5 Characteristics of the modern importer

Foreign trade have seen a number of changes throughout the years, and competition has never been more fierce, due to, among different reasons, the possibilities in communication and global market research. Find out below 5 of the most important characteristics of and importer who wishes to succeed in the business.

1 – Knows the product and believes in it

The modern importer knows the pros and cons of the product he is buying from a foreign country. It is possible that he familiarized himself with the product in the exporting country, and he has a special belief that this item will be successful also overseas. It may be that he first saw this product in the place it is originally made and was attracted to it, and he eventually found a country that produces it more efficiently and at lower costs. He has studied the product and continually increases his knowledge on it. He has passion for it and believe that this will succeed in a foreign market.

2 – Knows how to handle the barriers that the exporting country may impose

Some countries in development, such as Brazil and India, which have continually grown to export, may present bureaucratic barriers that will slow down the importing process. Tariffs, taxes and regulations and inefficiency in procedures can lead to frustration, and it is crucial that the importer will be patient and know how to deal with such impositions, knowing the best way to
handle some possible difficulties that the exporting country will apply.

3 – Has a B-plan and does not get disappointed easily

The modern importer knows that failing is not the end, but an open door to a potential new opportunity. He is good at dealing with frustration and always has a B-plan if his initial idea did not work out the way he wanted. This B-plan can be a different product, a different market or even a different exporting country. He does not get disappointed easily and knows that by doing the
best he can and believing that he will achieve success, he will eventually get it at the right time.

4 – Knows his competitors

Knowing his competitors, their weaknesses and strengths is fundamental when it comes to be a successful importer. Investigating and studying their history will help a new potential importer to achieve what he wants in a shorter time.
5.  Develops competitive pricing

When importing a product,  developing a competitive pricing is essential, and should include profit margin and commission, among other elements, such as the ones listed below:

– Uniqueness:  Is this a new product in your market?

– Quality – Is this a top quality product or a low-cost “for the masses” one?

– Costs involved in production: How much did it cost to make this product?

– Competition: who are your competitors, and what are your strengths before them that will help you get ahead in the business.

– Product positioning, which is the process marketers use to determine how to best communicate their products’ attributes to their target customers based on customer needs, competitive pressures, available communication channels and carefully crafted key messages.


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