Frequently Asked Questions

Exporting Basics: Finding Buyers and Distributors

How can I attract inquiries/orders from foreign buyers and distributors?

You can drum up interest, inquiries and orders by actively promoting yourself abroad. Overseas exposure is a must. You won't sell much if the buyers don't know who you are. Promotion gets you visibility, but you also want impact. Generally, the more you promote, the greater the impact. Effective promotional techniques include:

• Create and promote your own company Web site: A company Web site can potentially be seen by anyone in the world at any given moment. You can design it as a virtual company/product catalog, with text, images, price sheets, order forms and anything else you wish. However, unless you promote your site, you could be lost in the enormous crowd of other sites. Strategic links to search engines and export-related directories, such as Trade Compass’ U.S. Exporter Search and National Export Offer Service (NEOS), are a must.

• Register your company and export products in Trade Compass’ U.S. Exporter Search and National Export Offer Service (NEOS): A company listing in U.S. Exporter Search provides all relevant information to identify you as a supplier in your product category and enable interested customers to contact and communicate with you. A companion listing in NEOS includes the above information, plus details about your company and export products in a virtual catalog setting. Both services have worldwide market exposure and will help draw interested buyers and distributors to your Web site.

• Post a specific “sell” offer in Trade Compass’ Trade Leads system: Members can post a sell lead that provides details about the product for export. As soon as Trade Compass publishes your lead, it reaches thousands of individuals and businesses worldwide, both directly (over 300,000 page views per month from importers and exporters) and indirectly through such multipliers as the Journal of Commerce (print edition) and The United Nations Trade Point Development Centers.

• Trade Press Ads: Many industry magazines have international distribution. Nearly all carry paid ads, and most have sections that announce or evaluate new products. When you advertise in these, or get a favorable mention or review, you're not only getting good domestic press, but quality overseas exposure as well.

• Overseas Trade Shows: They're costly, but nothing beats show-and-tell for high quality impact. At a trade show, you're accessible to hundreds, sometimes thousands of interested prospects at once, all able to see you and your products first hand. Trade show venues exist all over the world. Every country has at least one major annual trade show. Many countries have shows throughout the year, often on specific industry themes. Check Trade Show Central for names, dates and places of shows in your product category.

• Trade Missions: There is no substitute for immersing yourself in the culture of your target market. Visiting your target market and arranging for one-on-one meetings with potential trade partners is one of the best ways to create interest and start building working relationships which are a requisite for doing business in may countries around the world. Your local Pennsylvania Regional Export Network (REN) Partner will be happy to connect you with complimentary or low cost match making services in over 50 countries across the globe. Contact them via the contact us section of the website. Also, take a close look at the Events Calendar on this website, there you will find numerous state and regionally organized trade missions which not only provide critical cultural insights but also provide the safety of exploring a new country with the company of experienced peers.

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Can’t find the answer to your question? Identify the Pennsylvania County where your company is located to access the contact information for your local Regional Export Network Partner.