IT ALL BEGAN WITH SMART WORKING
We realized that some work could be carried out at home (which we call smart working). Then we realized that many meetings with our distributors/agents abroad could also be managed through videoconferencing.
I have successfully experimented this with the presentation of a furniture company’s new catalogue to existing international distributors, but also an introduction via videoconference with a new Mexican dealer (which followed an initial contact by e-mail). A distribution agreement followed – without ever having met in person.
I would say that this is the most affordable digital tool available for small and medium-sized enterprises. There is obviously some care involved in making a well-done conference call. I recommend reading my post: And suddenly, here comes smart working which explains how to make a perfect video call.
EVEN FAIRS BECOME VIRTUAL
The pandemic then caused the cancellation of many trade fairs. Some of these have been scheduled again virtually. I must admit that most of these experiences have been unsuccessful. Despite an investment that was nevertheless contained, there were very few useful meetings.
However, I am convinced that this path is open and it is better to keep an eye on it. Especially for a small business, which cannot attend many trade fairs due to a lack of human and financial resources.
Many of the companies that participated, however, admitted that the virtual fair was an opportunity to improve their online presence: remaking their website, making more professional videos of their products, etc.
If you want to delve deeper into these issues, you can read my post: Digital fairs and open-houses.
THE ONLINE DEMOS
This is another successful experience that I highly recommend. Here is the testimony of businesswoman Giovanna Lucietto, shareholder and director of Ecor International S.p.A. as well as division manager for the OperaPrima division.
“A year ago we introduced an innovative machine into the market called OperaPrima, which stretches out pizza dough, imitating the hands of a pizza chef. Being in the midst of the pandemic, we had very few opportunities to move around and meet.
The online demonstrations have undoubtedly proved to be an effective tool, allowing us to cancel the distance between us and our prospective buyers. This allowed us both to sell our first machines as well as to finalize several distribution agreements.
Today they have become a daily operating tool with which we present the product to potential clients.”
This is the third article on the topic of Exporting with Digital Tools.
For those wishing to learn more, we have already discussed the role that having a company blog can play. A tool that helps us acquire a digital “reputation” thus helping us be more easily found in online searches that are, now, the first sources of information.