It sounds easy, but the negotiating and quoting process is the key to the success of your export endeavours. As with any business, success is based on closing sales. Without sales, there is no business. All of the market research done, advertising undertaken, e-mails sent, buyers approached, or trade fairs attended is worth nothing if you cannot close the sale. There is much theory written and models proposed about the selling process, but in this section we try to put forward as practical an approach as possible.

In the selling approach we propose, there are eight steps. These are:

  1. Deciding who will do the selling?
  2. Prospecting for buyers
  3. Doing a preapproach
  4. Approaching the buyer
  5. Making the presentation
  6. Overcoming objections
  7. Closing the sale
  8. Following up

The process outlined above is not strictly linear. It is more like a spiral, each step feeding back and influencing the others as the process overall moves forward toward the close (assuming you do it right). The salesperson knows that selling is a process of evaluation and reevaluation – both for the salesperson and for the prospective customer.

The process described on the following pages has been adapted from