Export sales – new ideas & tips
Export sales – New ideas & tips
Exporting is a major task that needs to be carefully planned to achieve desired and cost effective results. Exporting is of course much more complex than selling into your own domestic market but it has the advantage of massively increasing your market potential. Before a company attempts to begin export sales there are several factors to consider:
To which countries do we try to build our export sales?
How do we approach the markets we have identified as our targets?
Which sales and marketing messages should we adopt – how can we make our products standout?
Export sales – Identify your target markets
When deciding on the countries you want to export to keep in mind that not every product will be successful in every market, so some market research is required.
The main factors to consider are:
Identify the price at which you can sell for each market, then examining the GPD, per capita income, growth potential and projections of each potential country – could you sell at that price in that country?
Cultural and religious factors – is your market there? It is not often possible to sell socks to people with no legs!
Consider the costs of transporting your products to the target countries. Will this make your products too expensive? It is better to export to countries in your geographical neighbourhood?
Try to find potential markets where there is little or even no competition for your products. It will be easier to sell there and potentially at a higher price.
Check out which countries your country of manufacture has trade deals with, it may be that your type of products will be covered by this deal and your products will be exempt from tariffs and have favourable quality control systems in place. This will make it easier to export and ensure you are price competitive.
Export sales – How to approach your markets
Basically, you could use local agents or you could really go for it and market into your target countries directly using export managers supported by marketing campaigns.
Using local agents and distributors is likely to be a faster, easier and cheaper means to enter a new country. Of course it is important to find the right people to deal with and that is really not easy, you need to find people of the correct calibre who will put in the time and effort to build your product sales and all based on a commission basis.
Let’s face it there are a lot of untrustworthy people and businesses out there so initial vetting is very important but so is taking the time to monitor quality and build profitable relationships for all concerned.
Selling and marketing directly may take more time and money but consider if this will produce better return on investment in the medium to long term. You also have direct control over the personnel involved and the quality control processes which may determine your long term success.
Export sales – Getting the message right
If you choose to go down the route of selling your products directly into your target market countries it will be important to get into the minds of the people and culture. Your export managers will be very important in this process so where possible find people who have some direct knowledge and or experience of each market. This will help in building the relationships you need.
To give an example of the importance of knowing your market, a good friend of mine was appointed a key figure in an export project to Georgia. He is a really talented professional but knew little of Georgia. Some senior figures from the Georgian government (the client) took him to lunch, they asked him what he wanted to drink and he asked for Chilean wine. Now Georgia is a major wine producing country and they take real pride in their wine – so great offence was taken!
Adapt your sales and marketing messages and design work to meet the requirements, style and culture of each country. Some countries are more formal than others, some more conservative, some countries accept humour in business and others do not. So do your research, check out what works and market your products accordingly.
Export sales- Additional resources
This useful article by statista.com provides detailed information on the number of trade agreements enjoyed by each country and region of the world.
Link to directory of trade deals – https://www.statista.com/chart/18991/countries-with-most-trade-agreements/
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Export sales – new ideas & tips