So, after you identify the product that you want to export to foreign countries like African countries, you will need local contacts to complete your import-export business. Besides funds and legal matters, any exporter needs an importer to help him introduce their goods on the local market. And when it comes to African countries, your possibilities are almost endless considering the extended needs of such countries.
You can find clients interested in a variety of goods and increase your profit significantly. Here are the main ways to increase your export buyers list and become successful in the international business!
1. Start with a good and in-depth online research
Research is crucial to any success in import-export business, and it is important not to neglect this phase. When it comes to how to find customers for export business, the knowledge you gather can make a great difference. Of course, the first option of research is the online research which can give you a lot of information about your future international trading process. There are plenty of websites and forums that can help you but also many local importers looking for foreign exporters just like you!
The B2B import export portal will put you in contact with plenty of African importers looking for new partners. Many goods are needed in Africa, and you can supply the market the best you can. But you will not be able to do that unless you find a reliable importer to help you with the process.
There is a trick though, especially when you are looking for business partners online: you need to watch out for scammers. Unfortunately, on such popular websites like the B2B portal, you may find plenty of importers that do not look trustworthy. However, after some time, you shall be able to identify the real importers and spot the potential scammers. Keep in mind to check the internet for more information about potential importers. You can find a reliable website and even some reviews to put your mind at ease.
Keeping in touch with other exporters will help you as well. You can find forums with different topics for foreign exporters like you. And you might be amazed to see that many successful exporters can refer you to a good importer that you can trust. You have even higher chances if your products are different than other’s because this type of business is based a lot on the competition. Stay active and vigilant on such forums and try to analyze your options before starting any serious collaboration with a potential client.
2. Invest in your brand awareness
Even before you start looking for importers to fulfill your import export business, you have to invest in yourself. Make your company visible and attractive for your export buyers by investing in your brand awareness. It means you will need a professional website with very clear information on it. Also, consider investing in an SEO campaign to reach more of your target audience through the content of your website. Use keywords and links to become more popular among the best search engines. All these tricks and tips can be applied by your co-workers but also by hiring a professional SEO team that can help you in the long run.
It is an investment worth making especially if you are planning to break into foreign markets. Your official website should have important information about your company such as contact information and offers for your future buyers. Keep in mind that your clients should find everything they need on your website as this is your business card.
Having a professional PR team is going to help you a lot while you are building your brand awareness. Also, applying different strategies can increase your odds to be successful from a marketing point of view.
Your PR department will make sure to be actively involved in these strategies and research the market to build you a great slogan and campaign.
This type of marketing will help you reach new customers around the world and even develop your business by entering new markets. And if you neglect your brand awareness, you may risk to not reaching the business potential that you aim for.
Your logo is also very important as it has to be easily recognized worldwide but also adapted to specific countries. For instance; if you want to enter an African country, consider using a logo that will catch the local’s attention and won’t pass by unnoticed.
The language that you use in your PR campaign can make a difference as well. Try to be aware of local languages before advertising into a certain country. In Africa, you can always use English but also French as both languages are very common. You can also add some local words to your campaign so that people will relate to your brand more than they do with others. And the competition on this market is high, so you have to be as original as possible. Either way, a good PR will act as a magnet when it comes to bringing new customers to you, so it is well worth the investment!
Email marketing is also a great PR strategy that can bring you, new clients if you are using it well. You can purchase databases with different importers and even important local stores, and you can start negotiating with them and identify the best to start a long-term collaboration with. Having access to such databases can be pricey, but it is all worth it once your profit starts increasing. And the good news is that they can bring you a new customer in a matter of weeks from accessing them!
Think that every investment that you make in the beginning phase of your business is going to bring you more positive outcome shortly and it is never lost as long as you do it wisely. You can find databases for sale online, but you need to pay attention to how authentic they are because it is a high risk of fraud when you purchase one from an unknown or uncertified website!
3. Make the customers you already have a number one priority
Even if your main concern might be to reach more customers, you have to pay attention to the clients that you already have. Most often than not, your current clients will open new opportunities for you to reach new ones. How can that happen? Happy clients will always bring you new ones by referring your business to others that are interested in buying similar products. It is a very popular form of PR, considering that good advertising is always beneficial when you need to increase your database of customers.
And when it comes to how to get foreign clients, the key might be to your current clients. Make sure to get good reviews from your current customers and make them public. You can also allocate a section of testimonials on your website so that new customers can see what others think of your business.
If you try to keep your customers faithful and satisfied, your chances to break into new markets will increase and so will your profit. You can do that by adjusting your offers to their needs and make sure that the import-export business is one that works for both yours and their benefit.
Usually, your importers will know other importers as well and will not hesitate to recommend your business to them if they are happy with your services. However, if it happens to have a client that is not satisfied with an import-export business with you, make sure to take the necessary actions to correct the outcome. One client that is not satisfied should be a big red flag for you and your future commercial adventure.
A new potential client will always check your past activity and reviews before even contacting you. Some of them might also get in touch with your previous customers to gather more information before they decide to get in contact with you. This is a way to lose or gain clients before you even become aware of them.
4. Get familiar with the local market’s needs
Staying informed is essential when you are hunting for new customers for your import-export business. An overseas market introduction service will help you identify the main needs of the market that you want to break into. Get familiar with the goods that the local market needs and evaluate your potential to supply them. Especially if you get into an African market, the demands are high for many types of goods, and you can talk with different importers before deciding what type of trading you can get involved in. Check local forums and determine what type of impact you can have on the market to develop your business.
Most of the times, researching the market will also put you in contact with potential buyers. There are many guides that you can read to determine the viability of your business as well as gather information about local importers. When it comes to African importers, they are willing to import almost any type of goods from food to electronics and clothing which leaves you with a wide variety of options.
Talking with local importers can also help you adapt your business according to their needs to have better deals for your future profit. In any case, you can only benefit from this type of research, and your business can significantly increase under the indirect guidance of the importers.
While you are researching the local market that you want to break into, make sure also to stay informed regarding the legal aspects of it. Be aware of the paperwork required during an import-export process and understand that such regulations can defer from a category of goods to another which is why details always matter in this type of business. But don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of information that you might come across because you can deal with it better once you have your importer and buyer export. If you already have local contacts in countries like African ones, you are a step ahead of other exporters just trying to get in the system. It is a hard work process but well worth it in the end!
5. Start following embassies fairs and economic changes in the local market
Sometimes, the authorities will offer you better answers than any other research ways. Make sure to check the official websites of different institutions such as embassies or even local ports to identify the opportunities that you are looking for. You might be amazed to discover that there are plenty of events organized for import-export business such as thematic fairs that you can participate on.
At such events, you can identify importers and buyers that will become your future international trading partners and change the course of your business altogether! Since the import-export process is usually in the good name of a country’s economy, the chances are that authorities will do their best to facilitate this process and put foreign exporters in touch with trustworthy local importers.
Another advantage that you can obtain by being present at such fairs and subscribing to embassies websites is the possibility to find a buyer’s agent. It can help you a lot while you are trying to break into a new African country because they will act as a mediator between you and potential buyers. By having such an agent, you can be almost sure that you will avoid possible scammers and only deal with honorable local importers.
Usually, buyers’ agents tend to receive a percentage of the transaction that they facilitate which is fair, but it is also a small price to pay for a lot more benefits that you can enjoy. To find such an agent, you can check the embassies’ forums since they are very active there, looking for clients. You can for sure find them at the fairs that we mentioned above and also through local importers that you might already know or work with.
Buyers’ agents will help you find customers to sell your goods from all categories, and they will also speed up the formalities and negotiation phase. But there are many other reasons why you should consider working with a buyer’s agent especially if you are a small business. Many small business ideas involve cooperating with an agent until you get familiar with the import-export process which can take from several months to several years. A mediator can make this process a lot easier for you as well as they can also help you skip different obstacles that you can find on the way.
You can get membership from local councils as well regarding export information as well as have access to a list of importers. It will be information that will help you significantly especially if you are entering a new market. Official memberships can grant you access to different facilities and also make a big difference for your business and your contact list since you will be meeting a lot of people that you can work with.