Exhibiting at or attending a trade show in your industry is a uniquely effective way to contact cross-border customers, especially if you have a difficult product to sell or if it is a type that a customer needs to actually see. Here we talk about what to expect when you exhibit at a trade show and how to woo international customers.
When visitors stop by your booth, they want answers to their questions immediately, not months later after you have returned home and sorted through your inquiries. If you don’t have an answer to a particular question, promise to get one within a day. You can always text, e-mail, or phone your home office for help. Don’t forget to ask for your prospect’s business card so you can get back to her. Deliver on your promise, and do it on time.
Cross-border buyers will typically spend several hours right there at your booth to discuss all the details of future business. The more you and your sales staff know about the prospective customer’s company, the products it handles, and its position in the marketplace, the better you look to the buyers. Make extraordinary efforts to please. If you fail to convey credibility, your chances of success in the international marketplace are slim. Don’t think these buyers can’t spot a novice or a lightweight. Most of them attend the international shows quite routinely, often because their own national economy cannot support the business growth they are trying to achieve. They are experienced traders.
Do not expect to write orders during the show. If you do, great, but remember, this is the time to get long-term associations off to a good start, not to rack up sales. Take it easy and allow the customer to drive the transaction. His needs come first.
Photo Credit: Kallman Worldwide