Each passport tells a global sales story, which will feature some information about a sales organization and its activities in overseas markets.  The passports will also include some information about how salespeople must prepare for sales calls in nations around the world.

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Global Storyline:  Establishing salesforces in foreign countries is a time tested means of developing marketing channels in those countries.  In global sales, there are many factors to consider in matching a sales organization’s products/services to a local market in the global marketplace.  For example, software vendors must be concerned about different countries having different power settings, television formats, building and safety standards, and a variety of telephone connections and protocols.  Many salespeople struggle with obtaining information on local conditions.  Surprisingly, global salespeople can locate much useful information through the U. S. state Department at http://www.state.gov.

What Global Salespeople Need to Know:  The sales passports are our way of informing you about issues related to selling in the global marketplace.  In these passports, you will learn about the preparations salespeople must make in order to sell products in foreign nations.  The authors characterize selling by ASAP – Art, Science, Agility, and Performance.  In global sales, art is the ability to be creative in international selling, science involves developing knowledge bases about global business customers, agility involves being able to adjust to different demands in global marketplaces, and performance is related to the global salesperson’s ability to put art, science, and agility into practice.  In general, those preparations must take into account factors like the following:

  • Language is a key issue in communication.  Language is not confined to the spoken word.  It must be considered in all selling company including printed materials.  These should all be proofread by people who live in the local marketplaces.
  • Contracts are taken very seriously in most foreign nations.  Salespeople must be aware that local contract conditions may be in conflict with the laws of the land.  Some countries have implied conditions that must be made explicit in contracts.
  • Shipping costs are almost always an area of contention.  No one wants to pay them, but they may be too large to include in prices charged.
  • The currency of record can also be an issue.  Salespeople working with prices established in local currencies are absorbing the entire risk associated with fluctuations in that currency.  Setting prices based on the U. S. dollar burdens the buyer with all the risk of currency fluctuation.
  • Copyright, trademark and ownership issues are also important.  Salespeople must make sure they have protected ownership of their products.  For example, trademarks are not automatically recognized around the world.
  • Salespeople must also be aware of their liabilities according to implied contracts and local consumer protection laws.  Issues here relate to warranties and guarantees and their costs and the absorption of shipping costs.
  • Export, import, and technology permits, customs, excise, and local sales taxes, as well as insurance costs can also be factors that affect salespeople doing business overseas.