Now that you know which product to focus on selling in the European market. It’s time for you to get to know your future customers. Here at Exportia, we call it the ‘ideal customer profile’. Identifying your ideal customers will help you be successful in Europe.
Four key factors as a potential export business will increase your chance of success:
- Strengthening your Value Proposition
- Case Studies are a Powerful Tool
- Use Negative Feedback for Improvement
- Understand the Cost of Switching
Strengthening your Value Proposition
There are different ways to explain your value proposition. To begin with, you will not have enough information about your European clients to deal with them appropriately. To get started, you can use your experience with your existing clients in your domestic market. These are the customers who fit your ideal customer profile the best. They encounter challenges that your products or services helped.
Here’s an example of how you can effectively approach your potential European customers.
Learn their pain points
In all market research, a key part is to know the common pain points of your ideal customers. Look for the cause of their problem by asking the right questions. By doing this, it enables you to understand more about why they need your product or service.
Provide a valuable solution
Now that you know the problem, it’s time for you to solve your customer’s dilemma. You can detailedly explain how your product or service can solve their issues.
Share the results
Explain the result or the outcome to your customers once they use your product or service. You might explain it in terms of a business process that has been improved. Also, measurable improvements are more impactful to them.
Case Studies are a Powerful Tool
Creating case studies is a good way to prepare for discussions with potential clients. If you’re entering a new market where you don’t have any existing clients, it’s a powerful tool to establish credibility. A great place to start for potential European clients is to show them your experience in their industry.
In developing your case study, you can follow a similar approach as your value proposition: learning about the problem, providing the solution, and sharing the results.
Over the past years, we have tried different methods to conduct our case studies. And we found out that video case studies provide more impact than flyers or brochures. Using videos as case studies is also an excellent way to showcase your product at a trade show, on social media, and your website.
European clients will enjoy hearing what their counterparts overseas are doing. Companies often have contacts with overseas colleagues, and case studies can be a powerful tool for strengthening credibility in Europe. Also, customer testimonials and references are great to have. European customers would love to speak with them.
Use Negative Feedback for Improvement
In every business, there’s no guarantee that everyone will love the product or service you offer. We know that customer satisfaction should be our top priority, but we cannot please everybody. As an entrepreneur, you should not take negative feedback as an attack on your business. Rather, take this as a hint for improvement.
Many European countries, such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, are well known for providing direct feedback. It’s how business people give you a chance to improve. They’re not afraid to say what isn’t working for them. Customers from Southern Europe may hesitate to share negative feedback to preserve the relationship.
So, what would you do if you received negative feedback from a customer? Re-evaluate how you approach your business and ask these questions:
- Have you conducted thorough competitor research?
- Are you sure you clearly articulated your message to your ideal customer?
- Does your product or service provide value to them?
- Have you emphasised the difference between you and your competitors?
A perfect example of this is from one of our clients who is in the automotive industry. The quality of their product is far superior to anything else available on the market. Unfortunately, on paper, their potential customers could not appreciate the value of their product and didn’t understand why the price was much higher than what they have now.
To help solve this problem, we provided trial samples for their potential customers, and as a result, sales significantly improved. As soon as the end-user experienced the product, they immediately realised its value, and that’s how we won the sales.
Understand the Cost of Switching
When there’s something new on the market, customers are also researching to see if they will benefit from the product or service. They want assurance that doing business with you is much better than what they currently have, especially if they need to pay more.
There are some common perceptions that the European market expresses when purchasing from a new business in the market. Let us share with you these assumptions and how you can overcome them.
Lack of budget
I admit, sometimes it’s not perception at all. It is the real reason your potential customer cannot make the purchase. As a result, you must justify the unplanned expense. An interested buyer will usually explain what it takes to close the deal if they are motivated.
A business case is the most effective way to make the sale happen. Over one to three years, you may be able to demonstrate the breakeven point and return on investment. Sometimes, it may be sooner.
It has a higher risk
Because you are new in the market, potential customers believe that purchasing from your business has a higher risk. Of course, they don’t want to waste their money if it turns out to be a failure. Instead of doing business with you, they will stick to what they are used to.
This is where your case study will come to play. Remember, to have a successful business in Europe, providing evidence showing that you can deliver what you are promising, and they can trust that you are adding more value to them, is critical.
I won’t be able to get support if the product comes from overseas
They want to know that they will have local technical support. As mentioned in the previous blog, How To Succeed in Europe with the Right Product, there are many ways to have local support. They are in charge of level one support, which handles calls and preliminary investigations on your behalf.
These are some ways on how you can identify your customers in the European market. You must focus on your prospective customers to achieve success in Europe. Prioritise your customers, especially your first European customers.
Want to know more about how to succeed in Europe with the right product? Get your FREE copy of “The 4 Steps to Generate Your First Million Euros in Sales” book here. : https://www.exportia.com.au/export-business-europe/