Going Global

Promoting Your Product

Be prepared to promote your products to overseas buyers. You can advertise in international magazines or domestic magazines with a proven international following. You can also develop a direct-mail campaign using mailing lists available from your state's Department of Commerce or office of international trade.

Once you've mastered domestic trade shows, promote your product at international trade shows; the language barrier may not be as insurmountable as you might think. Many serious foreign customers also speak English or bring English-speaking representatives.

However, making certain your marketing materials can be easily understood by foreign buyers is critical to the exporting process. If you're marketing directly, you can hire a professional translation firm to translate your sales letters, promotional materials and product literature. If you're working through a foreign distributor or export management group, they'll usually translate for you. In some instances, translations are handled by foreign companies purchasing your products.

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This article was originally published in the November 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Going Global.

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