Know the Market:
One of the difficulties of selling abroad is building a solid network of distributors or representatives. If it is already difficult to find the right companies or professionals in Spain, how can you do it in a country where you do not know the market and its components? This search can be complicated and expensive if done in person, frustrating if you try cold-calling, and devastating if done by email. This is where LinkedIn starts to be useful.
In a network with more than 500 million users, we can find the right companies and professionals in each country, all from your computer or phone.
LinkedIn is especially useful for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that need to open to foreign markets but do not have the financial capacity to maintain a department or staff dedicated exclusively to this objective. It guarantees the location of the companies that interest us and employees who can make a decision in reference to our product. This allows us to establish “personal” contact with them and generate a climate of trust.
Most digital commercial companies know these techniques and try to use them, although they use them individually and according to their particular criteria. However, there are already companies specialized in offering this type of service externally and provide method, continuity, and measurement of results.
This is the case of Internet business consultancy 3dids.com, which works to locate and contact potential clients or partners for Spanish SMEs looking to sell their products in Europe. These are industrial companies, shoe manufacturers, and even technology companies. According to its CEO Andrés de España, “The results of the social selling to a prospect, clients, are surprising, but also the contacts are of high quality and the commercial ones, when they sit down with the possible client, do it before a person who knows the product and is interested in our proposals.”
How Long Does It Take?
According to an analysis conducted by 3did.com, obtaining a base of 3,000 possible customers through social networks that result in up to 200 business meetings can be achieved in a period of 3-4 months. Comparatively, 3,000 cold calls would not generate more than 15 contacts of interest, while e-mailing those contacts would be reduced to 7 or 8.
The first task is defining the company profile and appropriate position for each commercial proposal with the client. Once defined, the LinkedIn search engine will help us locate them efficiently.
The second step is to contact those profiles and ask them to be members of our network. It is essential that a person makes the requests and that they are upper management. When establishing contact, you should try to be as personal as possible; consider the language, be educated, show that you are interested in the work, and offer a brief explanation of why you want to have them in our network.
When faced with a request for professional personal contact, educated and argued, 70% of people respond positively, which allows us to create a qualified database. Once contact is established, you must keep it alive and build trust. To do this, you must have a conversation in which you will try to know the company’s characteristics, needs, position in the market, and even ask how the product is good for the new country or sector. LinkedIn is a professional network; therefore, any interaction in this field is usually accepted willingly, provided it is not blatantly commercial. An adequate content marketing strategy helps build trust.
To be successful, it is necessary to maintain the conversation and follow a strategy that allows you to discard profiles when not interested or not appropriate. You will also detect those cases in which the proposal can solve a potential client’s need or be a win-win for our contact. Only at that moment should a call be made or even a meeting arranged by the commercial department.
With this technique, you will have achieved 3 objectives: 1) Locate the right people and get in touch with them in any country in Europe or another continent 2) Know if their characteristics, situation, and circumstances place you as a potential goal for a relationship win-win and 3) Get a business meeting without the rejection that usually comes from a cold call.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.