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Export FAQs

CHAPTER: Finding Suppliers, Buyers & Distributors
5. How can I attract inquiries/orders from foreign buyers and distributors?
  ANSWER: You can drum up interest, inquiries and orders by actively promoting yourself abroad. Overseas exposure is a must. You won't sell much if the buyers don't know who you are. Promotion gets you visibility, but you also want impact. Generally, the more you promote, the greater the impact. Effective promotional techniques include:

  • Create and promote your own company Web site: A company Web site can potentially be seen by anyone in the world at any given moment. You can design it as a virtual company/product catalog, with text, images, price sheets, order forms and anything else you wish. However, unless you promote your site, you could be lost in the enormous crowd of other sites. At a minimum, you want to be recognized by the major search engines, such as Yahoo, Alta Vista, etc. Some search engines have crawlers that automatically detect and include your site in their mammoth lists. The key is to come up early in any given search through appropriate use of “metatags.”

  • Register your company and export products in export directories, such as the CITD's Trade Directory, MyExports, Thomas Global Register, and Commercial News USA. These services have worldwide market exposure and will help draw interested buyers and distributors to your Web site.

  • Post a specific “sell” offer in a number of different electronic trade lead systems, such as the Trade Point Electronic Trade Opportunity (ETO) Leads service. It’s best to provide as much information as possible in your offer, to reassure potential respondents that you are a serious and reliable supplier. It’s especially helpful to be specific in describing your export product (specifications, uses, benefits), quantity available, price and delivery options, your bona fides, and what you would like to know from respondents.

  • Trade Press Ads: Many industry magazines have international distribution. Nearly all carry paid ads, and most have sections that announce or evaluate new products. When you advertise in these, or get a favorable mention or review, you're not only getting good domestic press, but quality overseas exposure as well.

  • Overseas Trade Shows: They're costly, but nothing beats show-and-tell for high quality impact. At a trade show, you're accessible to hundreds, sometimes thousands of interested prospects at once, all able to see you and your products first hand. Trade show venues exist all over the world. Every country has at least one major annual trade show. Many countries have shows throughout the year, often on specific industry themes. Check Trade Show Central for names, dates and places of shows in your product category.

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