Effective sales and promotion is essential for the success of any business. Trading internationally is no different.
You should plan your sales and promotional activities carefully for each of your target markets. Huge differences between markets and countries mean a “one size fits all” approach will not work. For each overseas market, you’ll need a clear understanding of who your customers will be, what makes them buy and how best to get your products in front of them.
Understand your overseas customers and markets
To sell your product successfully in an overseas market you need to understand your customers, what influences their buying decisions and who your competitors are.
You should carry out careful research before you start to sell and promote your product overseas. This will underpin your marketing plan.
The key questions you need to answer:
- Is there a demand for your product?
- How large is your target market?
- Who would buy your product and why?
- What price can you sell for?
- How does the competition operate?
- What are the best ways to reach customers in your target market?
- Are there any cultural issues in your target market that will affect your sales and promotion?
Refine your positioning for overseas markets
Every market is different. The way you position your product must reflect the different needs and preferences of your potential customers and the way the market works.
You need to make your product as attractive as possible for your target market, considering:
- its price
- why and how customers should buy it
- how you handle sales and customer service
Refine your product and operations for overseas markets
To sell successfully in overseas markets, you may need to review not only your marketing and promotion but also your product itself – and the way you operate. There are a number of issues to consider.
Is your type of product sold through different channels overseas?
Build a marketing plan for overseas markets
Promote your product overseas
There are practical issues to consider when promoting your product in an overseas market. These include the media you use and the skills and experience you will need to produce promotional content.
Your activity should be based on your marketing plan, your customer research and the positioning decisions you will have made.
Use advertising and direct mail in overseas markets
As part of your promotion, you may want to communicate directly with customers in your target market. The most common methods are by using advertising and direct mail.
Use trade shows to market your business overseas
Exhibiting at trade shows abroad can be a cost-effective way of selling and promoting your business in overseas markets.
Visitors could include potential customers, distributors, agents, journalists, and politicians. You may get orders on the spot, or the event may yield business opportunities, contacts or useful feedback. You can also visit competitors’ stands to see what they have to offer.
Use trade visits to promote your business overseas
Trade visits are organised visits to target markets. While they provide an excellent opportunity to research overseas markets, you can also use them to generate business opportunities, or assess what sales and promotion strategies are likely to succeed.