First business visit to ASIA - anything to consider?

First business visit to ASIA - anything to consider?

Postby LoveGolf » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:28 pm

I'm making the first trip for our business to Asia, likely including China and Japan. I know its a bit early for us to head in this direction, but I'm in the region for other reasons and want to take advantage of the travel. What should I know about?
Last edited by LoveGolf on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travelling to ASIA - anything special to know?

Postby InsideSpin » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:35 pm

Some initial comments to consider:
1. If it's too early for your business, and you are in the region for possibly vacation, you might want to consider taking the entire time as vacation -- i'm sure its needed. If you do start to schedule meetings, etc , you're highly likely to pick up many follow on action items, even if all you end up doing is meet prospective partners for the future. It would become a distraction from your core sales activities, so even though you are there, does not mean you have to do anything about it.

2. If you feel strongly that it is worth exploring, keep in mind some standard parameters for selling into Asia from North America -- it's far away and on different time zones. An obvious comment, but one that tends to mean it is hard to be successful working at extreme arms length without investing in local resources to represent you. Even if you have a great partner to work with, you will still spend lots of late night time trying to connect with them and make sure they are moving forward to generate business.

3. Most businesses that i see generate about 10% of their revenues from this region. It could be easy to argue that you do not spend any time on it for now until your core markets exceed certain gross thresholds (say $10M in annual revenues). If I were a partner, i would only take on new products that had potential to generate $1M to make it worth the investments needed. Same for you, take on new territories if you can get to $1M in 2 years.

4. The Asian markets are technically sophisticated in many areas. The core difference is the way they do business which is based much more on building committed relationships than North American businesses. If you can earn your wings in the Asian market, it tends to benefit you for a long time to come. I find the main challenge is to determine if the people you are working with are the right ones for your market segment. It might be good to find an experienced consultant who has build sales teams and businesses in the Asian market to help explore what steps you should take.

Hope this helps.
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