Michael Richter
International marketing and sales consultant
Hauptstrasse 27
DE-88422 Seekirch
International marketing and sales consultant

Tel: +49(0)7582-933371
E-Mail: michael.richter@marketing-und-vertrieb-international.de

Worldwide Success for SMEs in Marketing and Sales

There exists no patent remedies for success in marketing and sales in foreign markets - especially not for small and medium companies (SMEs). ‘Best practices’ are - if at all - only available to larger corporations. What can SMEs do to exploit the world wide opportunities ?

Starting situation

‚Every company‘ has its specific ‚fingerprint‘, consisting of the products, the produc- tion possibilities, the personnel, as well as the financial background. This ‘fingerprint’ is unique and the starting position, which has to be clearly defined in order to build upon it. This is valid forever - whether in Germany, Europe or any other market./market segment

The worldwide ‚Client-base‘


Due to the permanently increasing globalization also SMEs have to direct their thoughts towards international markets, just generally. In most cases the home-markets are not sufficient to grow as planned and the international competition doesn’t sleep and enters it too.

Success preconditions

1. Desire and Recognition


First of all an entrepreneurial decision is needed: YES, I want to enter the international sphere with my business, because I have realized the tremendous chances and I am willing to do the next stps:

2. Market Knowledge

It is important to be permanently informed about the ‚condition‘ of the market segments which are or could be supplied - whether in the home market or regarding the world-markets - and also about the ‚players‘ (potential clients, distributors, competition, etc.) in these markets/market segments. Basing upon this the company is in a position then to react - relatively fast - to any change in such conditions.

With regard to new markets/market segments the necessary data base has to be esta- blished, i. e. who could where and how become a client or partner of mine ?

Part of this data base should be statements regarding the existing competition, the marke- ting partners available, possibly also synergy-partners or other co-operations and much more - especially, however, the deep knowledge of potential clients (size, number of employees, market segments supplied, how do these look like, etc.), always everything directed to the possibilities and size of the own company.

Before ‘stepping into an unknown territory’ such findings are indispensable in order to develop a good and ‘low-risk’ procedure to enter. Of course questions regarding the political stability, general payment morality, payment- procedures, as well as technical needs, are also of importance.

3. Approach

As already said in the beginning there are no patent remedies or ‘best practices’ available. Some of the possibilities are e. g.
  • Creation or improvement of a meaningful website, in the languages needed, answering as well possible questions of the visitors, as underlining the own ‘fingerprint’. This website of course has to be - as good as ever possible - well ranked in searches of interested parties. Precondition for this are, however, customer-friendly and informative pages that refer to and answer possible questions of visitors as well as present the available solutions with the own products - also by means of meaningful pictures - in a convincing way - to get inquiries from such visitors.
  • A website doesn’t replace a thoroughly arranged marketing, however, nowadays marketing without a website is incomplete - and it is today the fastest way to get into connection..
  • Participation in / visits of international exhibitions - possibly first as a visitor, due to cost implications, later, however, also as a participant. During the visiting phase already discussions with potential clients are possible, which can serve to get more information regarding technical needs or features requested as well as commercial implications. These can later also influence the elaboration / improvement of the website, or even the products, or lead as well to talks with potential partners.
  • Direct contacts with potential clients, distributors or synergy partners, whereas all kinds of questions could be discussed and more information regarding the market can be collected.
4. Marketing planning

A thoroughly developed marketing planning (link to an example >>) aggregates the information received or found and gives detailed information regarding the market approach, the cost involved, temporal course, and much more.

At the same time this marketing plan serves as a permanent instrument which can be adjusted in given intervals, it includes alternatives for the marketing procedures or the sales ways developed - in case the one or other solution doesn’t work as foreseen. Motto: The better the planning, the easier, time- and target focused, but also less costly the execution will be.

5. Implementation

This should be clearly defined and started using e. g. ‘To-Do -List’ which are controlled from time to time. Thereby as well tasks as responsible personnel are explicitly allocated and provided with time-frames so that the success becomes ‘predictable’.

Conclusion

Having in mind a continuous and healthy growth of a company, its broader foundation (and thus a better recession resistance), as well as the security for working places - it is advi- sable to elaborate a thorough way of handling followed by a consistent implementation, without becoming insecure if not everything works out perfectly from the very beginning.

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How can I assist you in reaching YOUR goals -- in Europe or anywhere else ? - please >> mail - or call +49(0)7582-933371 - * Send page to a friend

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