Guide for Newcomers in International Trade: Customer Development Strategies

tendata blogTrade Data Provider

ten data blog17-11-2023

Becoming a successful international trade professional requires the effective development of both high-quality and high-volume clients. The crucial first step towards developing high-quality clients is accurately identifying the right ones—those who need our products and services, commonly referred to as target customers.


For newcomers entering the realm of international trade, everything is new, requiring a process of familiarization and growth. So, how can newcomers embark on the path of customer development?


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1. Learn Time Management 

For newcomers, forming habits is essential. Developing a habit requires planning, and managing business sales is no exception. Effective time management is crucial. Rather than relying on opportune moments to develop clients, a planned and consistent approach is necessary. There is never an ideal time to develop clients; what we need is a well-structured plan for international trade work, followed by consistent execution.


Allocate a specific time each day to work on developing potential clients. This could involve sending dozens of development emails, making dozens of phone calls, or researching hundreds of companies related to your products. The key is consistent effort over time.



2. Voice is More Effective Than Text 

While it's common to send emails when developing clients, the effectiveness of text-based communication doesn't match that of phone calls. Emails, once sent, rely on the customer's response. In contrast, with phone calls, from the moment of connection, the challenge is to keep the customer engaged in conversation. The pressure is entirely different, making phone calls more effective. Despite the convenience of emails, the results achieved through phone calls are superior, both in terms of skill development and customer development effectiveness.



3. Master the Art of Brief Introductions to Avoid Rejection 

People often hang up on sales calls due to the negative reputation of telemarketing. To avoid rejection when developing clients over the phone, it's crucial to master the skill of introducing oneself effectively.

Rather than providing a straightforward introduction, use inquiry-based introductions that open the door to conversation. For example: "Hello, do you sell xx products?" Asking a question like this prompts a response from the customer, at least a yes or no. Once the customer responds, continue by saying: "We are suppliers of this product, and the results are undoubtedly excellent."


When introducing ourselves over the phone, inquire about the customer's needs. Understand their situation and encourage them to express their opinions. Involving the customer in the conversation creates a sense of participation, ensuring better ongoing communication rather than a one-sided monologue that can lead to being hung up on.



4. Learn to Develop During Unified Time 

Periods Some individuals prefer to make phone calls as soon as they identify a potential client. However, this habit is inefficient. The most effective method for developing clients involves consolidating potential client lists and making calls during a unified time, tripling the efficiency compared to making individual calls. Additionally, the higher the frequency of repeated phone calls in a short time, the faster your skills will develop.


During phone calls, always remember to record information. Keep track of customer needs in real-time to prepare for better follow-ups. Understand that clients cannot be developed with just one phone call; continuous follow-up is essential. Therefore, record various client information during the initial communication to facilitate subsequent follow-ups.



5. Evaluate and Adjust Calling Times 

Generally, client development calls occur during working hours. However, the effectiveness of each time period varies. Learn to evaluate and summarize the effectiveness of each calling time, adjusting your phone call schedule for better performance.


Tailor your approach based on the specific needs of different clients. For instance, if your calling time is set for 10 AM, be aware that some clients might have morning meetings at that time. Avoiding such situations requires early evaluations and record-keeping.



6. Anticipate Results and Develop Strategies 

Phone calls don't always go smoothly, requiring adaptability. Before making a call, anticipate common scenarios, and develop strategies to address them. This approach maximizes the likelihood of smooth communication.


Prioritize clients based on their importance and have multiple backup development plans. If one plan doesn't work, switch to another. Focus your efforts on developing the most critical clients, saving energy for less important ones.



7. Cultivate Perseverance Persistence is key in any endeavor

Resilience is a critical factor in successful business operations, as most client development requires prolonged follow-up before sealing the deal. Securing a deal with a single call is rare. Many sales professionals face rejection and may be tempted to give up. This is an unfortunate habit. Considering the effort invested in preparation, giving up means losing out on potential clients that could have been developed. Stay persistent, follow up continuously, and unwavering effort is the foundation and key to success.




Step 1: Develop Customers and Quickly Create a List of Matching Customers

Tendata iTrader, with customs data of 91+ countries, business data of 198 countries, internet data of 172 countries, 10+ billion trade data, 120 million in-depth enterprise data and 130 million importers/exporters database, comprehensively grasps the existing importers/exporters and new importers/exporters in the target market, and quickly helps you to develop customers; it also provides a variety of search methods, and you can search by them. Tendata also provides a variety of search methods by product, company name, hs code, etc. Intelligent one-key query to quickly develop a list of matching customer groups. (>>> Click to develop customers)



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Step 2: Analyze Customers And Get Contact Information Of Precise Decision Makers

Tendata iTrader, fast batch access to importers and exporters, according to their purchasing volume price and preferences, for you to locate the target customers, while providing target customer information, covering corporate, executive, financial and industry data, etc., a key to dig deeper into the purchasing, executives and other responsible person email, social media, company website and other information, to create the conditions for you to develop customers! (>>> Click to find contact information of importers and exporters)



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