To export Italian products abroad it is important to not only find customers, agents or distributors. It is often necessary to identify and introduce oneself to companies that deal with design: mechanical, architectural firms or consultancy in general. These categories play an important role in purchasing decisions.
SOME EXAMPLES OF DESIGN COMPANIES
- This is the case, for example, of those who work in the contract furniture industry. Architects or interior designers are often entrusted with projects for hotels, restaurants, airports, etc. It is important to identify these figures in the target markets because it is to them that we must present our furnishing solutions rather than our building materials.
- Even those who sell machinery – for example machines for processing liquids for the food industry – must identify companies such as engineering firms because these machines often have to be inserted into production lines. Or they must identify a winery’s wine expert as they have a lot of influence in investment decisions.
- All these are people that it is important to discover and with whom to start a dialogue. In these cases – even if this is not the final buyer – there is a long way to go to be considered competent and credible. An activity that must be carried out regardless of the existence of a specific project to be implemented.
INITIAL CONTACT ADVICES
- The approach that I have experienced to be most useful is to present oneself as competent in a well-defined area and not as a master of all trades. A small-to-medium business especially cannot claim to be competent in too many product categories. It is important to introduce yourself and be remembered for a very specific product or service.
- Another aspect on which to lean is the possibility of customization. This last aspect is often what distinguishes our SMEs. This is what we call flexibility and it often allows us to find the tailor-made solutions that these design companies are looking for for their customers.
- If you use an email for your initial contact, I recommend that you read what I wrote about in my post: How to Write an Effective Email
EXPORTING IN 7 STEPS
The issue of selling Italian products abroad is obviously a complex topic that requires a lot of attention. Especially for a small business that has limited resources, both human and financial. If you want to learn more, I have written a guide on these issues that I recommend: Exporting in 7 Steps.