Ondigitals

Leading Agency
in South East Asia

Japan

China

Thailand

Taiwan

Vietnam

Philippines

Malaysia

Singapore

Indonesia

Australia

Insights

A guide on how to approach international customers effectively

Social Outreach

14/09/2023

10

How to find international customers

Expanding into international markets requires the identification and mastery of skills to seek potential export customers. Below, we outline the essential steps in achieving this goal, laying the foundation for learning how to approach international customers:

Preparation and planning ahead

Success in global market expansion hinges on finding and establishing relationships with international customers. The first step is meticulously preparing and planning your export customer search. There are two main approaches to finding overseas customers:

 

  • Utilize various sources of information.
  • Build your business image and reputation. (Lots of time and effort is needed for this method but the result can be tremendously lucrative)

international customers

Preparation is key for an effective strategy

How to build a positive business image and market export products: 

  • Establish a company website: For overseas customers to become familiar with your business, you need an online connection. Building a company website is crucial for this purpose.
  • Set up business and product profiles
  • Create an introduction to your company
  • Create a Google My Business account

Expanding into global markets involves proactive steps like careful preparation, planning, and image-building. Through your company website and strategic presence on platforms like Google My Business, you can enhance your visibility to potential international customers.

Ultimately, this journey allows you to tap into the vast opportunities offered by international trade. Remember, attracting overseas customers involves not just the right products but also effective presentation and communication.

Actively look for leads

Once you have got your plan in place, the next step is putting it into action and finding international export customers. Although there are many, there are 5 reliable methods of finding customers:

  • Showcase on B2B e-commerce platforms: Utilize B2B online platforms to display your information. These platforms connect businesses from all over the world, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
  • Direct market research: Conduct thorough market research to directly seek out potential customers. This involves understanding your target market’s needs and preferences, allowing you to tailor your approach to meet their demands.
  • Leverage social media: Make the most of social media to connect with potential import-export partners. Platforms like LinkedIn and industry-specific forums can be excellent avenues to explore.
  • Participate in trade shows and exhibitions: Physical or virtual, trade shows and exhibitions are invaluable opportunities to showcase your products or services. These events attract businesses seeking new suppliers and partners.
  • Collaborate with international distributors: Partnering with international wholesale distributors can widen your reach significantly. They often have established networks and customer bases, providing a shortcut to potential buyers.

Managing information and customer engagement

With some leads under your belt, now to the important part – keeping those customers close. Therefore, effective information management and customer engagement are essential steps that businesses must master to tap into global markets successfully. Here are some crucial strategies that can help you navigate and succeed in expanding your business.

Managing information, customer engagement, and boost business reach

Managing information, customer engagement, and boost business reach

  • Exploring foreign partnerships for export: Collaborating with established partners in foreign countries can be a strategic approach to accessing international markets. This allows you to leverage their knowledge, experience, and network to your advantage.
  • Unraveling the journey of exporting goods: Understand the steps, regulations, and intricacies involved in exporting your products abroad.
  • Finding foreign company information: Seek and cultivate new connections on a global scale.
  • Acquiring import and export partnerships: Connecting with import and export partners can significantly enhance your international success. Collaborating with experts who are well-versed in global trade can streamline your operations and boost your credibility.
  • Taking advantage of online resources: Utilize the potential of digital tools and search engines to grow your international client base. There are powerful online platforms that connect businesses with potential customers worldwide nowadays.

What should your company prepare before finding a new international customer? 

Expanding your business into the international market demands careful preparation and a well-structured approach. Before embarking on the journey to find international customers, there are essential steps that must be taken to ensure success.

Preparations before finding export-import customer

Preparations before finding export-import customer

Build your company website

It is no secret that potential customers often turn to your website first to learn about your business.

As for your website, it acts as a bridge between your offerings and the curious minds of potential clients. Whether you are a local bakery or an international tech firm, having an online presence is paramount. Your website becomes the digital face of your brand, welcoming visitors with information, insights, and solutions. Think of it as an always-accessible hub where your business’s story unfolds.

Create amazing websites to boost your customer acquisition efforts

Create amazing websites to boost your customer acquisition efforts

Creating a professional website can and will undoubtedly significantly enhance customer trust and positivity. If you’re aiming to provide an optimal experience for your international audience, there are several key elements to consider when optimizing your business website’s display:

  • Accurate and up-to-date content: Make sure the content on your website is accurate, clear, and consistently updated. Encourage the use of multiple languages, especially if your business targets audiences in various markets.
  • Comprehensive company information: Provide detailed information about your company, products, and portfolio. Regularly update specialized articles to showcase your expertise and industry knowledge.
  • Optimize UX/UI for multiple platforms: Ensure a user-friendly experience across different devices and platforms. Responsive design and intuitive navigation contribute to a seamless browsing journey.
  • Implement SEO and ad campaigns: Utilize SEO strategies and run online advertising campaigns to improve your website’s visibility on search engines. This enables potential customers to find your business more easily.
  • Strategic domain names: Select domain names that resonate with your industry and target market. Consider using domain extensions related to specific countries (.vn, .cn, .us, etc.) or globally recognized ones (.com, .net, .org, etc.) to boost your professional image.

Creating a comprehensive business and product profile

Think of your business and product profile as the ultimate showcase for your company. This profile acts like a portfolio that you can share with potential customers and partners to introduce and promote your business. It is like your company’s resume, highlighting key details and accomplishments. So, what should you include in this profile? Let’s break it down:

  • Business Information: Start with essential details like your business name, address, and key personnel.
  • Company Size: Provide an overview of your company’s size and structure. This helps others understand your reach and capacity.
  • Milestones and Achievements: Highlight significant milestones and achievements that your business has accomplished over its years of operation. This could include awards, recognitions, or breakthrough moments.
  • Product/Service Lineup: List the array of products or services your business offers in the market. This gives readers a clear idea of what your business specializes in.

Export-Import documentation

One crucial aspect that should never be overlooked is export-import documentation. Think of these documents as your passport to international trade success. They are the essential papers that allow your goods across borders while ensuring legal compliance and a smooth transaction process.

When entering the export market, adhering to regulations and having all the necessary documentation in place is paramount. This involves being well-prepared with documents, including contracts, export invoices, customs paperwork, and other essential records.

Simply put, these documents serve as your business’s communication tools to ensure a hassle-free movement of goods and a secure legal standing.

Documentation for import-exporting

Documentation for import-exporting

Creating a Google My Business account

Establishing a strong local online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Especially if you are looking to tap into international markets or attract customers from abroad. One powerful tool that can help you achieve this is Google My Business. It is a multi-purpose tool that showcases your business on Google Maps and allows potential customers to find you.

By having an active Google My Business account, you are not just showing up on the map – you are also enhancing your chances of being discovered by people in the local area searching for products or services you offer. This is a cost-effective way to advertise and establish credibility in the digital realm.

5 ways to effectively approach international customers

Expanding a business is truly a demanding task that requires hours of research, and good communication skills. Here are 5 prominent methods that can help you find more customers in foreign countries.

Leveraging B2B e-commerce platforms

Among interconnected global markets, B2B e-commerce platforms serve as the hub where international businesses seek partners and suppliers. These platforms offer a unique opportunity to showcase your company to a vast network of potential clients globally.

By strategically posting detailed and compelling information about your business on these platforms, you can captivate the attention of potential customers and generate meaningful connections.

Share on different B2B ecommerce platforms

Share on different B2B ecommerce platforms

On Digitals will recommend you some reputable B2B e-commerce platforms that businesses looking to enter the Vietnamese market can consider. These platforms offer great potential for widening your market presence and connecting with a wide range of customers:

  • Shopee: With over 64 million monthly visitors on average, Shopee stands as the leading B2B e-commerce platform in Vietnam. Businesses can easily register for a free account or enjoy premium features with a fee, opening up multiple benefits.
  • TikTok Shop: Surging ahead in a short span of time, TikTok Shop has swiftly risen to the second spot on the list. As a relatively new platform, businesses have ample opportunities to tap into this space and connect with a younger demographic.
  • Lazada: A well-established competitor to Shopee, Lazada holds the third position in Vietnam’s B2B e-commerce landscape. Amassing over 39 million monthly visits in Vietnam alone, businesses can gain access to valuable customer data on this platform.

When posting your business information on these B2B e-commerce platforms, it is crucial to keep the following details in mind:

  • Select platforms that align with your products, industry, and target market.
  • Craft an accurate company profile and provide comprehensive business information.
  • Showcase high-quality products at competitive prices.
  • Use relevant and high-traffic keywords to enhance product visibility.
  • Regularly update inventory levels and maintain customer relationships.

Finding customers through market research

Market research is a key process for understanding the needs and demands of international customers. Engaging in surveys, interacting with local consumers and businesses allows you to gain insights into market preferences, trends, and requirements. Equipped with this information, businesses can tailor their products and marketing campaigns to suit customer needs.

Moreover, reference data from search tools provides valuable insights into businesses that have successfully penetrated markets worldwide. By directly engaging with potential customers, you are not only gathering crucial information but also building connections that can lead to lasting business relationships.

This proactive approach ensures that your strategies align with the ever-evolving global market landscape, enhancing your chances of success on an international scale.

Searching for new customers through social media

Social media is more than a way to connect with friends – it is a powerful tool for finding international customers. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can help you determine and connect with businesses and individuals suitable for your business.

How to approach international customers through social media

How to approach international customers through social media

These are four effective ways of finding overseas customers using social media:

  • Make the most of information from relevant groups, fan pages, and hashtags associated with your industry and target market.
  • Establish credibility and garner interest from potential customers by sharing useful knowledge and information about your business.
  • Interact proactively with potential customers by commenting on their posts and engaging with their content.
  • Filter and directly message potential customers to introduce your products and business.

And some additional essential tips for seeking international customers on social media platforms:

  • Select platforms that align with the type of customers your business aims to attract.
  • Steer clear of spamming messages or bombarding users with excessive advertisements. 
  • Nurture the relationships you form with potential customers. Long-term connections can lead to fruitful business opportunities.

Joining trade fairs and exhibitions

Participating in international trade shows and exhibitions presents an excellent opportunity to directly engage with global customers. These events serve as focal points for businesses and experts worldwide. By taking part in such occasions, your business can establish direct relationships, share experiences, and seek out potential partners.

Leveraging connection with international wholesalers

Partnering with international wholesale partners can also greatly benefit global businesses by providing more effective access to distribution channels and target markets. These partners already possess knowledge and established relationships within the target market. Collaborating helps save you time and resources that would otherwise be spent on building new connections.

Final thoughts

In the world of business, learning how to approach international customers can mark a significant milestone in the growth journey of any enterprise. With effective strategies in place you open the doors to seek, engage, and establish relationships with customers worldwide.

Wanna tap into the Vietnamese market? Look no further than On Digitals – your ideal partner for this endeavor. Having collaborated with numerous international partners, we offer comprehensive marketing solutions tailored to your business needs within the vibrant Vietnamese market. Contact us now to learn how we can assist you in your future campaigns with our comprehensive services.


Back to list

Read more

    NEED HELP
    with digital growth?
    Tell us about your business challenge and let's discuss together