Exporters may need services to develop their capability: export readiness, export counselling and the export environment. Though these services are often more cost effective when delivered in the home country, trade representatives are often asked to provide tailored advice on their host market, and how to access it.
Martin Plans a Special Campaign
This was the part of his job that Martin really enjoyed. After two years of preparation, one of the successful exporters from his home country had decided to open a small production unit in his host country. The company was looking for help to create publicity.
This was going to be a good way to promote product innovation and quality from Martin’s country. He already had a service contract with a PR company, so the marginal costs of this campaign could be quite low. Martin checked with the Ambassador. She was delighted to support the campaign with interviews and to act as the VIP at the formal opening party.
Martin prepared his response to the exporter. He set out the possibility of a subsidized cost for the communications campaign using their accredited service provider. He also suggested creating food for the launch party using as many ingredients as possible from home.
Martin then set out the specific tasks that he and his team would take on. He suggested building the contact list, liaising with the PR company, and controlling the translation quality into Arabic. Each task was costed and built into a formal quote. While it was important to charge for such specialized work, Martin was determined to give them the best possible deal. This was going to profile his country, and deliver a great success story for him as well!
Helping companies generally prepare for export is a task best undertaken in the home country.
Help an exporter prepare for a particular market by providing customized advice.
Customized reports are often a chargeable service and need to be of high quality.
Market visit programmes for exporters often follow after customized reports.
For all assignments, agree on the requirements and timescale for delivery.
Checklist: Managing special requests
Understand what the customer wants. This requires good listening skills and a willingness to hold in-depth discussions.
Develop a simple contract, which both parties sign, to clarify expectations.
Agree on a realistic time frame.
Be clear about what you will and will not deliver. For example, organizing a meeting with a government minister may not be easily achievable.
Keep the customer informed. Customers can be accommodating when they feel they are being kept in the loop.
Follow up. See what else the customer needs, which could add to the consultancy or secure a follow-up assignment.
When there is a fee for services, send out the invoice promptly.