Take Your Product International
Increase your sales by up 95%
written by Maxwell Stewart
The title of this article is “Increase your sales by up 95%”, because that is what we will discuss but the overarching theme should be, “What are YOU leaving on the table?” If you are selling just to customers in the United States and you are happy with your sales that is great, keep it up. But, if you are hungry to have your company increase revenue, diversify you selling channels, and not have to lay off employees in a US economic downturn, then continue reading.
We receive about 2 client calls a week in my office and these are the first words in the conversation, “I received an email from someone in , wanting to buy my product, what do I do?” All too often this is not the first time they have received this type of message and they just usually send it to their junk mail or trash folder, but sometimes these messages catch their eye as the sender might be from a country they have heard of or has a familiar name, has this happened to you?
Most people do not realize that the US makes up only 5% of the world’s population and shocking to most people that by 2020 China and India will have a middle class (with disposable income!) 1.5 times the size of the whole United States. Imagine if you company were able to reach just 5% of that entire market, would it equal your entire US sales channel? Now we are not advocating that you start with China and India as your first international markets but this gives you an idea of what is out there for the taking and these markets now want QUALITY goods and services.
95% of the world’s population and
73% of the worlds middle class are outside the US.
Diversification is key
In the US when we have a problem maybe like high gas prices, hurricanes, labor strikes, or even an election these things can affect how your consumers spend money right? It is the same on the global stage. When the US market is strong emerging markets, and other smaller markets become weak, and vice versa. We ask two questions to everyone we meet. Is your company diversified enough to handle a US consumer spending drop? How are your international sales channels? If the answer to those two questions are: I don’t know, and I don’t have one. Then here are some things you can do right now to get on the right path:
- Get an export market plan; know where the global trends are for your product
- Get an international banking; to have good sales channels you need to offer letters of credit or at least have a bank with corresponding banks across the globe. Ask your bank if they offer this service.
- Did you know that there is money set aside by the government to guarantee an international sale? We can show you how that works too.
- Internationalize your website; just by adding a translate button or at least one language (Spanish) to your website can dramatically increase your international presence, even just adding a country flag!
- Attend an international trade show; for your product industry and see who is selling, gather some market research. Look what pavilions are attracting the most attention (we bet its Germany and the US, again think Quality)
We know everyone is busy just keeping up with their current orders and managing their company and this sounds like a lot of work. You could be one step closer to reaching the other 95% of the global market or that 75% of the untouched middle class waiting for your product. The time is now, do not wait for the next US downturn to start your international markets.
Maxwell Stewart is the President of WestWind Group LLC, a full service import export firm dedicated to helping companies with warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment needs. The firms’ members have over 120 years of combined international sales, marketing, and business development experience.