Hi everyone, it’s Victoria at Bolst global. I hope everyone is doing really well.
So today’s FAQ is the following. Where can I find international buyers?
Obviously as we develop into international markets, what everybody wants is to find those customers in your target markets who you can sell to, do great business with, develop long-standing strong relationships that will help them and help you with your respective businesses.
Now in terms of how do you find those people, that is often what a lot of people struggle with when they’re sitting in their home markets and just don’t have a clue where to start. So in terms of top tips from my perspective and our years of experience of finding new businesses, new buyers, new opportunities in overseas markets:
First of all, before you can actually go out and approach the relevant people you do need to know exactly which markets you’re targeting. That will help in a number of ways. First of all it allows you to understand where you’re actually going which is important from your export strategy point of view. Equally it’ll allow you then to have a much more focused approach within that market. So you need to know where you’re going before you actually start and which market is going to provide the best opportunities for you and your product and what you’re trying to achieve.
Secondly, once you know where you’re going, you also then need to know, well what is your route to market and how within those different stakeholders that may be available to you as potential customers, who are they and how are you going to approach them? So, is it a case of for example, would you want to go direct to a retailer specifically within that target market? or are you looking for a local partner based out there who could be a distributor that’s out there on the ground that’s selling complimentary products? Or it could be another intermediary, an agent that may be there that’s working again in your field that could really support you getting started in a specific market. So you need to know where you’re going, who you want to work with in terms of the type of partner, then after that obviously then you can then start approaching and finding the right people to work with.
So within that then, how do you find these people that you know you’re after in the market that you want to target and enter?
Well, there’s lots of ways of doing this and there’s no set rule, fixed rule that would give you that silver bullet for success unfortunately. However, some of the things you could look at doing include: first of all I would say look at your existing network and connections that you have, both online and offline, with regards to that target market. Often there’s a lot of people that we already know that’s completely under our nose that we could use and speak to and ask for support, that can give us market information, potential introductions, whether it’s not an introduction directly to the key people you want to speak with, but it could start you on a journey that could get you to speaking to the right people in the longer term. So speak to people in your network, look at who you already have there, that could be a really great untapped resource for you and help you. Secondly I would then say, there’s plenty of digging around that you can on the Internet obviously these days. So, I would have a look personally at, for example, any trade shows that might happen in that market specific to your industry. Often obviously they have online now exhibitor lists of people who have exhibited in the past and often these people may be your target customer. So you can gain a lot of information and insights through looking at previous trade shows that have happened, any also specific and relevant associations, trade associations, Chambers of Commerce that may exist in your target market that again would be open to having conversations with you and giving you some insights, and giving you some potential starters for ten if you like.
I find also that LinkedIn is a really great tool in terms of finding the specific people that you want to engage with. There’s a number of ways that you can leverage your existing connections and search for the right potential people in the market. You can obviously filter by location, by keywords, and you don’t have to be a premium user in order to get access to that. We’ve done that in the past where we’ve managed to do great business reaching out on a free version of LinkedIn to find the right people and start that connection, and start that conversation, which has led to ultimately great business together. On top of that, don’t be afraid to also use good old Google, or if it’s not google obviously, in some other markets where other search engines are more prevalent, using those in those specific target markets and using translated keywords and searches that you’re looking for in order to try and find the relevant people in that market who could serve as great customers or great suppliers if you’re looking at a supplier base in order to do more business together.
So I hope you find that useful. That’s a few starters for ten as usual from Bolst Global. As always, if you’d like any more information, head over to our website www.bolstglobal.com or get in touch with us at any time for any guidance support or how we could help you with your export journey.