How to make your overseas partners stay more loyal Part 1 of 3
Dealing with overseas partners such as distributors or retailers is similar to a long distance relationship. Sometimes, the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” comes true and you lose business in a very crowded market as your partner is tempted by another supplier who is more visible, tempting and closer to hand. Sorry!
Simple steps to make your customer choose you:
Keep the conversation going – you might not be in the country but regular phone calls, emails, photo exchange and postcards make it easier to engage and get information.
Always follow up, ask questions and be reliable. Boring, but crucial!
You are working across different cultures so align your message and be aware of possible information that will be hard to get and to understand.
|I once looked after a Japanese customer who had problems with our shipments which lead to shortages in the market and lost business for both them and us. They did not inform us as they did not want to be a “problem” for us nor did they want to claim on their insurance. They decided to get additional shipments from another supplier with a shorter lead-time. We were 8 -10 hours away and unaware of the situation…We renamed in partnership for 11 years and both companies learned to communicate better across the very different cultures|