Know your customers and put them first. Really. Understand what their issues, ‘pain points’ and priorities are and what they are looking for in a great supplier – you may find there are more similarities than you had expected with your UK customers.
Be approachable and flexible in your dealings with customers: make it easy for them to communicate with you and offer them choice in how they do so. Recognise time differences and working patterns and that English may not be their first language. Be ‘human’ in all your dealings.
Earn trust by always delivering on your promises. Have a robust operational model and procedures that support domestic and international sales equally well, and only work with reliable suppliers and freight forwarders.
Invest in your online and digital infrastructure. Create the right first impression with a clear, consistent brand and message – potential customers will be researching you from afar.
Always ask for customer feedback and act on it to ensure that you stay in tune with your customers’ needs and to create case studies and testimonials to build your ‘social proof’.
Invest in relevant accreditations to demonstrate that you are independently recognised as a quality, qualified business.
Enter awards – there are so many benefits to winning, or even being shortlisted. Even if you’re not successful it will be time well spent reflecting on your business strategy and future plans.
Never lose sight of the fact that your customers may have suppliers that are more local to them; do everything that you can to ‘make the miles disappear’.
Be proud to be British; it’s a great ‘brand’ that can add strength and competitive advantage to your own.
Harness the external support that’s ready and waiting for you: DIT trade advisers, banks, chambers of commerce, other business networks etc. Benefit from the wealth of first-hand experience and advice from those businesses within the DIT Export Champion community #exportingisGREAT #ifwecanyoucan