Golden Rules for Exporting :
Sell Services :
If a person cannot easily export his goods, may be he can sell know-how or services which can generate revenue for them. Alternatively, a person can concentrate on supplying goods and materials to other persons who already have an export trade. Or he can concentrate on making what are termed own brand products as per requirement of buyers in overseas markets which have the manufacturing know-how or facilities. Above all, note the following four points.
Selling in Export is Tough. :
No one is willing to buy. Everything has to be sold as the competition
today ensures that the customer always has a choice of suppliers. Selling is an
honourable profession and to be an expert salesman is an honourable calling.
Deliveries must be on Time. :
Late deliveries are not always the exporter's fault because dock strikes, go-slows and so on occur almost everywhere in the world. But such difficulties can invariably be overcome and anyone contemplating entering export for the first time must be determined to let nothing stand in the way of fast and efficient delivery. This is the most important feature of export as compared to local business, if goods are exported in time, buyer may even refuse to accept it.
Goods must be Properly Serviced.:
Customers do not buy considering only the price. They buy, not only because the product is right, but also because they know that it will, if necessary, be properly serviced, both when it arrives at its destination and during its whole working life. Service is the oil of exporting and if a company gives service it can survive. Service must rank high by international standards and must stand up to the service provided by any competitors in the world.
Communication, both internal and external, must be far-reaching and speedy. Good communication at right time is vital in export. Failure to reply promplly to letters, using mail to answer airmail letters are everyday errors and speed is the essence of export communication. E-mail and Internet servcices must be used profitably to provide utmost fast momentum to the communication. When still in doubt, pick up a phone or hop on a plane to go and see the man.
To be profitable, a person must know in considerable detail how he costs his products, and what charges to apply at all stages. He must be aware of fluctuations in exchange rates and interest charges and allow for them in its costings. He must know in advance to what extent prices can be lowered or credit extended without trading at a loss. Where export is additional business for a person, he must know exactly what this worth in
terms of total profit and how far he can go to get it. A proper product strategy should be planned taking into account past trends, market penetration and level of international competition.
Finally, export staff must be carefully selected and adequately paid. They must be allowed and encouraged to travel to trade fair, exhibition and marketing tours. They must be given the suitable rank, status and pay of other similar executives in the company. They must be consulted on company policy and made to contribute towards it.
Testing Products :
While the risk of failure in export markets can be minimized by the intelligent use of research, one can never really be sure whether a given operation will succeed until it has been tried. Before committing to a large-scale operation in overseas markets, it is sensible to try things out on a small scale, with the intention of selling on a national scale. If the test is successful, many overseas markets are so huge that to sell everywhere would be asking a great deal at the outset.
Initial Attack :
Use the initial attack on a market as a test and any mistakes can then be corrected without much harm having been done. While the test campaign may appear to cost more initially than research, remember that some of the cost will be repaid by sales, so that test marketing often turns out to be cheaper than too intensive a research programmes. This strategy has a limitation that testing should not continue long otherwise product reputation would suffer.
If possible some indication of the attitudes towards the product should be established, both negative and positive. This is required of any sales operation. Even if a product is successful always try to obtain reactions from the customers, because it might be that with certain minor modifications one would have in fact sold a great deal more.
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