14 Export Research Tools and Solutions Bernard Swiecki
Maximizing the Benefits of Trade Mission Participation - Lessons for suppliersBernard SwieckiAssistant Director, Automotive Communities PartnershipCenter for Automotive Research
Two Constituencies Communities – New investment – Purchase of existing facilities Suppliers – Export sales – Collaborative agreements • Marketing • Distribution • Joint product developmentIn all cases, CAR seeks to create or retain jobs – thereby economically benefitting the region.
Why Participate in a Trade Mission? Trade missions provide structure that prevents participants from being overwhelmed by unfamiliar – Business practices – Language barriers – Industry structure Mission organizers weed out low-probability prospects, saving participants many potential wrong turns Supporting organizations (U.S. Commercial Service, consultants, marketing firms) provide intelligence not available to firms who are not part of a mission – or available at a cost In spite of the emergence of email, teleconferencing, and cheap international phone calls, there is still no substitute for going
Mission Objectives for Suppliers Generate sales by – Selling directly to foreign customer firms – Securing an agreement with a marketing/distribution firm – Opening an overseas sales office Scout a potential new market Make connections with other mission participants and exhibitors
The Trade Mission as a Scouting Trip Inexpensive but effective way to evaluate a country as a potential market through – Mission participant selection process – Market briefings from local experts – One-on-one meetings with potential customers 2008 Russia mission example: participant decided Russia was not yet mature enough a market for their high-tech product and postponed market entry – an inexpensive and informed decision
Anatomy of a Typical International Trade Mission Pre-mission selection process and preparation Market briefing from local experts One-on-one meetings with potential customers Attendance of a trade show or parts expo Attendance of concurrent events – Receptions – Conferences Visits to key local suppliers – Meetings – Facility tours Potential to add visits and meetings of your own before/after the mission Mission follow-up
Recommendations to Suppliers Participating in Trade Missions Pre-mission homework – Destination country – Companies of interest Prepare appropriate marketing materials – Focused on products likely to sell in destination country – Most effective if translated “Work” the expo (if applicable) – CAR usually provides each company with a “target list” of expo participants to visit Prepare as well as possible for one-on-one meetings – they are the heart of the mission After coming home – Follow up with companies from one-on-one meetings – Maintain contact with other mission participants (their experiences may hold useful lessons for you) – Some meetings yield fruit soon, others take time
Living History in India - Some facilities are world class, some not. But emerging market consumers areincreasingly less willing to tolerate obsolete product and government regulations grow increasingly more stringent. American suppliers can help.