#1 Dear BettySue:
Our company is new to exporting but after careful consideration and study, we think our products have potential in global markets. Trying to find out a common-sense approach for a newbie exporter is like jetting into space and being lost in a black hole. Everyone we contact just passes us on…to a video link, no less. The government wants us, consultants want us, but only when were experienced.
Help BettySue, what’s a newbie to do?
Signed: Eager, Ready but Ignored
Dear Eager, Ready but Ignored:
I feel your pain and have heard it all before. You are in the first stages of the Export Hot Potato Game, being passed around like a hot potato that no one really wants. The question is, how do you get experience so you can get help? As we say in Gun Barrel City, that is flat a*s backwards.
Most of your initial help comes from government sources so read below on my advice to them and you’ll see some good options for yourself.
#2 Dear BettySue:
We want more exporters. We know that if we have customers, or in our case, businesses, that are exporting, then they are more viable, longer-lasting, and economically sound businesses.
We have a hard time connecting with them.
Your Friendly Government and Private Business Advisors
Dear Government, Friendly Business Advisors and all folks wanting to attract new exporters but not succeeding:
First of all, your marketing, is smellier than a cow pasture on a hot day in Texas. Plain and simple, it stinks.
And, by marketing, I mean all of it. Your customer service and referral process (The Export Hot Potato Game), your workshops, and your material. You are as exciting to watch as paint drying.
If you want to attract businesses that want to export, you need to change. Here’s my high-hair thoughts on this conundrum.
Make exporting as exciting as it really is.
The benefits of exporting are monumental. In a survey of small business (SMEs) from 2005-2009, SMEs that were exporting has a 37% increase in revenue, those that were not had a 7% decline. Tell me one business owner that wouldn’t get excited about those numbers and I’ll show a business owner grabbed by aliens on the way to Mars.
International exporting is the coolest yet most unexplored market of the vast majority of U.S. small businesses. Why don’t they know this? Because you’re marketing to them like they are Grandmas driving Buicks rather than Millennials driving Teslas.
Explain exporting in common sense “trep talk” not Greek.
You so underestimate entrepreneurs! They learn and speak differently. Don’t begin by drowning them in minutia. Give them the overview of what it takes to get Product A to Country B, then add the details. That’s what we do in The Riddle of the Exporter™.
Exporting is more like racquetball than golf. If you learn the big concept overview (#Exporting8StepProcess) first, it is amazing how it makes sense quicker. Just like with racquetball, you can play before you are an expert and the longer you play, the better you get, (unlike golf, where you are really bad at the first and only a little better as time goes on.)
Don’t be an I.I.S. (International Intellectual Snob). Talk “to” and not “down to”.
Chances are the newbie exporter is only a newbie at international. Chances are they make more in a bad year than most of us in a good year. He/she didn’t become successful staying in the shadow of their mama’s apron. They’ve been through more scenarios building their business than you can shake a stick at. Trust me, explain exporting in common sense “trep talk” and they will get it.
Once you have a good reliable system in place (The Riddle of the Exporter™) Think before you preach.
Before you create your marketing campaigns, make sure all of your support systems are ready to take on the calls. There are a lot of people in your organization that should know the process of exporting from A-Z. At least some of your people should be able to explain the overall process to anyone interested Then, and only then, point them to the right direction for the next step. How many of your folks could benefit from learning the 8 steps of exporting? How many more customers could you help? How much bigger could your consulting or banking business grow?
Connect the dots. End the Export Hot Potato Game
If you don’t know how they’re connected, then don’t make a newbie exporter figure it out. You’ll lose them. Different agencies, federal and state, handle different levels of exporters, but do people know who does what? Along with knowing the A-Z process, develop a Who’s Who and Who Do You Call informative sheet for your team. When interacting with clients, you can explain the process in a way they understand and point them to the next step…an end to the Export Hot Potato Game. Not sure who to include and how to explain? Call BettySue. Link to BettySue's 8 StepProcess
Market the hell outta global trade.
Nobody knows you can help if they don’t know you can help.
And I’m not talking about that old dull boring “you should do this message” but a modern, exciting, this is so cool and so profitable message for a modern audience. If you believe that exporting is one of the most exciting steps anyone can take to grow their business, then act like it! Don’t bore them with the same old stuff. Don’t put them to sleep with boring seminars. Lighten it up! Get excited! Exporting training and consulting can be fun! Link to Betty Sue's Theme Song
About Riddle of the Exporter™
As many of you may know, Betty Sue and The Riddle of the Exporter™ is edutainment. Serious export knowledge wrapped in humor, interaction and adult learning techniques. It works!
How do we know this? Because glowing testimonials are the norm. Betty Sue is funny but her biggest contribution is that she lets newbies know that if BettySue from Small Town, USA can export, anyone can export! People walk out of The Riddle of the Exporter™ saying “I can do this. I’ve got the key concepts, know the key questions to ask and know where to go for the next step.” They walk out thinking that if an export opportunity presents itself….well they just might take it.
So, Friendly, I appreciate you asking. I think you can do this. Just take a different approach. Help us end the Export Hot Potato Game. It is time to start actively finding and growing more newbies. I know if BettySue can , then you can get people excited about exporting!
#BettySueExportQueen, excited as ever about exporting!
So, folks…once we get the marketing, public and private, going in the right direction (not the current smellier than a cow patty stuff we got now), you can bet these star-crossed “lovers” will find each other. When that happens, I’ll be there with bells on.
Betty Sue has a dream.
Want to get really excited? And get those exporters to really connect with you? Join me and my dream.
How about Betty Sue Goes Global, the reality TV show? A show where exporters’ stories are highlighted. We watch their trials, tribulations, and successes. Experts will be there to give some advice (NOT horror stories). Maybe we even shoot an episode in a foreign country to examine cultural communication. We’d have #BettySueExportQueen and her counterparts from each state (Big Marie from Montana, Lisa Rae from Kansas) to be the hosts. We’d have education, fun, branding for exporting.
Stay tuned for the details.
The Riddle of the Exporter™
Export Training For Entrepreneurs By An Entrepreneur.