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 To Linh (right) is asking Mr Khanh about their QC procedures
To Linh (right) is asking Mr Khanh about their QC procedures.

Linh Tran To, a Hinrich Global Trade Leader Alumni, shared her first experience of selling the first Online Export Trade Training course to a locally-owned company, Saigon Samy, which is based in Ho Chi Minh City and mainly manufactures and exports bags. Khiem Vu (KV) and Linh Tran (LT) have visited its factory for face-to-face coaching and introduced about Export Trade Training Program.

Sales approach

KV had called Mr. Truong three times to discuss the ETTP opportunity and emailed course details. He showed his interest yet required more time to decide who will learn the course. We believe this might be “an excuse” to delay our course proposal.

In the phone call, my conversation was focused on how they have been using their online platform, their buyer inquiries and staff sales performance from which I can point out their non-professionalism and the urgent need to enhance it.

Understanding the supplier might be fed up with being solely sold the course via telephone, we have decided to approach them face to face.

Hang-out time can help build firm relationship and trust

In the face-to-face meeting with them, I, with KV’s support, have actively performed my role as an export consultant rather than a sales person. I could demonstrate to them that they have faced problems with following up with buyers via emails, and that they don’t know their company’s strengths well and how to communicate with their buyers using their USPs.

Furthermore, they are wasting a proven, valuable B2B marketing platform to maximize their marketing exposure in front of potential buyers.

Activate their need for building export skills

I help them probe their sample buyer inquiry reply: I was shocked when they opened their letter with “Dir buyer” instead of “Dear buyer”.

I tried to convince them the importance of practical skills and the formal knowledge that needs to be acquired concurrently to achieve the best result in the path of turning into the global trade leader. After that, I showed them the need to improve these skills with their investment and our committed support.

Promt follow-up action makes

One day after our meeting, I thanked them for the meeting and sent them the Sample Reply Letter with our clear format instructions.

Critical step that made them purchase

Gaining their trust beforehand and showing our professional and enthusiastic follow-up and support are the key drivers that made them purchase. Being a helpful consultant, understanding their need and fixing their problems are critical.

They need to perceive the course as a chance to be trained or to improve productivity, sales, and professionalism, instead of buying a course. I am selling what they need rather than selling what I have. I need to make it easy to build a strong relationship beforehand.

Key Challenge

Many suppliers could not get orders from Global Sources website. They complained about the buyer quality.

I am trying to overcome my terrible motion sickness on the way to the supplier’s factory. An Antivert tablet with Vitamin C does help me kill sickness.

Next step with the suplier

The next step would be preparing for the training course and taking care of the supplier for customer services. We will provide them both the online courses to get knowledge and the offline course to train more skills and test them knowledge from the online course.

About the Author – Linh To Tran

Linh To Tran

Linh Tran is based in Ho Chi Minh City as a online education development coordinator for the Hinrich Foundation. She is responsible for further advancing the organization’s mission of promoting sustainable global trade through education by providing online courses to suppliers.

Linh received a 2013 Hinrich Global Trade Scholarship where she finished her MA in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2013.