Your product’s success depends on how many sales it brings in. You must have thought about the challenge of how to locate customers for your products and how to get in touch with them when you started your export business and decided on the product you would ship.
The simplest strategy would be to start with a devoted customer base or export a good enough product that it will undoubtedly sell itself. However, this is incredibly challenging, if not downright impossible, for many startup enterprises. So how do you go about locating buyers abroad?
One might assume that you’ve already decided on the export market for your product by this point (s). Your buyer-search activities will be largely influenced by the target market and its customers.
Some markets may benefit from digital marketing, while others may require a little more personalization.
Organizations like FIEO and local Export Promotion Council are other resources you can turn to for help and assistance (EPC). Let’s take a closer look at these potential methods:
How to find buyers online
1.Website and Blogs
The first step is to create a website or blog for your company. Make it professional and appealing since first impressions count. Giving your company legitimacy by continuously updating the information about your goods and production methods with images.
Using search engine optimization (SEO), you can make sure that your website appears on Google whenever potential customers in your target country conduct relevant searches.
You may also use Google Search Console and search engine marketing to improve the visibility of your website. You can create a blog in addition to having a website to tell potential customers about your products.
If you’re looking for overseas buyers, social media might be a strong ally. You may reach a global audience by having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit.
You can, for instance, join a Facebook community that connects buyers and sellers and provides trade advice. There are benefits to establishing a social media marketing plan for your export business, and the best part is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to develop one that is well-thought-out.
Is an additional method for promoting your website online. This involves sending prospective customers newsletters, special offers, and sales promotions via email. Unexpectedly, email is effective.
In comparison to a social media post, it has a higher probability of getting viewed. You can purchase a database of importers and retailers or create your own email list.
Just keep in mind to abide by any applicable regulations regarding business emails. Spam is not acceptable.
4.Business-to-business (B2B) websites
Signing up with B2B websites like Alibaba, Global Sources, DHgate, Made in China, Tradewheel, and iOffer is another efficient approach to be seen by a large consumer base.
Millions of merchants and consumers use these platforms. Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, is the third-largest retailer in the world, behind Walmart and Amazon.
Additionally, there are many Indian B2B firms that connect exporters and buyers, including IndiaMART, TradeIndia, and Exporters India.
As its name implies, this service links buyers and sellers. It enables exporters to set up their online shops and create a digital catalog that buyers all over the world may view. Additionally, it uses AI to locate companies who might be considering your exports.
Offline Methods Ways To Find Buyers
1.Trade shows and exhibitions
Small and large Indian exporters have a more direct opportunity to meet and converse with visiting foreign buyers and export-import firms at trade fairs and exhibitions. You can take part in trade fairs held by various trade organizations throughout the world in addition to similar events held in India. These events can be both general and industry-specific.
These meetings bring together buyers, sellers, and other trade ecosystem participants in huge numbers, making them the ideal settings for networking and client engagement.
At these events, you can demonstrate your goods, answer inquiries, and even finalize orders. You may find out more about forthcoming fairs and exhibitions through FIEO and your local export promotion council.
2.Governmental organizations such as Export Promotion Councils
When looking for export customers, government organizations such as commodity boards, export promotion councils, and even ministries, can be a wonderful source of information.
These organizations will be more than pleased to supply information, such as names of potential customers, locations where you can meet them, etc., as they are charged with boosting the nation’s exports and assisting exporters.
In addition to information on current customers, you may get trade data and statistics on the export of various items in your industry.
Keep an eye out for forthcoming events and be sure to sign up for them because, as was already indicated, these bodies’ events and delegations are the ideal method to meet and sign up potential customers.
Even though they are not normally places focused on trade, embassies can be a useful place to find information about trade. India maintains almost 200 diplomatic posts globally, including embassies and consulates in numerous nations.
You might approach them to seek names of reputable purchasers in that particular country in your field since they have access to local news and market trends. Inquiries about potential purchasers can be made on your behalf by FIEO and your Export Promotion Council to these missions.
However, it should be underlined that the exporter, and not the EPC or the embassy, is always responsible for performing due diligence regarding the reliability of the buyer.
Depending on the initiative taken, these may take several forms:
1.Foreign Agencies are state-sponsored or -controlled organizations that handle large-scale transactions to satisfy the needs of their respective nations.
2.Bulk buyers who want to buy from your nation can be buying agents. Sources like embassies and export authorities are good places to start if you want to find out whether there are foreign buying agents in India.
3.Foreign wholesalers are intermediaries who ultimately resale items that have been imported from abroad in their home nation. They frequently make large purchases, as the moniker would imply.
4.Foreign agents known as commission agents facilitate communication between buyers and sellers and organize a transaction between the two in return for a commission.
5.To promote your company and goods to customers and close deals, you can also engage your own sales commission agent or employee.
Market research firms
Many businesses provide exporters and traders with trade-related professional services, such as international directories of importers in other nations, market research and studies, shipment-related data, etc.
These businesses offer information that is particular to your industry and product, but be aware that the price may occasionally be extremely high.
Building your own network of clients and industry leaders will ultimately be essential to maintaining the success of your export firm. These contacts will eventually serve as the foundation for the ongoing operations of your export firm.
Your export business will be ready to launch operations once you’ve successfully created a list of customers and importers using the techniques discussed here. At this point, you can start contacting them and showing interest in establishing trade ties.
Some pro tips
1.Before you start hunting for buyers, have a detailed export business plan. Consider whether you have the ability to satisfy the requirements of a new market.
2.Make sure your website can be translated into the language of the nation you are targeting when setting it up.
3.Select the appropriate social media network. In some nations, a specific platform could be subject to limitations or outright bans. For instance, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are restricted in China. Weibo is China’s version of Twitter if you still want to employ social media marketing there.
4.To avoid insulting your customers, be knowledgeable of the traditions and cultures of the country you are trying to sell to.
5.Recognize the country’s legal and regulatory needs.
6.Avoid working with middlemen because they reduce your profit margins. But if they bring you a lot of business, this shouldn’t matter.
7.To persuade your customer to buy your product, be explicit in your communication. A sample or prototype will demonstrate your seriousness to them.
8.Develop your reputation to keep and attract new customers. By providing timely and effective customer service, you may achieve this.
How to make sure your buyer is genuine
The next step is to make sure the buyer is who they say they are after you’ve chosen one. Buyer verification is both possible and strongly advised with a few checks and the assistance of a few organizations (government and third-party). Just carry out these actions.
1.Verify that the buyer’s location and address match what is stated by performing a quick Google search.
2.Browse their social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc). A strong indication of how they conduct business is typically their amount of involvement on these networks.
3.Visit the buyer’s website. Examine the “About Us” section, the company’s product listings, and any certificates, licenses, or memberships in governmental organizations they may have posted. Remember to look at the domain age, which shows how long the website has been online.
4.The next stage is to ask your potential buyer to provide certain documentation, such as their import-export license and certificate of membership in a government trade body, after these online checks (Export Promotion Council, for example). Once more, compare the documents to the data you found online.
5.Next, get in touch with the Indian embassy’s commerce section in the buyer’s nation and ask for a buyer verification. You could email them. Following receipt of your request, the embassy will make contact with the government of that nation to verify the legitimacy of the buyer’s submitted credentials and licenses. The buyer’s credit history will also be reported.
6.The ECGC, a government organization that offers credit insurance to Indian exporters as security against non-payment, is another organization that can assist you with buyer verification. The ECGC will investigate the buyer’s creditworthiness using its global network. The maximum insurance coverage it will provide you for your exports will also be based on its results.
7.In addition to government organizations, reputable commercial businesses also carry out buyer verifications for a fee. Two of these companies that specialize in credibility reports are Dun & Bradstreet and Bureau Veritas.
8.Finally, visiting your buyer’s factory or other location in the target market is the greatest way to confirm your purchase. Even while most exporters might find this impractical, it is worthwhile if the deal is significant.
Finding export business is an ongoing, complicated process. It’s not enough to have an idea and the willingness to consider export. Designers must also be persistent and patient, keeping up with trends in different industries that may provide a viable export market for them.
They should also take advantage of all kinds of opportunities that arise in relation to potential export markets for their talents. Finding buyers for exports must be done as part of a design business plan, implemented over time through diligence and perseverance.