Ayse Oge is a published author and global trade marketing expert. She is the author or the book Emerging Markets. Ayse’s Corner is a periodic feature for the World TradeWinds eZine’.
“Instead of changing the world through revolution, we can change the world through innovation.” — Juan Andres Fontaine, Former Chilean Minister of Economy
The global economy is becoming increasingly interconnected due to advances of technology in communication and transportation. Most governments are eliminating trade barriers and placing value in cross-national cooperation and agreements, and consumers are also demanding foreign goods/services. Companies are currently in need for international trade professionals and “champions” who are savvy and have a thorough understanding of the dynamics of international business to thrive in this integrated economy.
True international trade champions are the ones who have both a passion for the profession and a sense of purpose extending beyond simple allegiance to employers in driving their company’s trade and export sales performance. These champions must also demonstrate solid competencies and skills in global management, international marketing and sales, overseas customer support service and have a cultural awareness of product design and development to stay competitive in the global marketplace.
I have had the privilege of getting to know some of these international trade champions during the last decade and learn from their best practices. Here are some valuable takeaways from the interviews I conducted with several of them, including CEO’s, Vice Presidents, and Export Managers.
- American quality standards can overcome any price advantage of foreign countries, and they represent built-in advantages for all of the U.S. exporters.
- A logistic company’s role in exports is crucial. Most of them have customized services in terms of preparing documents for shipment, estimating duties and taxes, and helping with essential regulatory and information about your target country.
- The major benefit of exporting that any company acquires is name recognition, which has a cascading effect in bringing in new customers and additional local and international revenues.
- International trade professionals need an organization that has experienced associates to service the business, the production capabilities, and the proper policies and procedures to achieve the customer satisfaction before entering into foreign markets.
- Your professional networks, including government services such as Gold Key and Exim Bank, are significant in ensuring global success every step of the way.
- Shy away from giving away free samples to your clients. People value products that they pay for. Once they buy them from you, credit the total dollar amount of samples on the final invoice.
- Americans respect time and abide by deadlines when it comes to business transactions. Reminding your foreign counterparts that they need to do the same can be counter-productive in your relations. A little diplomacy and tactfulness goes a long way.
Global business champions are life-long learners and have the excitement to propel their company’s expansion overseas with extraordinary marketing suaveness, extensive quality control and an innovative spirit. This is why the American economy needs to cultivate more “champions” in order to achieve economic growth and create jobs.