Exporting is Easy – Isn’t It?
Recently I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Export NZ Awards Gala Dinner in Wellington on 24th May 2018.
As CEO of Tekron International I was ideally placed to talk about Tekron’s export journey – about some of the challenges and experiences I’ve had since joining them two years ago.
Tekron International exports to 70+ countries world-wide and is an innovative R&D company producing accurate time devices that ensure all connected equipment is in sync and at the right time. The GPS devices are proudly made in New Zealand and with so many locations buying Tekron products, the team faces many challenges around shipping, currency, cultures and distance. I shared some of these stories and provided what I hope were some useful tips for other exporters.
In my next three posts I’ll tell you about the three main challenges that Tekron and I believe, other exporters, face in our quest to become, and to remain as, successful exporters on the global stage
The first key thing that I think we all struggle with as exporters is Sales Growth.
At Tekron we grew 30% last year and, based on that growth, we have now hired a salesperson in the UK and another one in the USA – this will enable us to achieve 30% growth in Revenue
Building on successes is important and so is taking a bit of risk!
Here’s how we grew 30% last year
We focused on deal making not discounting!
We looked for Win Wins by, for example:
Asking for larger volumes for bigger discounts
Asking for orders up front rather than by ‘drip feed’
Ask yourselves: As an exporter are you pricing and negotiating confidently and with credibility – what Win: Win deals can you offer?
We also focused on our pipeline
It grew from $4M to $8.7M and today it’s at $9.8M.
Using your CRM is critical - we have learned about our win : loss ratios.
Our sales team can see how they perform against their team members
Who are your competitors? Why do you expect to win against them? What is your value add?
We understood our competitors AND our value propositions.
Our sales people could explain our differences and do this confidently.
We focused on selling our unique point of difference rather than being first to discount.
I hope this has given you some serious food for thought – simple questions with not so simple answers!
It’s vital that you get this stuff right! It’s not really something you can risk ‘learning on the job’ – that’s too costly!
Look out for my next Post where I’ll talk about currencies and managing the fluctuations.
Today’s Tip - It’s funny – Isn’t it?
We have a tag line printed on the card that sits on top of our medium sized to larger clocks. It says
“Your time has come – Tekron”
We’ve had this line for a long time now. It’s the first thing you see once you open a Tekron box.
It fits with our sense of humour and our lack of stuffiness
We found out recently that one of our Filipino customers was deeply offended by this. Her take was that we were referring to death and that we were almost threatening her untimely death with our device. Oops!
Perhaps we are foretelling what would happen when the clock is plugged in….or perhaps this could be the start of a new opening scene for the next James Bond movie with one of our clocks!
Whatever – try to see it coming and if you don’t then try to put it right
Offence can be costly…