HOW TO FIND DISTRIBUTORS ABROAD?
Selling abroad can be an important opportunity for a company that wants to grow and go international and often the greatest difficulty is finding the right sales channel abroad for the service or product offered.
The internationalization of a company can therefore pass through the search for a foreign distributor in the target market. Of course the first step is to create a list of names. Then to contact these potential distributors by creating interest.
It is a very delicate phase because: on the one hand, the distributor today is subject to a continuous bombardment of commercial offers; on the other hand, there is a risk of burning the contact if the right approach is not used.
3 TIPS FOR SELLING ABROAD
To expand your sales in international markets, I can suggest 3 good tips.
(To learn more, I invite you to read my other article on the subject.)
1. Attend international trade fairs. This is one of the fastest ways to both find direct customers but also to find potential distributors interested in selling your products or services.
2. Analyze your competitors, see where and how they behave in foreign markets, take a cue from what they do.
3. Contact distributors of products that are complementary to yours, they may be interested in expanding their product portfolio.
In any case, to obtain results in a short time I recommend that you rely on a figure like mine, a Temporary Export Manager specialized in the creation of an efficient foreign sales network that works over time.
MY CASE AS A TEMPORARY EXPORT MANAGER
Here is a case study of distributors in Germany for a company that produces machines for the HORECA sector, which I experienced in 2021.
- First we identified about a hundred distributors; some with provincial coverage, others with a national and, in some cases, an international network.
- Then we sent them an initial contact email, simply translating the first contact email we used to approach Italian distributors into German – with a good translation of course. We were aware that some adjustments to the text would be necessary: each market has its own quirks and sees new products with different eyes. Warning: writing a first contact email is by no means trivial. Read my post on how to write an effective email.
- The turning point came when the first dealer decided to include our machine in his e-commerce. We carefully read how he presented our machine to his customers. The bulleted list with which he highlighted the merits of our machine was different from ours. He highlighted aspects that we took for granted and he used different terms from those we used.
- We then revised our first contact email starting from here. Subsequently, the percentage of distributors who responded to our first email showing interest increased!
If you want to know more about these topics, read my book Exporting in 7 Steps.