In Creating a Sales Presence in the Global Marketplace, marketing strategy expert witness Glen Balzer writes:
When a company begins to plan its move into a foreign market, it can draw resources from several quarters. Divide resources into two broad groups: data and network. First, use data to build the expansion plan. How large is the market and how fast is it growing? Does the marketplace use manufacturers’ representatives, a direct sales force, or a hybrid blend of reps and direct sales? How eagerly do customers accept new entrants, particularly foreign entrants? How does a company contact and interview potential reps?
Second, develop a network. When a company enters a new foreign market, it begins with no established network. Develop and constantly nurture the network. The objective of the network is to have someone to call when faced with a dilemma, unforeseen challenge, or scandal. Industry trade associations are a good source of resources. Association staff and member companies both domestically and in the foreign market can provide insight into the foreign sales operation in its start-up phase.
Embassies around the world often have staff that is devoted to helping companies expand sales. Embassy staff can provide data on the size and composition of the foreign market.
They gather data on the manufacturing capabilities of indigenous competitors, and the presence and plans of foreign companies. They organize trade missions and trade fairs. Commercial staff in embassies can help arrange introductions to customers, potential sales partners and staff.
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