you already know? This is where we excel and this is what we have been doing over the years - developing relationships with people.


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Question :
Your job is only to introduce the buyers to us. Why should we pay you?

Answer :
You pay for professional services, that's how the world works. If you walk into a real estate office asking for someone's time and knowledge, don't complain when you get charged. If you go into a lawyer's office asking for someone's time and knowledge, don't complain when you get charged. The same goes when you want us to bring our buyers to you. You are paying for our knowledge of the market and the fact that we have spent the time choosing our buyers, building relationships with them and know what is out there. The fact that we can save you a lot of time is by itself worth paying for our services.

We connect buyers and sellers everyday - we are not that type of consultants who work for six months and then go on holiday for the next six months. We go out into the market every single day to connect our buyers and suppliers. By going out into the market daily, we stay on top of things so that we can respond better when our buyers are ready to buy.


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Question :
So many companies out there are offering sourcing services for buyers. Isn't AGV just another agent?

Answer :
We watch with interest the proliferation of agents and sourcing companies over the last decade. It seems that everyone can claim that they are able to source for just about anything from anywhere. We beg to differ.

From our experience, sourcing work is not that easy or that simple. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of hard work and effort have to be put in . And this is where many of those agents and companies were lacking. Many died a natural death as they could not cope with the long and often complicated steps involved in becoming a professional finder.

Ever since day one , we have stated our position as consultants . Professionally our bias is more towards our panel of international buyers as we only go to work when there is a genuine buyer request. We maintain a global database to keep things in check. We discuss with our buyers and suppliers on how to make things better for everyone in the process. We develop systems to ensure that our buyers and suppliers can benefit from our network of contacts.

As consultants and professional finders, our work is already cut out. While other companies offer more “side” services such as financing help, logistics integration, order verification, etc - we concentrate our attention on just one service, that is, connecting our buyers with reliable suppliers. We are focused in this particular area and by doing that we actually provide better leverage and service to our clients. You cannot be everything to everyone. That is the surest way to fail in business. When you have a major heart problem do you go to a heart specialist or to your family doctor? In comparison we are that heart specialist. We may cost you more but we know what we are  doing and with the right buyers we can even help your business grow by leaps and bounds.

We can however connect our buyers with those offering the services mentioned above, on request. After all over the years we have come across many of them and we have used some of their services before. We can recommend a few good ones with excellent reputations.


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Question :
My sales staff is already doing a good job covering the whole region. Why should we engage your company?

Answer :
We cover the international market and we also go into areas not normally covered by your sales people. If your company is from China, you might have Asia well covered. What about the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America, South America? Ours is a global business. Since 1996 we have started covering those markets through our associates and business partners. Those are not foreign markets to us. And these are the markets that you can tap through us.

Of course you can do it yourself but just imagine the costs, logistics, time and the extra commitment needed to accomplish all that. We are not asking you to drop your sales team. You still need them . We can bring in the buyers but your sales team still has to close the deals. We can still work together. We have no problems with that. Consider us as an extension of your sales team but without the overheads. You might have Asia well covered but we can still spring a few surprises in a few less covered regions in Asia. It's normal for us to cross-sell different products in the international market or get related leads from different, non-traditional sources.

Example - we might work with a supplier who grows apples in New Zealand. Instead of just looking for apple buyers we might end up connecting the apple grower to a fertilizer manufacturer or a paper packaging manufacturer or a machinery seller or a freight forwarder or even a bank. Chances of us finding more buyers for you are bigger through our networking.


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Question :
We want to sell more of our products especially to overseas clients. How can you help?

Answer :
We can help you market your products overseas at no cost. We can put your products in front of more potential buyers through our dealings. When you are already in our supplier database, all it takes is just a simple search through our supplier database to find you. Of course if we are familiar with you and we like the way you do business then you definitely have an edge over our other suppliers. But you have to be in our supplier database first before we can bring our buyers to you.


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Question :
There are many B2B portals (Alibaba.com, etc) on the Net. We can find buyers there.

Answer :
B2B portals such as Alibaba.com, etc also have their own buyer database but their buyer database is, in most cases, nothing more than just data kept in computer servers. It's a very cold and distant way to develop a relationship. You have to remember that at the end of the day, business is done between people, not between computers. Somebody, somewhere has to decide whether the deal is done or not.

Our buyer database is more than just data in computer servers. We interact with our buyers. We communicate with them. We build a relationship with our buyers. They know what we are capable of doing. They know we can make their life a lot easier by connecting them directly with real and qualified suppliers instead of them running around in circles looking for suppliers who they know nothing about. Buyers are humans too and they too would appreciate it if somebody can help make their life easier and less complicated. Yes, we still make use of B2B portals for research purposes.

We have been doing this for more than a decade. Time has been on our side. As in other businesses, there are tricks of the trade that you will learn over time. "How" and "Where" are just a part of the equation. With time comes experience and in our case we have already started developing our business and building up our network of buyers and suppliers worldwide since 1996.

Many companies, at one time or another, suffer from the “one side of the fence” view. They see the world from their side of the fence only and think that is all there is. They cannot see what lies beyond the fence - new opportunities, new trading partners, new technologies, etc. We are exposed to these through our partners everyday and we believe in sharing these with our other partners.


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Question :
What happens if a supplier doesn’t pay the consulting fee as agreed earlier?


Answer
We believe in bringing repeat business to our suppliers. We are not looking at just one deal. Repeat business is where the money is. Since we have already done the hard work of finding and qualifying the buyers we believe in having a fair share of the business generated, now and in the future. If you are not agreeable with this then there is nothing much we can do about it. But the fact remains - we can always bring a buyer to other suppliers currently in our global database.  That is why we have specified that our consulting fee is still payable to us as long as our buyer is still buying the product(s) from your company. We will not bring other suppliers to the buyer as long as this arrangement is still in effect as we still respect the existing status quo. If this arrangement is broken by the supplier then we assume that we are free to approach the buyer with other suppliers. If our supplier does not pay our consulting fee, we might consider taking legal action. But so far the most effective way of handling this problem, from our experience, is by not bringing any more new buyers to that particular supplier and since we already know the buyer, we will just send a small note to that buyer giving the details with an option to connect the buyer with a new and better quality supplier. That will usually do the trick.


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Question :
Why should I use AGV’s services?

Answer :
We already have a panel of international buyers and a global supplier database .

We have been in business since 1996. You don't have to start from scratch with us . Our network is already there, up and running .

For buyers, we already have an extensive global supplier database. Plus if you are a buyer of raw materials which you then turn into finished products , we can also help you find other buyers for your finished products .

For suppliers, we already have an existing global buyer database that you can tap into. Considering that many suppliers spent millions on advertisements, etc. just to generate new customers , what we have to offer to our suppliers is also simple and straight to the point - just service our already established and expanding portfolio of international buyers.

We have already done the hard work of locating and qualifying those buyers. We just need somebody reliable enough to service them - period. All the suppliers have to do is just prove to us that they are RELIABLE with an outstanding track record .


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Question :
What are your primary sources when it comes to looking for buyers?

Answer :
Trading or B2B portals are a good source for buyer requests but many more companies do not go online with their buyer requests. Infact many buyer requests are only circulated internally and not made public. Through its contacts AGV has managed to tap into many of these “hidden circles”.

Our existing buyer database is also an important source . From time to time we keep in touch with our buyers and in many cases they come back to us with new buying requests for other products. We believe in building loyalty and getting repeat business from our existing clients .

Many of our buyers are also manufacturers. They buy raw materials, process them and turn them into finished goods. And guess who they ask later to find buyers for their finished goods?

We normally play a single role with our buyers but later on many of our buyers realized that we can do more than that - we can also sell their finished goods. We can definitely do that - we already have a buyer database.


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Question :
How important is repeat business to you?

Answer :
Very important indeed. We often get referrals and repeat business from our buyers. This is one of our strong points. It's usually easier to do business when you are referred by somebody who the buyer knows personally. When we recommend your company to our buyers, we will also extend the same courtesy to you so that it will be easier for you to do business with our buyers.


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Question :
As a buyer, is my contact information kept confidential?

Answer :
Yes, your contact information is kept confidential. Suppliers do not have access to your e-mail address or contact information. We will only give your details once we are satisfied that they can meet your requirements and are recommended by us.


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Question :
What is the cost of the service? Are there any transaction fees?

Answer :
We do not charge the buyer. There are no transaction or retainer fees from the buyers. Our professional fees come from the supplier’s side .


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Question :
Are buyers obligated to use the suppliers that quoted on the job?

Answer :
No. However, we encourage buyers to use professional courtesy and respond to suppliers that have taken the time to quote.


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Question :
Does the buyer always go for the lowest bid?

Answer :
Buyers are not always attracted to the lowest bid and AGV does not believe in cannibalizing margins just for the sake of getting a contract. Our service is designed around intelligently connecting buyers with suppliers that have the best equipment, capacity and expertise for a job.


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Question :
Do you guarantee my company will get work through your system?

Answer :
We do not guarantee you will be awarded a job. Nobody can. In international trading, if somebody says he/she can guarantee you a job, be very, very careful with that person. If it sounds too good to be true, then most probably it is.

However keep this in mind - the buyer did request us to source for them. We only go to work when there is a genuine buyer request. And we normally qualify the buyer first before taking the job. However, we will deliver plenty of opportunities matched to your capabilities, capacity and expertise at the exact moment the buyer is looking for a supplier. It remains up to you to sell your company and service but we will assist your company in any way we can through our existing links with the buyers.

We believe in building great business relationships through personal contacts and referrals from our buyers. We normally take our time to know our buyers and we believe you already have one foot in the buyers’ door through us. We will be glad to suggest ways you can differentiate yourself in the system.
 

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