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Increasing International Exhibitor Sales: The Care and Feeding of International Agents. By Stephanie S. Selesnick, CEM Executive Vice President International Trade Information, Inc. Stephanie@intltradeinfo.com www.internationaltradeinformation.com. Assessing Your Organization’s Needs.

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Increasing international exhibitor sales the care and feeding of international agents l.jpg
Increasing International Exhibitor Sales: The Care and Feeding of International Agents

By Stephanie S. Selesnick, CEM

Executive Vice President

International Trade Information, Inc.

Stephanie@intltradeinfo.com

www.internationaltradeinformation.com


Assessing your organization s needs l.jpg
Assessing Your Organization’s Needs

1. What is your organization’s resource commitment?

  • Time

  • Money

  • Personnel and Level of International Experience

    2. Is it better to work with an International Consultant to find and/or supervise agents OR do you have the right staff in place to find and supervise/support them on your own?

    3. Does your organization need international agents or representatives or can it do so “in house”?


Assessing your organization s needs allocating in house resources l.jpg
Assessing Your Organization’s Needs:Allocating In-House Resources

  • Time:

    • It takes a MINIMUM commitment of 3-4 YEARS to reap the benefits of an international exhibitor sales program.

  • Money:

    • It is an INVESTMENT NOT a cost

    • International Promotion/Marketing is a MUST

    • Includes advertising and LOTS of travel


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Assessing Your Organization’s Needs:Allocating In-House Resources

  • Are there high-level internationally experienced personnel in house?

    • Is his/her job title Director or higher?

    • Does he/she speak more than one language?

      (gibberish does not count!)

    • Has he/she traveled further than Canada or Mexico on vacation?

    • Does he/she have more than 2 stamps in their passport(s)?

    • Can he/she pass the upcoming pop quiz?


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Is it less expensive to hire a VP of International Business Development or an outside consultant?

What outside consultants:

  • Can deliver:

    • Personal Contacts

    • Personal experience in the marketplace

    • Supervision and support (when needed)

    • Cultural knowledge and sensitivity

  • Cannot guarantee:

    • Sales or visitors

    • That your show will be a priority

    • No natural or manmade disasters will happen affecting sales/visitors for your show


What is your level of cultural and international sophistication a pop quiz l.jpg
What is YOUR level of cultural and international sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • TRUE/FALSE:

    • Consulates are located in a Capitol City. Embassies are satellites of Consulates.

    • Trade Offices are always located in Embassies or Consulates

    • A Trade Commissioner is the same as a Cultural Commissioner

    • You can drive from Hong Kong to Macau

    • If you cut anything up small enough it tastes like chicken.

    • India has a great infrastructure and it’s super easy to get around

    • The U.S. Department of Commerce is in charge of issuing Visas.


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What is YOUR level of cultural and international sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • SHORT ANSWERS:

    • What is a “FSN” and why is it important?

    • What is the difference between a Hard Currency and a Soft Currency? Why should one care?

    • What is the common way of greeting a Dutch person you know?

    • What is the common way of greeting a Chinese person you know?

    • In this country, the chopsticks are metal, thin and cylindrical

    • In Mexico, lunch is held at this time, dinner at this time.

    • How does one exchange business cards in Asia?


Agents l.jpg
Agents sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • Ways to find agents

    • From a consultant and/or personal recommendation

    • From a counterpart international association

    • From the U.S. Dept. of Commerce

  • Who are the agents?

    • Business Owners

    • Experienced in Trade Shows, Industry, Ex-Gov’t.

    • Hardworking, Entrepreneurial

    • Executive Level!


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Agents sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • Vetting agents –

    • Check references thoroughly!

    • Dunn & Bradstreet (credit)

    • U.S. Dept. of Commerce (in country)

    • Associations

    • Remember anyone can “talk the talk”, but many are unable to “walk the walk”!


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Keeping Agents Happy! sophistication? (a pop quiz)

Top Agent Complaints

  • No Promotional Budget

  • Lack of communication (updates on the show!) and timely answers

  • Lack of real information on the marketplace AND competitive shows

  • Timely payment of commissions and reimbursements (wire transfers)


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Keeping Agents Happy! sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • Personal visits by TOP executives to:

    • Support, educate and train salespeople

    • See top clients and associations

    • Present multiple presentations, seminars, etc.

  • What should these presentations/seminars include?

    • Market information

    • Distribution of products in the marketplace

    • Cultural information/Information on the venue city

    • Information about your show (last)


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Answers to the Quiz sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • TRUE/FALSE:

    • Consulates are located in a Capital City. Embassies are satellites of Consulates.

      • False, it’s the other way around

    • Trade Offices are always located in Embassies or Consulates

      • False

    • A Trade Commissioner is the same as a Cultural Commissioner

      • False

    • You can drive from Hong Kong to Macau

      • False but true in the next 3 years


Answers to the quiz13 l.jpg
Answers to the Quiz sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • TRUE/FALSE

    • If you cut anything up small enough it tastes like chicken.

      • Mostly true

    • India has a great infrastructure and it’s super easy to get around

      • False - i.e.: it takes a 4-hour drive from Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) to the Taj Majal

    • The U.S. Department of Commerce is in charge of issuing Visas.

      • False - it’s the State Department


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Answers to the Quiz sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • SHORT ANSWERS:

    • What is a “FSN” and why is it important?

      • Foreign Service National - the “in-country” person who is usually an expert in several industries. They don’t move postings.

    • What is the difference between a Hard Currency and a Soft Currency? And why should one care?

      • Hard currency is traded on the global market. Soft currency must be converted to a hard currency. Example: Brazil

    • What is the common way of greeting a Dutch person you know?

      • Kissing cheeks 3 times


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Answers to the Quiz sophistication? (a pop quiz)

  • SHORT ANSWERS (continued)

    • What is the common way of greeting a Chinese person you know?

      • Limp handshake

    • In this country, the chopsticks are metal, thin and cylindrical

      • South Korea

    • In Mexico, lunch is held at this time, dinner at this time.

      • 3-5pm for lunch, 9pm or later for dinner

    • How does one exchange business cards in Asia?

      • With both hands, then examine and discuss the cards


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Increasing International Exhibitor Sales: sophistication? (a pop quiz)The Care and Feeding of International Agents

By Stephanie S. Selesnick, CEM

Executive Vice President

International Trade Information, Inc.

Stephanie@intltradeinfo.com

www.internationaltradeinformation.com