Has it been awhile since you had an in-person meeting with a foreign buyer? Check out our refresher blog with all the tips and tricks you'll need to be prepared now that in-person activities and meetings are back.
In-person events and tradeshows are back! We’ve had more in person events the first few months of 2022 than we have the past couple years combined.
Since we are all a bit out of practice when it comes to in person one-on-one meetings with international buyers, we thought it would be helpful to create a refresher blog on how best to prepare for meetings with foreign buyers!
This is a topic that we are very passionate about and have covered multiple times in the past. To read last year’s blog ‘How to Prepare for Virtual Meetings with Foreign Buyers’ you can click here. To view our webinar last month ’How to Prepare for Meetings with Foreign Buyers’ hosted by our Food Export Helpline Counselor Dennis Lynch click here.
This blog will give an overview and some helpful tips and tricks for meetings, but if you want detailed instructions and examples, we recommend you watch the webinar linked above in its entirety.
Let’s start out easy with a few very clear do’s and don’ts.
Below we explore a few things that you should remember to do before an activity where you have meetings with international buyers.
Before any Food Export event where you are meeting one on one with international buyers you will have the chance to review a list of buyers and markets that they are representing. It is very important that you carefully analyze the buyer’s profiles and evaluate them for the following factors to see if they are a fit for you and your company:
While you are preparing for your meetings make sure that you are checking duties, taxes, and free trade agreements (FTAs) for all the markets you are interested in. Below are several online resources that are available to help assist you with your research
You can also learn more about potential markets on our website with our Market & Country Profiles. We have created in-depth pages for over 30 different international markets that give details about the market, as well as the retail, food service, and food processing sectors.
Sending a brief introductory email to buyers in advance of your initial face to face meeting can be extremely helpful. Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Be diplomatic and friendly, but not ‘too’ friendly. Avoid informal greetings like ‘Hey’, ‘Hi’ or ‘Thanks!’.
Think of this more as a memo than an email, try to keep it under 200 words. If it is longer than that, consider making it an attached document and introducing that in a shorter email. Time is valuable and we are all busier than ever, so you want to keep the introduction short and sweet and impactful.
What should an introductory email say? It should explain the who, where, how, and why.
At the end of the email make sure to provide all of your available contact information including your website and social media content.
The buyers that we find for our in-person events are extremely qualified and vetted through our international network of In-Market Representatives. They expect U.S. suppliers to be equally qualified and knowledgeable about the export process. Below are few basics that they will expect from you during your initial meeting:
There is a lot more we could say about how to be prepared for in person meetings. To hear directly from our Food Export Counselor Dennis Lynch who advises hundreds of companies a year before they meet with U.S. suppliers check out his most recent webinar – How to Prepare for Meetings with Foreign Buyers.
We hope to see you at an in-person activity sometime in 2022! Check out the Events Calendar on our website to see what we have planned for this year!
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