Making the Most of Virtual Trade Missions

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Trade mission in the traditional sense is when government officials and businesspeople from one country travel to another country to promote trade relations. Trade missions are organised either by the national or provincial governments.

Like most business events, trade mission was transformed by the 2020 global pandemic. Today, it is very common to have virtual trade missions.

Trade missions are essential when you are looking into growing your business. This works both ways. The company intending to bring or export its goods or services to another country will grow its business as it expands abroad. The company partnering with the exporter will grow its business through an increase and/or diversification of its product or service offerings.

Planning for a virtual trade mission – the exporter
Here are some steps you need to consider if you are planning to join a trade mission to export your products/services abroad:

  1. Analyse your company’s readiness to export. If you are a manufacturer, do you have people resources or plant capacity to meet an upsurge in demand? Is your administration capable of handling export? Do you have the right people and number of people to manage export. Do you need overseas certification?
    These are just some of the questions you need to answer. Smart Mango can help you evaluate your company’s readiness to export.
  2. Before jumping to other countries to expand, make sure you have done a market research to ensure that the host country offers a good opportunity for your business. A market research must be able to answer questions like the size of the market & competitors as well as help you make a sales forecast. It is also important to understand the host country’s culture.
  3. Exporting can be a very costly business growth initiative. It will be wise to work with an export consultant to avoid unnecessary expenses and mistakes.
  4. If the other country is a viable market, you need to prepare a Marketing Plan to ensure easy entrance and adaptation to the market of your choice. Identify your potential customers in the market. Should you work with a distributor? Should you open an international office? A Marketing Plan will help you evaluate the most viable solution as well as create a strategy for your entrance to the new market.

During the virtual trade mission

  1. Show the value to the leads – in trade mission, particularly with B2B meeting matchmaking you only have a few minutes to pitch to potential leads – consider the value of your products/service for the lead in the target market. Moreover, you need to think about your unique differentiator for a prospect to consider an overseas solution.
  2. Present your unique differentiator for a prospect to consider an overseas solution.
  3. Be concise: you should stick to 30 minutes to present your offering and ask questions to your lead.
  4. Focus on building the relationship more than selling.
  5. If there’s a match, schedule a second meeting for deeper technical and financial discussion.

After the virtual trade mission

  1. Request for a recording of your virtual meeting from the event organiser.
  2. Evaluate which partner will best suit your growth plans.
  3. Stay in touch with your prospect immediately after the virtual trade mission.
  4. Use export development specialists to help you follow-up and convert.

Will you participate in a virtual trade mission? Why or why not? If you are unsure of your answer, Smart Mango can help you evaluate if a trade mission is viable for your company’s growth.
Take our export readiness test to evaluate if you are ready. Call +61 (0) 2 7903 0543 or email to take the test and meet our export experts for a free export consultation.