Our client is a manufacturer of solenoid valves and electromagnetic components with headquarters in Taiwan. An important production site is located in Ningbo, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
The company wanted to expand into the European market, and especially the German market, in order to open up new sales potential. An investment program offered by the Chinese government were also utilized for this purpose. The company already had a site in Frankfurt, however it was mainly used to serve existing customers. The acquisition of new customers proved to be difficult.
The company became aware of PBS Sales following internet research. Our first telephone conversation was with an employee from the Frankfurt office. In the discussion, we coordinated our respective expectations as well as the options for collaboration. By virtue of our expertise on the products’ application potential and the specific requirements of the German market, PBS Sales was presented at a board meeting in China. Such multi-tiered decision-making levels are widespread in the Asian business world.
After the head office in China had given the green light, we met with the employees in Frankfurt and defined the desired type of collaboration in sales. After a number of details had been clarified, the head office finally signed the contract.
We established the sales targets during the kick-off meeting.
Shortly after signing the contract, my colleagues and I flew to Ningbo for a three-day kick-off meeting. We stayed overnight on the factory premises and had breakfast with our counterparts in the company restaurant. When we visited the facility, we were impressed by the large research and development department and the state-of-the-art quality control equipment. We got to know the management team over dinner together.
As is usual at our kick-off meetings, we coordinated the sales strategy and sales targets. The aim was to make the Asian manufacturer more well-known, and position them as an alternative to the European competition. Initially, the goal was to win inquiries from within the industry and thus generate short-term sales. The long-term, strategic goal was to enter the demanding automotive market. We initially placed our sales focus on manufacturers of access, locking, and cash register systems, as well as producers in the climate control and thermal management sectors.
Thanks to our network, we can quickly generate initial inquiries.
Back in Germany, we set to work. Thanks to our established network within the industry, we are often able to generate initial inquiries within a short time frame. We did not have to wait long for the first price inquiry. Our task as a sales team was to further qualify and oversee the inquiry.
First orders have come in. To prepare for serial production, we helped to improve quality control and to align standards for sampling. We prepared the ground for audits by leading manufactures in mechanical engineering (elevator construction), sanitary products (water faucets) and security access solutions (surveillance cameras). Other promising requests for quotation (RFQ) are in the bidding or test phase.
In addition to our sales expertise, we demonstrated our cross-cultural competence.
The collaboration with our Asian partners is going very well. The tender preparation is professional, and we receive positive feedback from customers regarding the speed of responses and the price/performance ratio.
We benefit from the fact that our contact partners already have experience in western markets and are therefore familiar with German and European customs. There are only a few occasions, for example when planning joint customer visits, when we have to point out local customs. However, these are then accepted without any problems. In this case, we can again demonstrate our cross-cultural competence in addition to our sales expertise.
How we can help your company expand into the European market.