We have had our first 2 business live sessions(sign up here if you haven’t already) One in Belfast, one in Athlone. As we write this we are preparing for Newbridge and Kilkenny. The best way to illustrate the events is by the twitters we sent out as the event unfolded (Why not get involved in our twitter conversation here…) . Now these are the twitters from Athlone as technology let us down in Belfast (actually my phone ran out of power) but I can refer to a short summary we wrote here.
Twitter 1: Is export an attitude or a necessity; the panel discussed why not more Irish companies are focussing on selling abroad. And yes, it is a mindset issue as the conditions that technology and the internet have created make it a lot easier to sell outside of Ireland. Combine that with cheap flight compliments of Michael O. and there is an ideal mix to exploit the opportunities. With the current economic climate is also a necessity if you want to grow (the alternative is to crawl under a rock and wait for a few years).
Twitter 2: There is a reluctance to approach the agencies to help your business to trade abroad. There are lots of them. Ask the questions! There are lots and lost of agencies available to help you. You should use the, they are free and they will make you live a lot easier. There is no excuse.
Twitter 3: Before Google we used embassies to make the trade contact They are still here. The embassies that is. Embassies are a huge source of information and help. Simon Mckeever of the UK embassy being a case in point.
Twitter 4: Advice from a 40 years of selling abroad veteran: being Irish is a help. Start with an English speaking country. Big world out there! Ireland Inc is one of the biggest brands in the world (Bill Clinton is saying that, not us), which means you start with an advantage. Language is a bit of an issue but there are lots of English speaking countries to start with. ED: How may English speaking countries are there?
Twitter 5: Cutting edge, make mistakes in country nearby and be obsessive about quality. See earlier twitter and the rest should make perfect sense. What is the edge and how good are you?
Twitter 6: Return on Enterprise Ireland. 50 meetings. 2 sales. Lift off. Illustration of how Enterprise Ireland helped a company to enter a market. They arranged the meetings, 2 sales were made and they were off. Use Enterprise Ireland if you can.
Twitter 7: Get a local.
Twitter 8: Steal sales people from local competitors. Back to getting the locals involved and playing smart.
Twitter 9: Exporting to UK. Go in wholehearted and make a director take ownership. The panel discussed that export is not something you can do half hearted. It needs full commitment, blood, sweat and tears. No point doing it any other way.
Twitter 10: Exporting to UK. Use UKTI. UKTI is the equivalent of Enterprise Ireland and are a great source of support. Ask for Simon.
Twitter 11: Over 750,000 companies linked to World Trade Centres. Free to members SBC. Another source of help. You can register here for free;
Twitter 12: How to find prospects; 1. Referrals 2. Trade shows (going all out, looking the best) 3. Agents 4. Make EI aware 5. Website. My favourite. Take the Baltimore approach to trade shows and get the biggest, best, most prominent stand and stand out from the competitors. Old fashioned selling and networking. Note referral to Enterprise Ireland. Tell them what you are doing.
Just to Point Out
The 12 tweets only cover half of what went on in Athlone. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this newsletter which we will get to you all shortly…
PS We didn’t twitter at the afters, as we were to busy networking, eating the lovely canapés and having a few drinks!