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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8:Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > Export promotion > Sales promotion > Trade fairs and exhibitions > Ensuring thorough follow-up after the fair



Ensuring thorough follow-up after the fair



Without follow-up, all of your efforts and the all the money you have spent will have been in vain. Do not expect potential customers to call you. You need to contact them. E-mail is the best way to do this. A few days (not too long) after the exhibition you should send them an e-mail (or fax or letter, if they don't have e-mail). Thank them for visiting your stand. In so doing, you will be reminding them of your company, your stand and your products. Mention to them that you are interested in establishing a market for your products in their country and that you are seeking agents and/or customers. Ask them very briefly, but directly if they are interested in your product and if not now, might they be in the future? Ask them if they mind if you send them the occasional informative e-mail about your products.

In the instances where you had more in-depth discussions with individuals at the exhibition, refer to your notes and include a summary of your discussion in the e-mail. Provide them with any information you might have promised them. If the discussion was fairly detailed and/or promising, you may want to put a specific proposal to them. If the discussion was fairly general, keep your comments simple as well. Be careful about providing too much strategic information to potential competitors. If you beleive that a potential customer is actually a competitor, send a short thank you e-mail and invite them to ask you if they want any further information. Check out their websites to see if they are, in fact, competitiors. If they are, what can you learn from them. Could there be potential for co-operation?

Don't loose faith in your contacts. It is unlikely that they will respond with an order immediately. It may take months or even years before one of them becomes a customer. For this reason, you should keep them on your mailing list. Send them your e-newsletter, if you have one, or send them the occasional e-mail keeping them up-to-date with developments in your firm - new products, price lists, etc. If they ask to be taken off your mailing list - do so. This is a matter of professional courtesy. Most will be happy to receive the odd e-mail from you and the chances are that one of these contacts will eventiually become a customer. Do not send out e-newsletters or e-mails too often; at most one per month (quarterly is perhaps even better) - you don't want to annoy your potential customers.

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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                  The export price
                  Export promotion
                        Sales promotion
                               Trade Fairs
                                  .Understand the different types of trade fairs
                                  .Formulate your objectives for participating in a trade fair
                                  .Select a trade fair that will meet your objectives
                                  .Prepare a budget for your trade fair
                                  .Book the stand
                                  .Organise to participate in the trade fair
                                  .Actually participate in the trade fair
                        Direct marketing
                        Internet marketing
                        Personal selling
                        Internet marketing
                  Export distribution
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan

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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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