Singapore Expats


Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
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Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 3:16 pm


Post by mmmaweiyuan » Fri, 03 May 2019 5:59 pm

Over the past few years, most of my energy has been focused on a German customer and a Japanese customer of our company. They are the giants of our industry. From this year on, they have placed orders to our company one after another. The bitterness of the past few years has yielded some results.

In the process of cooperating with them, I obviously feel that the decision-making process of German/Japanese customers is different from that of American customers. Today, let's talk about some skills needed to solve the problems of German/Japanese customers and American customers.

The logic of analysis is to first look at some basic characteristics of German and Japanese customers and American line customers (we are mainly talking about large and medium-sized customers today, the purchase of small customers is usually decided by the boss, not much discussion value), and then give the corresponding strategic suggestions:


German and Japanese Customer Characteristics

1. Usually collective decision-making, seldom individual decision-making. Even if the boss agrees, you need to respect the opinions of the following specific personnel.

2. The decision-making process is long. It usually requires the agreement of the leaders of each department (purchasing, product, quality) to cooperate with new suppliers.

Once cooperation starts, suppliers will not be changed because of the temptation of a little price.

Relative respect for suppliers and a more equal view of the relationship between customers and suppliers.

5. Value quality, reputation and technical ability very much.

6. Focus on the establishment of long-term relationships. Trust-building takes a long time, but once established, it is not easy to lose it immediately.

7. Focus on details and be a little picky.

There are also some bad customers in Germany and Japan, but the proportion is low.

Once you have mastered the characteristics of German and Japanese customers, it is easy to sort out strategies.

1. It is not enough to deal with the boss alone. To deal with the whole company, we need to write a special article. Key words: to deal with all the people.

2. Don't expect to get customers quickly. It takes a certain period of time (at least 1-2 years). Key words: Patience

3. Don't quote the price too low, because the price too low will form a bad impression on German and Japanese customers.

4. Be sincere with your customers. Don't let them think you want to make money right away from him. German and Japanese customers think simply. Don't treat them with Chinese complicated methods: sincerity + simplicity

5. Pay special attention to quality. German and Japanese customers pay special attention to quality. Even if your price is very low, you should also have excellent quality assurance keywords: high quality.

6. Pay attention to your word of mouth and long-term reputation. This is an important key word for German and Japanese customers: good word of mouth.

7. Pay special attention to details, including quotations, specifications, and even reception. Let customers feel that we value details by keywords: devil details.


American Line Customer Characteristics

1, usually personal decisions (within 1-2 people), and individuals have great power (similar to trump).

2. Because the U.S. market is very large, the normal volume of successful large and medium-sized customers is relatively large.

3 Price Sensitivity

4. Decision-making time is short, and the time window for normally large projects is not very long.

5. Changing suppliers is common practice, and cooperation is more short-term behavior.

6. Natural American conceit does not value suppliers very much unless your company is big and big.

7, we pay less attention to quality and technology and more attention to business interests.

8 There is a certain probability that the supplier needs to operate under table

9 US Line also has a certain probability of high-quality customers, but the proportion is not high.

Know how Americans play, and your strategy will be there.

1. We must know who the core decision-maker is, and we must work out his key words: key people.
. We should have enough capacity to match the order quantity of American Line customers. We should not fail to take orders. It is also very troublesome to delay customers'shelving time. The key words are delivery time and capacity.

3 Price must be very competitive. If you want to make a big profit, you should not use American line keywords: low price.

4. Grasp the decision window of customers, and don't delay the key words of warfare organs: decision-making time point

Keep an eye on customers at 5:00, and don't let others have the machine keywords to take advantage of: How can I let others sleep in my bed?

6. Americans should lower their posture and do the kneeling and licking posture. Key words: kneeling and licking posture

7. Business interests for customers should be very specific. Don't make empty keywords: points of interest

8 Should give rebate to rebate, do not be embarrassed keywords: rebate



The essence of German and Japanese customers is different from that of American customers: German and Japanese customers are collectivism, while American customers are individual heroism.

Posts: 33
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 3:16 pm


Post by mmmaweiyuan » Wed, 08 May 2019 9:57 am

Insight into the future of the industry

The so-called foreign trade is actually not an industry, but a profession. The so-called foreign trade you must know what you are doing, that is, in what industry are you, who is your upstream and downstream, the distribution of industrial chain value, and where is your moat.

At this time, the future of the industry and changes in products are very important.

Nokia, when it was in the mobile phone industry, the change to the smartphone was only a few years slower, and it is now a yellow flower.

And only a few days can understand the changes in the industry, only foreign exhibitions (professional exhibitions). Domestic exhibitions such as the Canton Fair are too comprehensive and cluttered, so there is basically no industry.

In fact, I participated in foreign exhibitions, 80% of the time is not in the booth, I am watching the trend of the entire industry.

There are several key points in insight into industry trends

1 Is there any new technology? Will bring new demands?

2 Does the industry as a whole go up? Are there any alternatives or supplements?

3 What is the overall status of the supply? Has there been any significant change? Does the supplier increase or decrease? Is competition intensifying or weakening? what is the reason?

4 Are there any new sub-products in the industry? What is the change that this segment of the product has brought to the industry?

5 Is there any new gameplay in the industry?

Of course, you can ask a lot of questions. As long as the new information about the supply, demand, users, and technology appearing at the exhibition should be deeply remembered, it will become the inspiration for some important decision in your future. source.

The next step is to follow the second point:

Research and observe market leader dynamics and strategies

First of all, who is the market leader? For example, in the tire industry, the leaders are Michelin, Horse, Goodyear and other big brands; the auto parts industry is Bosch, Delphi, the mainland and other world giants; the lighting industry, of course, Philips and Osram; the tool industry, of course, Stanley, Decker , dewalt, makita, bosch, etc. No matter how small your industry is, your industry has a market leader (Leader).

Why study industry leaders? Because of their strength and brand, their strategies and styles often represent the top level of the industry. (This is different from the famous "Innovator's Dilemma" book, "The disruptive innovations in the industry come from small companies", because the disruptive innovation in manufacturing is completely different from the IT industry, and small companies in manufacturing. It is very difficult to make subversive innovations, but subversive innovations often come from industry giants)

The way to research and observe industry leaders at the show is to visit their booths. Market leaders often place huge booths in professional trade shows. There are many aspects worthy of savoring, such as:

1 Brand, is it a single brand or a brand matrix? What is the composition of the brand matrix, and what is the positioning of different brands?

2 products, there are no new new products, what is USP (unique buy point)? What is the composition of the product line low, medium and high? Is there a new technology application?

3 Marketing, marketing, what is the highlight? How did they attract the show? Live event, spokesperson, or model?

4 Exhibition, what is the display of the booth? Is the overall style worthy of the industry leader? What inspired you?

5 Channels, is the channel model an agency system or a retailer? How does e-commerce work? Why choose this channel model? These can be learned through the sales staff at the booth.

6 Strategy, what strategy is used to compete? Is the total cost leading, or is it differentiated, or focused?

7 Mergers and acquisitions, whether there is mergers and acquisitions between industry giants. Are there any new opportunities in this?

Through constant torture, you will become more and more aware of the strategy of the industry leader, and as a rising star in the industry, is it possible to learn and learn in many places?

More importantly, through insights into industry trends and industry leaders, you get a valuable “God perspective” as if you were not a person in the industry, and you are God, you are looking down in the sky Every company in this industry, what they are doing, what they are going to do, what happens in the future of the industry, you know what it is. (At least in an industry for more than 3 years, it is possible to obtain this view of God)

In establishing a sufficient view of the overall situation of the industry, we must enter the third point on the micro level:

Analyze the competitive landscape and the position of your company in the industry

With a God perspective, you need to clearly judge your position in the industry:

If you are a factory, which brand/importer/retailer should you work with? Which have been successful cooperation and which are potential partners? With whom your opponent is working, can you provide better value than your opponent? Should you be a cost-leading strategy or a differentiated strategy?

If you are a trader, how should you differentiate from your opponent? What is the gap between you and the industry giant? Which factories in the upstream can be used for you? What are the product lines that you can extend? Is there any new gameplay you can use?

Can you seize the new opportunities in the industry (increased demand or technological changes) to become the new industry benchmark?

Have your competitors participated in the show, have they released new products? How much threat do they pose to your current channel? What is their approximate price level?

With regard to competition, the more information you need to know, the better, because every additional consultation from a competitor will increase your confidence and confidence in the customer and the market.

Posts: 33
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 3:16 pm


Post by mmmaweiyuan » Thu, 09 May 2019 10:01 am

Two tricks to break the ice:
1. Create enough product uniqueness (relying on a large amount of R&D investment), shape brand uniqueness (such as your mold is especially good, beautiful, others do not), make a large investment in large-scale foreign exhibitions to build brand image, and give channel operators and distributors a large amount of financial support.

2. Focusing on developing countries, Europe and the United States is very difficult, so we will find a remote developing country (better worship China a little), such as India, Brazil, Thailand, etc. to build their own brand in the regional market, often at a low cost, and there is no particularly strong brand in the local area, it is easy to succeed. Behind it is your brand and product that needs to be unique.

Fourth Sword: Brand Authorization

Core: Fitness between Industry and Brand

Brand licensing is used by fewer people, most of which are used by foreign import chambers of commerce. This model is very restrictive and not very easy to operate, but the operation is good and quick to make money.

For example, you are in the children's furniture industry. Your usual selling price is $10. If you get Disney's authorization today, you can put the LOGO and brand of Indonesia Disney on your furniture. Your selling price will be $15, and your customers will change from being unreasonable to being attentive to you (because you have a big brand in your hand). Your sales profit has also increased invisibly (your profit was $1, but now it may be $2 after deducting the brand fee). Why not?

Unfortunately, this kind of operation is also risky. Normally, you have to pay a margin to the brand dealer first. If you fail to reach the target in the end, your profits may be given to the brand dealer. And branding companies can stop cooperating with you at any time, and you won't have to play.

This kind of play is to a certain extent a monopoly of the market, such as I signed Disney (usually exclusive contract), others can not play, I can set a high price. (Huh-huh, windfall profits?) My former boss used to play with 70% gross margin. It's crazy!

Fifth Sword: Finance

Core: money

In fact, many foreign trade companies do not have core competitiveness, but accumulated a large amount of funds and bank relations in the early stage, in this case, the use of finance to make money is the most reasonable means.
For example, many foreign trade companies in Guangdong and Zhejiang, on the surface, are clients'agents, essentially lending money to customers (forward), through the formation of customer credit lock-in. This kind of play is essentially to play with banks, or even more advanced is to use the flow of customers to form bank quotas and use bank quotas to leverage foreign exchange. I know that this way can make tens of millions of dollars a year (there is a lot of business flow, so there is a huge bank quota), but the risk is enormous. They lost thousands of yuan depreciation in the previous paragraph. Ten thousand dollars (don't just watch the thieves eat meat, don't watch the thieves get beaten).

Sixth Sword: Opening Foreign Branches
Core: Human
Many people have opened foreign branches, but not many have really succeeded. The reason is simple. It's not easy to find the right foreigner. If you open a foreign branch and go downstream, it is in line with the principle that the closer you get to the terminal channel, the more valuable it is. That's when you changed from a foreign trade company to an importer. At this point, your core competence is not simple trade, but you have to serve local retail terminals abroad. There are also Chinese bosses who kill locals directly, but you still can't do without locals. Whether it's sales or branch management, you have to have local people who don't pit you and know how to do it.

The best way is to find an importer who has worked with you for many years (the company is not big), dig him up or buy him, let him help you work, so that there is a basic sense of trust, and industry experience, more reliable. However, there are many foreign cheaters, which can easily be fooled.
If you find the right person, you can earn 20-30% more comfortably.

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