How to prepare for business delegations
Experienced business women will tell you that success at a business delegation is a direct result of the amount of preparation you do in advance. Here are the Trade Commissioner Service’s top tips for making the most of your experience:
How to prepare for your trade mission
Experienced business women will tell you that success at a trade mission is a direct result of the amount of preparation you do in advance. Here are top tips for making the most of your mission experience:
Match your firm’s capabilities with opportunities
Before you join a delegation, make sure your company’s strengths match the market opportunities:
- analyze your company’s readiness to export to the market
- do your market research to ensure the host country offers a good opportunity for your business
- identify your potential customers in the market
- understand your competition in- the market and how you can best compete
Prepare your people
Using your time efficiently on the mission is critical. Send senior decision-makers who are in a position to best represent your interests. Brief them well in advance and provide market research, briefing and training materials.
Plan for matchmaking in advance
Ask business delegation organizers to arrange matchmaking meetings in advance. This will help you target qualified business contacts. To make this happen:
- submit a company profile that showcases strengths, capabilities and expectations for the business delegation
- describe your ideal potential customers and contacts
- send any requests for meetings early, so business delegation organizers can identify the best possible candidates
- reach out to contacts and target customers in the host country in advance of the business delegation
Set clear expectations and goals
Be realistic about:
- how long it could take to develop the market
- what you wish to accomplish in initial meetings
- what the business delegation experience will deliver
Review your goals and expectations with business delegation organizers. This will ensure that they are attainable and affordable.
Prepare your marketing materials
With the host country in mind, review your marketing and promotional materials and consider the following:
- Adjust your value proposition. Potential customers in the host country may value your benefits, depending on the local market and competition.
- Review your messaging. Marketing language may be more or less formal in other countries than Canada.
- Translate your marketing materials. Make sure to have a minimum of one handout in the local language.
- Ensure your promotional material is world-class. Verify that your material is professional, clear and reflects an understanding of the local market.
- Include vital information on business cards and handouts. This includes:
- country and area codes
- email and website addresses
- complete addresses for your company’s offices and representatives
- Perfect your pitch.
- Explain how your product or service can meet your audience’s specific needs.
- Ask questions to understand what your buyer is looking for, then customize your pitch.
- Avoid overwhelming the buyer with too many details. Sum up the key benefits of your product or service in a few sentences.
- Distinguish yourself from your competition. Use examples that demonstrate why your product or service is the best.
- Make it memorable. Tailor your messages so that the buyer will retain them.
- Follow up. After your pitch, be sure to follow up with an email or phone call.
Prepare for post-business delegation follow-up
Make sure your follow-up is consistent and focused on building the business relationship. Once home, send a quick letter to the people you met during the delegation. Provide useful and relevant information and thank them for meeting with you. This effort serves toward building solid, lasting trade relationships.
Connect with Business Women in International Trade (BWIT)
Questions or need support
- Email the BWIT team: email@example.com
Join the conversation
- Connect with BWIT on LinkedIn
- Follow the conversation on Twitter: #BWIT or #womenexporters
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