The three qualities that are critical for businesses to succeed in Europe in 2021
As a small business, I believe in general, that you need three qualities to succeed in export and in particular in the European market. You need to display persistence, agility and confidence.
You need to be persistent if you want to be successful in the European market, this is a core quality that you should develop. Europeans build their trust over time and they hate small businesses or start-ups that make a brief furtive appearance in the market and then disappear. This approach does not work. You won’t generate any business if you don’t spend enough time in the market and don’t show that you are committed to it long-term. Distributors and large corporations need to see you over time and see their peers buy your products before they move to purchase from you. It requires a lot of persistence to build an export market from the ground up. Persistence pays off. You need to be prepared for it. In 2021, persistence is an even more important quality as we encounter more challenges ahead due to the continuing uncertainties created by the global pandemic. Since the end of 2020 we have seen new increases in the number of Covid-19 cases in Europe, employees are once more working from home in many European countries. As a commercial partner you need to stand by your European customers and show that you are a reliable partner. They need to feel you will still be there after the pandemic is over. For this reason, it will be even more important to be persistent in 2021.
Persistence without agility can be hard! Your business needs to be agile to build on your understanding of the market, gathering feedback from key potential customers, and distributors. This is how you will refine and adjust your strategy to be able to succeed. You need to be agile and shift and change. For example, I am a big advocate of selling at a high price first, to test the market. It is a great way to test market interest but also test what price point your product should be sold at. It’s important to then adapt if required to be able to convert leads into sales. We have all had to be agile and sell products without face to face on-site visits. This has been a record year this year at Exportia, and for our customers, because we have been agile and have moved to selling via webdemos, webmeetings and webtraining and webinars! Every successful business in 2020, has been agile, and has shifted the way it does business one way or the other. In 2021we need to stay agile to thrive.
Being agile does not help sales if you are not confident about your unique selling points. You want to demonstrate in 2021 that you are confident about your product’s capabilities. In uncertain times, companies and government organisations invest in proven solutions. In 2021, you need to demonstrate why you are confident about your product or solution. Show your track record, outline your customers satisfaction, showcase your low return rate. In 2021, business will be done with reliable businesses. Businesses need to display the confidence they have about their product and have a proven and bulletproof justification for it. This is how my team and I and our clients will convince new European customers to buy Australian high-quality innovative products in 2021.
Happy new year! I wish you and your team a successful 2021 in export markets. And remember to be persistent, agile and confident!
Contact me if you want to find out how we can help you achieve success in export markets in 2021!
Christelle Damiens is the Managing Director of Exportia, which provides an outsourced European Sales & Marketing team to Australian B2B manufacturing and technology companies. She is also an award winning author and a business speaker. Her second book “The four steps to generate your first million euros in sales’ won the Australian Business Book Award 2020 in the Communications and Sales category and was a finalist in the Entrepreneurship & Small Business Category, as well as an Amazon best seller. www.exportia.com.au