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Top 10 Tips for Selling Goods, Services Overseas

Posted by Kristen Rupert on Apr 11, 2011 11:30:00 AM

What are the Top 10 keys to success for companies looking to sell goods and services overseas?

International TradeMore than two dozen international trade experts – including Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School, Robert Thomas of Accenture, and Jim Taiclet of American Tower  - gathered at Brandeis University on April 5 and offered a roadmap for employers entering foreign markets:

  • Go to the country where you want to do business; see, evaluate, negotiate;
  • Local support is critical in overseas markets; hire local talent, understand local markets;
  • The world may be flat world but it’s uneven, and critical differences exist among countries in terms of history, culture, customs, regulations, rhythm of commerce;
  • Don’t expect results too soon—it takes more time to develop relationships and gain traction in markets overseas than domestically;
  • Build partners, focus on fundamentals;
  • Look for opportunity in lesser known overseas markets, for example, Ecuador, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Ghana;
  • Consider taking a “Growing up Global” approach—not steeped in tradition, open to new ways of looking at things, not tied down by past processes;
  • When going overseas, invest in experienced talent before you expect revenue, and deploy these executives in overseas markets early in the process;
  • Look for models in emerging markets where processes are re-invented and efficiencies increased—there have been, for example, real paradigm shifts in India with the Nano car and inexpensive, mass-market heart surgery; and
  • As financial and political stability take root in emerging markets, opportunities emerge.

The April 5 Global Trade Summit at the Brandeis International Business School drew nearly 300 people and featured a keynote speech by Governor Deval Patrick. AIM co-sponsored the event.

Topics: International Trade, AIM International Business Council, Deval Patrick

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