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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
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
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
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
assessing your organization s needs allocating in house resources4
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?
is it less expensive to hire a vp of international business development or an outside consultant
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
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.
what is your level of cultural and international sophistication a pop quiz7
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
Agents
  • 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!
agents9
Agents
  • 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”!
keeping agents happy
Keeping Agents Happy!

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)
keeping agents happy11
Keeping Agents Happy!
  • 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)
answers to the quiz
Answers to the 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
Answers to the 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
answers to the quiz14
Answers to the 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
answers to the quiz15
Answers to the 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
increasing international exhibitor sales the care and feeding of international agents16
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