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  • Tips on finding buyers for your Printing, Prepress & Packaging services

    Here we would like to present you with a few tips for finding international buyers for your Printing, Prepress & Packaging Services.

    Do market research to find out which segment offers you the best opportunities

    Before you try to do business on the International market, you have to find out how the Export market works and which markets or segments are best suited for your offer. This means you have to invest time and effort in doing market research. Look at different countries and their characteristics; look at the pricing, quality, style, volumes etc. of different segments to find out where your offer will fit best. Reaching that marketing your products randomly will lead to failure: the Export market is sophisticated and segmented and you have to match your offer to a corresponding segment.

    There is a lot of useful market information on the Internet. For example, browsing distributor websites is a good way of increasing your knowledge of the market, trends, different forms of communication and presentation, pricing, design inspiration, consumer needs, market requirements et cetera. After doing this for some time, your feel for the export market will undoubtedly have increased. Market research to find out your best opportunities.

    Know your potential buyers before getting into contact with them

    In addition to knowing the export market and its different segments and channels, you must also get to know your buyers. Learn how they think, what their needs and wishes are, how best to communicate with them etc. You can do this research online as well as through visiting trade fairs and having talks with buyers. Ask lots of questions.

    Attend trade fairs, first as a visitor, then as an exhibitor

    Importers consider trade fairs to be their main showroom for introducing new collections to customers. They participate in most of the well-known trade fairs. This makes trade fairs a great place to meet potential buyers.

    You can attend trade fairs either as a visitor or as an exhibitor. It is advisable to go as a visitor first, as exhibiting is usually expensive. Advantages of going as a visitor first are that you can get a feel for the event, spend time talking with buyers and exhibitors without the stress of running your own stand, find out which halls attract most traffic (or the most worthwhile traffic) etc. Find out whether the fair suits your offer and attracts the buyers you are looking for. If you decide to exhibit, make an effort to build a new collection around this important promotional event; invite new and existing buyers to your booth at the fair; and set clear marketing objectives for the event. Prepare well and when the fair is over, take time to ensure effective follow-up – as most of your trade fair business will develop after the fair, not during the event.

    Search trade fair databases to find potential buyers

    All well-known trade fairs have free, online exhibitors databases. A quick way of finding new contacts is to search these databases. Some trade fair organizers offer special online tools for this purpose.

    When you have identified potential buyers and added them to your own contacts database, consider carefully how best to contact them. You can send your trade fair invitation to their general address, assuming that if your invitation is good and relevant enough, it will get read by the relevant buyer. Another option is to try phoning; your chances of getting through to an actual purchaser are not high, but your likelihood of success will increase if you have studied the importer and can offer a really relevant product. Spamming buyers is never a good idea.

    Consider hiring agents for trade representation

    Hiring an agent can be effective, but before you do, make sure you consider the pros and cons. The services of selling agents can range from plain sales work – e.g. booking orders with distributors by making house calls and visiting or exhibiting at fairs – to services that may include stock risk. The extent of the services agents offer will be reflected in the fees they charge. Hiring them is generally costly, but since their money is in it as well as yours, they tend to yield good results. They will often be willing to open these up to you in exchange for a commission, which can start from 5% of your FOB (free on board) price.

    Use matchmaking services

    In matchmaking, persons or organizations will link you to relevant distributors. Unlike agents, matchmakers do not engage in a trade relationship with you. They usually work on a fee or commission basis, actively providing you with distributor contacts, or contacting distributers on your behalf.

    Make sure buyers can find you

    It is important that buyers looking for new offers can find you as well.

    (Sources: CBI)