• What are you doing to export?
• Are you waiting for the order?
• How are you approaching the buyer?
• Have you really researched the market you are trying to export too?
• Are you waiting for the BROKER, or the AGENT, to decide when they will pass the POs?
• Are you selling direct to the retailer, or to the buyer importer manufacturer selling to the retailer?
• Do you really know the needs of the manufacturer to assist with their tools to sell to the retailer?
• Are you prepared with the software and strong employee infrastructure to service your buyer?
These are just some of the questions that need answers to be successful in today’s market if you wish to export into the USA marketplace.
One of the key factors that made China successful, in exporting to the USA market place, was their understanding of being able to PRODUCE CORRECT SAMPLES, for their buyers in enough time to allow the advance selling by season for the manufacturers in the USA to show and sell into the correct buying season.
China has always charged double or even triple to what we call Sales Representative Samples, but it is the KEY to maintaining your relationship with your customer. By being able to deliver these requested samples on time, and correct specifications, allows you to have a continued relationship, and get the order, and more importantly at a higher profit margin for yourselves.
No sample, in most cases means no order; or an incorrect sample, in most cases does not get the order either. There is a saying that started in California during the Gold Rush of 1849, the Chinese here opened up laundries for washing of the clothes of the thousands of miners and railroad builders. “No Tickey, No Washie”, meaning if you could not present a ticket for your laundry you could not pick it up!
You can now say, “No sample, No Order”, and this is crucial for obtaining consistent business.
Even when selling to the Agent or Broker, making the sample the quickest and correctly, will dictate whether you get the order or not… If you are selling direct to the retailer, it will not be the salesmen’s sample, but getting the correct sample first, before competition, which will also determine whether you receive the order or not.
I have visited factories in China that have over 250 machines, just making samples. Remember what is shown to the buyer by the Sales Representative is what the buyer expects to receive.
If you are selling direct to the retailer you had better have someone working with their product development department as to their needs of research, so as to give as much assistance as you can in research of fabrics, color, styling, that will put you into a preferred lead, and be on the so-called “A” list, as a preferred vendor.
There are firms servicing the importer buyer as to Work In Process (WIP), as to the factual status of all orders, especially samples.
The importer that sells to the retailer must have the tools to sell in advance of seasons, and spend a lot of money, big dollars in travel, Trade shows, Trade advertising, and I do not know how many times these importers are delivering SAMPLES at the last minute, or losing face and paying for space, because NO samples arrived.
Having the equipment to manufacture is just not enough in today’s market; you must sell your service capabilities just as much as your facilities. You must become more instrumental getting the order, and not just say I have produced for this brand or that name, as it does not mean that much to attract buyers, in fact some of the names may not be acceptable to a potential buyer.