How Do I Market My Export and Import Services in Singapore

How Do I Market My Export and Import Services in Singapore

Thousands of ships drop anchor at the port of Singapore making it a crucial point of connection for over 600 ports in 123 countries around the world. It is currently the second busiest port in the world and a major source of revenue for this island-state. It is critical for importing natural resources for refining after which it serves a crucial part in Export and Import Services of finished products.

If you offer import and export help services, one among the most challenging tasks to handle is to convince clients that you have products worth importing or exporting. It’s also difficult to earn their trust that you’re the best to help out. According to statistics, only a small percentage of Singapore manufacturers do export their services. Therefore, in marketing your business, your primary goal is to convince these producers that their businesses’ profit margins can rise to the top by exporting their goods. Among the best ways to help you achieve this is email marketing, phone call follow-ups and social media networking. The same procedures will apply when seeking imports.

The export and import business is crucial to Singapore’s economy and entrepreneurs are flocking to the country to get a piece of it. According to the International Enterprise Singapore, the country’s international trade reached a staggering S$76.7 million in April 2017.

Researching

Before you can contact with a prospective customer or local manufacture, the first step will require you to do some research. Consider to answer the following questions:

  • What services are on high demand in the market? Always focus your efforts on products or services that are familiar to you. You can also target the best sellers of such services in the market.
  • Do the services or products you have an interest in having a high demand in the countries you target?
  • If it’s a no, will some markets or situations help to put the target products in raised orders if made availed in these countries?
  • Who are the manufactures of the products?
  • What is the product’s selling price? Which are the competing brands in the domestic markets and the countries you target?

Contacting Manufacturers

Once you have the answers to these questions, you have the green lights to move on with step two. In this stage, we start the campaign. Search on the manufactures of the product you researched on and call them. You can ask the name and details of the person you want to write. For small companies, you can contact the business owner or the president of the organisation. For big companies, you can contact the vice president or sales manager. Such will be a helpful point to start on in your campaign.

In your writing to the company, you should make sure to cover all of the following points;

  • Make a brief introduction of yourself or your company to the manufactures,
  • Come clean on the strength and potentials of the outside country market,
  • Explain the possibility of their product to win this market,
  • Importantly, you should talk about why your services as a company are the best in comparison to other providers. Explain how you’ll help the product win customers in the market overseas. It’s at this point where you bring in your experience with similar products in foreign markets.
  • You should also state that you have international business representatives ready to promote the product in these countries.
  • Win the clients by letting them know that you care about their products, and you’re very willing to help their brand overseas,
  • Lastly, make sure to request for a personal meeting to explain everything in details.

You should ensure to send such letters to a variety of manufactures. We, however, recommend that you avoid starting with clients who manufacture the same product. Such a situation will keep you competing with your customers. If your first attempt fails, go back and try other possible clients on the same service line. After sending the letters, wait to hear from your target manufactures in ten days. When this is over, you can send them emails as a follow-up. You can suggest your time when you can talk to the manufactures. If you keep on the follow-ups, be sure to secure a production that will be willing to work with you.

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Manufacturers Contacting You

We can agree that traveling to search for imports is more of fun and luxury moments. But you can also rely on manufacturers contacting you if and only if you got to experience about the market. There are two main advantages that associates with this method, that is,

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  • You don’t have to move outside countries in search of products to import into Singapore. It means that you have no travel cost that you get to incur.
  • You’ll not have to persuade the manufactures to export their products to Singapore. They’re the ones interested more in your services, and for this reason, they decide to contact you.

But this will be a perfect option as your company continues to grow. And since companies will be the ones coming for your services, it’ll be possible to make contacts from all over the world. As your company grows, not all calls you receive will be from a manufacturer who aims to export their services to Singapore. Some requests will be from companies who want to import a particular product from Singapore. And sometimes it can be merchandise in which you have no experience within the history of your business. When such situations occur, where do you run for help? It’s time you use online registers of Singapore Manufactures. From these registers, you can select the best manufactures for the products your client seeks, and you’ll settle the case confidently.

Seeking Imports

If you’re finding manufactures from abroad to bring products to Singapore, there are some options that you can always consider. These include;

  • You can take a tour in search of foreign manufactures from whom you can import products,
  • You can also wait until the international manufactures contacts with you,
  • Attending trade shows will also be a perfect way of seeking imports,
  • Contact with the foreign embassies, in their development offices,
  • You can also contact with Singapore Economic Development Board,
  • And while online, you can consider tracking down the leads from trade publications.

In this guide, we examine some of the best strategies to market your export and importation services in Singapore.

International Trade Expos

Another great way to meet with foreign manufactures is to attend in international trade shows happening in Singapore and outside. Here you have a chance to meet with foreign productions, representatives, and distributors. The trade fairs if organized by the foreign government aims to attract importers for their goods. You can also travel to these countries and attend their locally organized shows. The best way to find out if there are some trade fairs is to consult with the country’s embassies. If there are some, make sure to acquire the information about where and when the shows will happen.

Since you are in the business of moving goods on an international scale, it is crucial that you attend and participate in local as well as international trade expos. Create a professional portfolio of your services, a professional company profile and start networking with the other entrepreneurs in the export/import business. You will learn about all the trends, technology, as well as innovative logistics solutions.

You will also get a chance to make business connections and deals with manufacturers and merchants to offer your services.

Direct Marketing

In business, people make deals not computers. Set up a direct marketing department in your business and use it to approach potential clients in the export and importation sector. Cultivate trust with your clients by delivering on what you promise. You will win more clients by showing what you can do for them. Combine your direct marketing with digital marketing to help you rank higher on SERPs. Studies show that clients in this sector align themselves to progressive and innovative businesses in the execution of their services.

Conduct Webinars

Logistics at the port still baffle many entrepreneurs in the export/import business. To help them, create a comprehensive guide to export and importation services, technology, et al. Send invitations via your emailing list, to your webinar. This will prove to your potential and existing clients that you understand the business and it will open new avenues for clients to come knocking on your door.

Travel

Touring abroad in search of imports is not an ideal option. It needs more money and time, and you’re more likely to skip on most of your other commitments. The only advantage is that you can realistically view the product’s setting. In this way, you can quickly determine where the product sells the best, reasons why and at what prices. But if you cannot afford the cost, you always have other options to consider.

Traveling abroad in search of imports is ideal if you have interests in general merchandise as it will give you immediate results. Field search will also work in a perfect way for domestic export services. Such involves exporting services within Singapore, and different companies never considered selling their products within the nation. Touring will be the best way to research this case.

When researching what services or products to import or export, you should always think wide. Give some thoughts on the strategies to use to make sure you’re making a considerable profit. You should also tell if you want to import or export products that already have brand name identities or the high volumes at low prices.

If you desire the low price and high volume imports, you should consider manufactures from countries such as India and Mexico. In these countries, they manufacture goods at low prices as a result of their emerging economies. However, the same implies that you’ll have a complicated importing process which will require you to have more patience. The good thing with such products is the fact that the profits are a bit higher if you’re a newbie in the importing industry in comparison to the brand-name identity exports.

Trade Development Offices

Visiting trade offices will also be an ideal way of finding potential manufactures willing to export their products into Singapore. Such offices get sponsored by countries or regional governments. In these places, you get access to all the information you need on every product you have the interest to deal with in the market. You can send emails, or make calls to the country embassies to learn about the location of the office. You can also Google the trade development office, indicating the name of your area, country and the city you reside. In this way, you’ll have suggestions for the trade offices near you. You can then make contact and ask for a list of all foreign manufactures willing to work with Singapore importers. And this will be a perfect way of identifying specific productions of your interest depending on the product you want to deal with in the market.

Consult the EDB

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Consulting with big bodies such as the Singapore Economic Development Board can also be an excellent way to find imports. They will give you a suggestion for different development agencies and trade groups. From such organizations, you can quickly come across a variety of manufacturers that are willing to work with Singapore importers.

Personal Selling

Now that you have with you foreign manufactures willing to export their services into Singapore, and whose products can win the market here, it’s time you sell your business. You need to convince them that your company has the abilities to usher the product into the Singapore market. But how do you market yourself to the foreign manufactures? Simple, the same ways as to what we did with domestic productions willing to sell their products outside countries. Send those emails and letters. Similarly, consider not starting your services with brands that compete against each other. In the letter, outline all the probabilities and opportunities that the product will win the Singaporean market. Also, show that you are in the capacity to handle all the importation logistics at a fair price to the manufacturer. Make sure to earn the manufacture’s trust and confidence in your services.

After sending the emails, you should wait for at most ten days to receive the replies. If they fail to make any, you can always resend follow-up emails. Such will show that you have a deep interest in working with the company in promoting their brand in Singapore. It also shows you have confidence that there is a market for the product in Singapore. Always remember that your big task is to convince the clients that your business is the best to bring in their product in the Singapore market. You, therefore, have to make your campaign strong as other companies may want to acquire the same deal. You aim to bring them into tables and have a personal discussion.

In this trading industry, you must show a mostly predictable relationship to the manufacturer if you have success in your mind. If you practice being the Pushy Singaporean, it’ll be impossible for you to make real connections. You, therefore, have to be cardinal. You also should take interests in what your potential client wants as this is the only sure way to establish a strong relationship with the manufactures.

Whether you want to offer export assistance to local Singapore manufactures or foreign manufacturers in marketing their goods, serious strategies need to be in place. We have seen different ways of establishing potential domestic products that can sell in international markets. We also outlined different questions you need to ask yourself before you can select a product you to sell outside Singapore. Also, we looked at different ways that you can employ when looking for foreign manufactures or suppliers looking for potential Singapore importers interested in their products. Such techniques include attending trade fairs, visiting trade offices, traveling abroad among other methods. Despite the services, you aim to provide whether export or an import, establishing a predictable relationship is crucial. Pay attention to the above discussions, and implement each of the discussed ways and you’ll see your business success rise to the top.

Conclusion

Your proactive marketing activities will give you a higher cutting edge in the market. Embrace technology in your daily activities such as GPS tracking, logistics systems, software, and more importantly, seek professional online marketing services to popularize your company to more than four million Singaporeans who have access to fast internet. MediaOne helps export and importation companies to get more customers by offering SEO and digital marketing services. Speak to us today about our services and what we can do to assist your brand grow at (65) 6789 9852.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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July 16, 2017

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