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Foreign Territory Sales/Promotion

how to sell overseas



11:34 am on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a web system that provides a subscription based service. After eight years of development, it's a fairly sophisticated product. However, it's for a niche market, with the number of prospective clients in the hundreds (low thousands max).

I've got a few key subscribers in my home territory (the UK) and am just starting to target the US/Canada/Australia.

I've got a fairly detailed prospect list for those markets, with contacts for the key decision makers, plus company info.

However, I'm not a salesman, nor do I have the capital/income to fund a sales team. Being a subscription service with no install fee and the first month free, there's no immediate income to pay for a commission based sales approach.

Every sales book I've perused says that you can't sell by email, and most say that email is something to avoid.

I also know that I've really only got one run at each prospective client, and that if I mess it up it's going to take a lot of work to turn them around.

I'm really at a loss as to how to proceed. Do I hold off approaching new clients until I can afford someone with a sales background, or do I try to do this myself? Has anyone had any successful experiences in cold-emailing and, if so, what recommendations would you make?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.



1:37 pm on May 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Find a sales rep agency in your field. Typically they are only paid when you are paid. Straight commission is fairly normal. Ones that I have used in my industry have been pretty useful, since for them to survive they need to have a lot of connections among your target audience. They usually rep several companies simultaneously.

Find them by looking at memberships in the trade associations.


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