Module 6-: No doubt, finding buyers for your export products would be one of your biggest challenges as an exporter, especially when you are just starting out or entering into a new market. Selling in an international market has never been simple—with diverse language, geographical distance, cultural differences, and lack of market knowledge posing real challenges to any exporter.

Yet, you must know how and where to find buyers for your export products, considering that having ready buyers is the only way to make headway in the export business. Finding buyers in an overseas market is now much easier than it used to be decades ago.

Now, there are many silver linings in the forms of friendly government policies, favorable international climate, less tariff or non-tariff barriers, and above all, the presence of and inexpensive access to the Internet. So, provided you plan well and play your cards right, you shouldn’t have much problems finding buyers for your export products. This post reveals six tips for finding buyers for your export products.

How to Find Foreign Buyers Online for your Export Product

1. Contact government-owned foreign agencies-: In many countries, there are government-sponsored or government-controlled companies or agencies that usually import various commodities needed by local consumers—in bulk. These are sometimes called trading companies.

To connect with these foreign agencies, you need to conduct research to identify which countries your export would be great for. Then contact those countries’ embassies in your country. Better yet, you can contact the companies or agencies directly in their own country.

However, you must bear in mind that most agencies are selective about what they import, and they may not necessarily be importing your own type of commodity—even if you strongly believe there’s a good market for it in that country.

2. Connect with buying agents-: Some foreign agencies are proactive and already have buying agents in countries that have abundant supplies of products needed in their home countries. If you have such foreign agencies in your country that are looking to buy your type of export products, then get in touch with them.

Again, your local embassy is a great place to look for these specific buying agents. However, the Internet is another powerful tool. Visit the official website of the country’s import-export agency, or simply search for local representatives. Be sure to communicate or deal with an official or officially accredited representative of the agency.

3. Contact foreign wholesalers-: There are wholesalers in virtually all countries. So, you can sell your export products to privately owned wholesale companies instead of government agencies. Dealing with private firms instead of government agencies is usually much quicker—and allowing them deal with the intricacies of importing is a big benefit, too.

Although you may have to settle for smaller margins when selling to wholesalers, the time you save trying to sell your export directly to the market may be well worth it. However, be aware that there are many fraudulent syndicates presenting as wholesalers. So, be careful when dealing with foreign wholesalers and don’t do business with any until you’ve verified their credibility.

4. Connect with commission agents-: Just as government-owned foreign agencies have their own local agents in your country, foreign privately-owned wholesale firms do, too. These agents are middlemen finding great export opportunities on behalf of the foreign wholesaler. They are easier to deal with and you can communicate easily with foreign distributors through them.

5. Hire your own sales person-: You will wear yourself out if you try to do all the work yourself. Just like foreign wholesalers have agents to find imports on their behalf, you can commission a sales representative to help you find individuals and firms that are looking to buy your export products.

Though you will have to pay the sales representative a fixed salary or percentage commissions, you will be able to focus your time and energy on manufacturing your product, searching for other markets, and other vital aspects of your export business.

6. Attract buyers-: While you will most likely have to proactively look for buyers, it’s possible to attract buyers, too–because they are also looking for you just as you are looking for them. And there are many strategies you can adopt to attract buyers to your export business. These include advertising in foreign magazines and newspapers published in your target countries as well as sponsoring trade shows in those countries.

Don’t forget online marketing, too. Set up a small website that provides information about your company and export products. And implement online marketing strategies such as pay-per-click ads, search engine optimization, and so on.

Ajaero Tony Martins