Comprehension and Discussion Questions. 1. In what way do we obtain sales?
1. In what way do we obtain sales?
2.What is the market behaviour of potential customers?
3.What kind of sales network should be set up for the effective marketing?
4.What is a sole selling method for overseas marketing?
5.Why should we have a chartist (salesperson) in the overseas market?
6.How do the UK commission agents operate in overseas marketing?
7.What is the main disadvantage of a manufacturer in overseas marketing?
ARRANGING BUSINESS VISITS
Once a decision has been made about the most suitable type of overseas sales network, you will then have to consider how to support your agent, distributor or branch office, principally by making personal visits to them. Such a visit can be either on your own or with a trade mission organized by a body such as a Chamber of Commerce or Trade Association, which may be sponsored by the BOTB.
Visits are necessary because personal contract with agents and customers is most important. Even if you do not speak the language fluently, one or two words will go a long way to ease negotiations. Preparation is essential, including desk research on the market. Notification to your local BOTB office is recommended so that they can advise their overseas post, who in turn will prepare lists of contracts for you. Your local Chamber of Commerce can help in the same way, by writing in advance to their counterparts in the overseas markets.
Check on public holidays, local industrial holidays, social customs, travel and health requirements and similar mundane but important points. You will find the Hints to Exporters’ booklets very useful as sources for such information. They are provided free of charge to exporters by the BOTB.
Once these preparations have been made advise your agent and existing and potential customers of your intended visit. It is also a good idea to send them leaflets in their own language, but the actual translation must be undertaken by someone whose language is the mother tongue, in order to achieve the desired effect.
Whilst these comments will generally apply to all kinds of business trips, sales missions organized by your local Chamber of Commerce will mean a slightly different approach. If you contemplate joining such as a mission, much of the preliminary spade-work will be done by the organizers and the British posts abroad. For a beginner, therefore, this can be a very much easier way of entering the export market. For example, in 1986 Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent out 13 missions to 18 countries and brought back orders worth 71 million.
There are several obvious advantages to being part of such an outward sales mission. Contracts are arranged for you with potential customers or agents; the mission and its members are given publicity overseas in newspapers, magazines, TV, and so on; you are with people who know the market and can give advice if problems occur and finally, but not least important, you may be eligible for a grant towards the cost.
The availability of such grants depends on the country involved. At the present time BOTB subvention is not available for missions to USA and Canada, South Africa and Western Europe (excluding Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Finland). For those areas where financial assistance is not provided there may still be Chamber-organized trips, where the other advantages still hold good.
CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
As we have seen, communication with agents or customers is all important. If they do not hear from you regularly they will feel isolated and more inclined to promote their other lines. But apart from the postal services, what other methods of communication are open to you? In this electronic age, it may be easier to make contract by telex and facsimile transmission. Many firms overseas actually prefer these methods since they provide instantaneous hard copies of the information being transmitted and avoid potential postal delays. For those companies who do not have their own telex and fax facilities, agencies exist which offer these services on a subscription basis. They can be found in your local Yellow Pages under Telex Bureaux or Office Services. Fax is rapidly catching up with telex in popularity. It is now being used to send letters and other written documents and not, as in the past, just drawings and specifications which could not be transmitted on a telex machine. The cost involved in using either method is roughly comparable.
Should you need to telephone your agent, to remember to check the time difference, bearing in mind British Summertime and any similar daylight-saving scheme in the overseas country involved. Do not forget potential language problems. Arrange for a linguist to be on hand if the person whom you are telephoning is not fluent in English.
You will undoubtedly also need to use postal communications and purchasing a copy of the Post Office Guide will prove a good investment. This is a comprehensive directory of all the available postal services, including notes on sending letter and parcels abroad, cash-on-delivery, insurance, and so on. If you need to send literature or small samples through the post this guide is essential reading.
BOTB –British Overseas Trade Branch
counterparts –коллеги в бизнесе
mother tongue –родной язык
spade-work –подготовительная работа
subvention –субсидия, дотация
to catch up with –догонять
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