RGX Trading

Online business meetings: 5 keys to success

Online business meetings: 5 keys to success

The context of the current pandemic has hit trade borders in most countries worldwide, closed airports, delayed port operations and even shut down some work spaces in bonded warehouses. This scenario is clearly a new barrier to foreign trade that is slowing down delivery schedules and will require carefully detailed planning. However, reality is showing that the virtual modality is here to stay.

At RGX, we have been conducting online business meetings since 2016 as an alternative to in-presence sessions. Nowadays, meetings can just be held electronically, although at first the tool was developed for exporters without sufficient financial resources to travel to the destination market and conduct face-to-face discussions. Below are the success keys to online meetings with potential buyers:

Selling on the international marketplace requires considering different strategic decisions for each particular exporter; the export destination market is precisely an important step that is weighed by RGX. Through our “Methodology to select export markets,” we identify what markets will offer more selling opportunities to our clients. This selection takes into account the following components:
  • Current trade agreements
  • Share of the preselected destination market in global imports and the imports of the country of origin
  • Geographical and cultural proximity
  • Impact of COVID-19 (to what extent trade borders will remain open as a consequence of COVID-19)
  • Ease of doing business index
  • Logistics performance index
  • Incidence of freight from origin to destination
  • Efficiency of customs clearance
  • Import tariff for the tariff heading under analysis
  • Average time to import a product

Due to the abundance of information on virtual platforms, we need to be crystal clear about the meeting’s objective and about our offerings. We frequently see long e-mails laden with attachments, but these will go straight into the importer’s recycle bin. Keep your message short, stir up interest and then follow-up on your e-mail over the phone to arrange a meeting.

We recommend having the documents you would like to share with your potential customer open and ready some minutes before the meeting starts. Beyond the technical aspects typical of any virtual session, a brochure or presentation targeted to an international buyer should show a professional design, along with topics and information on:
  • Quality certifications: of the business or export products.
  • Shipping logistics solutions: importers will value more the exporters that are ready to move forward across a larger number of links along the international marketing chain, that is to say those that are ready to sell beyond the Incoterm FOB; some marketplaces even prefer to buy DDP, such as the US and Europe.
  • Flexible payment terms: buyers seek payment terms in excess of 30 days and paying through bank transfers or credit card.
  • After-sales services: a brochure will be more attractive if it describes the actions the exporter is willing to do in the destination market after closing a transaction. These may include promotional support to the importer in fairs, free samples to visit clients, joint ATL or BTL actions to advertise the importer’s products, among other initiatives.

A critical step for the exporter is to start the call that would launch the meeting and make sure that its counterparts have decision-making power to buy or import the product or service under discussion. The first presentation of the exporter’s business should not exceed 25 minutes to pave the way for a subsequent negotiation phase based on a specific proposal tailored to the interviewed potential customer.

When the meeting ends, follow-up actions must have surely been arranged, such as sending a quote or a business proposal. Therefore, the exporter needs to act quickly and neatly to send the importer the information it is expecting to receive. In addition, if there is no response after a few days, you may ask whether something should be adjusted or changed. The idea is not to lose direct contact with decision-makers and keep the created connection going. We see multiple export companies that follow-up weakly on each interviewed potential customer.

At RGX, we continue to work with these new digital tools in an attempt to link exporters with importers and generate international business transactions in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak. To do this, our team is ready to assist you. Just send us an email to customerservice@rgxonline.com and a consultant will contact you within 48 hours.

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