International trade accompanies robust challenges but lucrative returns. It takes patience and perseverance before one can establish a global enterprise. And as with any new business plan, crossing borders also involves a multitude of critical factors to be worked upon before one can begin exporting or importing, including thorough homework and pre-planning.
Firstly, to enter into business overseas, it is essential to find appropriate international buyers. This can be done by conducting extensive market research and determining the countries where the products would click.
There are several ways to approach a prospective international buyer for the first time. An exporter can communicate with a buyer through written communication, i.e., via e-mail, or through oral communication, i.e., via telephonic conversation.
Ways to approach international buyers
An export order can be solicited from an international buyer through any of the following ways-
- Direct mail
A foreign buyer can be approached through an email, informing them of the products and about the intent of the exporter to form a business deal with the buyer.
- A personal visit
An exporter can schedule a personal visit to the buyer’s office with complete details including sample product, prices, delivery schedule, printed materials containing details as suggested.
- A telephonic conversation
Another effective technique is to have a conversation with the importer on a telephone or Skype [international software used for business communication].
- Participating in trade fairs
International trade fairs are held in India as well as on foreign grounds. The exporter can approach the foreign buyer through a trade fair.
While contacting a foreign buyer, there are a number of obstacles that may pose an impending threat, including
1.The cultural and socio-economic differences
2. The methodology of conducting business
3.The time difference between the two countries and
4. Barriers to language are a few aspects that create difficulties in trying to impress a buyer, the very first time.
How to overcome communication obstacles effectively?
The ulterior motive of the exporter is to gain credibility and develop trust in the buyer to procure an import order. Since there are many sources of potential confusion between an exporter and a foreign buyer, from language difficulties to differences in business practices, an exporter has to be meticulous while communicating with the buyer. This involves the following steps:
1. The exporter should be proficient in the English language
English is a global language and the most prevalent form of business communication all across the world. An exporter should be proficient in both written and oral English. If the exporter lacks advance knowledge in the language, they should take help of a professional writer for drafting email intent or an interpreter for acting as a bridge between the exporter and the foreign buyer.
Any mistake in the communication or presentation oral or written can cause the international buyer to shirk away, even if the products offered by the exporter are credible as business is about efficiency and marketing. Proficiency in English is one of the most important prerequisites to communicating and impressing an international supplier.
2. The direct mail should be clear and precise
The exporter can contact the buyer by drafting an email that contains information about the product, the terms, and conditions of the exporter and an intent displaying interest and negotiation. The email sent should be unambiguous and correct with impressive content.
- An email is the first business communication with the prospective buyer and thus should include all aspects of the products and trading but in a polite language. It is always better to start the introduction with a formal salutation and with a direct approach.
- The exporter must highlight all the outlines of the product.
- Written communication via an email should not include slang and clichés but should be simple and descriptive. And it should have content to empower the buyer in the first few sentences.
3. The exporter should have authentic and proven contact details
When contacting the buyer for the first time, it is essential that the exporter provide ample contact information including a Skype ID. Foreign buyers are unknown to the exporters, and they require legal proof that the exporter vying for their order hold legible identity in his country and is not a fraud. A LinkedIn profile can also prove to be helpful to satisfy the foreign buyer.
4. The exporter should accustom themselves to the cultural and time differences:
When contacting for the first time, it is vital that the exporter adjusts his time to the buyer accordingly. A little insight into the cultural background of the country and some common terms and words in the native language of the buyer could help the exporter to break the ice of unfamiliarity.
5. Details about the products should be formidable
A skillful presentation of the products and the exporter’s in-depth knowledge of the market pulse can impress a buyer. The manner in which an exporter benchmarks their products in comparison to other products in terms of quality, price and availability should be transparent. This makes the international buyer believe in the exporter’s business sense and acumen.
The exporter should be intelligent enough to add some scintillating negotiating deals and offers.
An exporter vying for an international order must prepare well with all the details. The preparation goes in for the product and its presentation, terms, and conditions and intent to crack a deal. These are beside him being affluent in the art of creating a potent impact on the buyer with his personality and sincere efforts.