Gaining Distributors Abroad

Question posted by Anne Jessel, on behalf of Ecoflaps Ltd in RG2

Our product already goes to residents in USA, Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and Holland.

We are really looking for distributors. How do we go about this? Is there a directory - online or othrwise? How do we introduce ourselves?

How do we gain contact with distributors of eco energy efficient products that could do justice to our product.

See our website http://www.ecoflap.co.uk or just google Ecoflap.

Thanks for your help.

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Mark Walker, on behalf of UKTI London in London.

There is no general list as such, but it would be worth looking at the European Enterprise Network website, after registering you can search through partnership requires by each sector etc.
http://portal.enterprise-europe-network.ec.europa.eu/

Also i would recommend getting in touch with your local UKTI contact who would also be able to help you by using our embassy locations in over 98 countries. Visit the website at www.ukti.gov.uk.

Hope this is a good starting point for you.
Regards
Mark

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Mark Walker, on behalf of UKTI London in London.

for further clarification, to find partners on the EEN site i mentioned go to the link below
http://www.een-london.co.uk/lnx/services/tech_search.asp?SearchMode=ADV&localonly=1&allcountries=1#searchres

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Mike Josypenko, on behalf of The Institute of Export in PE2.

The answers above are good, although I think that some of the Eureopean Enterprise Network's services are reactive; for instance, you may only be able to view lists of people who have joined their database, rather than comprehensive lists of distributors or partners. They may also be able to undertake proactive searches for you, using their network of offices and partners, but there would possibly be a fee for this.

There are of course, many ways of finding partners, for instance UK Trade & Investment (www.ukti.gov.uk) offer a service called OMIS (Online Market Introduction Service), which will help you to identify partners or clients in a given market. There is a fee for this, which may start at around £1000, and increase, depending on the level of service, and whether you want them to make an initial contact on your behalf. The quality of OMIS reports can vary, and you are advised to be very specific and detailed in your initial brief.

International tradeshows are also a good way of identifying key players, such as distributors in a market. Some people exhibit at an overseas tradeshow with the aim of finding distributors, but this can be an expensive option. An alternative might be to visit a major international show - you can usually identify major distributors who are exhibiting. A cheaper option is to look on the websites of major international shows, which will usually carry lists of exhibitors, and may even identify whether an exhibitor is a manufacturer, distributor or other. Remember, that the best exhibition may not be one which takes place in your target country; many industry sectors have 1 - 2 big "must-do" global or pan-european exhibitions which all key players will attend.

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James O'Sullivan, on behalf of UK Exporters Ltd in BS6.

You can also list your company details on the British Exporters Directory Database (first published in 1988) at www.exportuk.co.uk. A basic entry is free of charge. The website also list those exporters seeking agents or distributors. If you have any specific news stories (such as seeking an agent) these can be published on the UK Export News website - www.ukexportnews.co.uk.

Kind regards,

James O'Sullivan

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Michael Fachetti, on behalf of United Commerce Solutions in United States.

Hi,

Other than the obvious, it's best to get your hands dirty. Find someone reputable on the ground in the corresponding countries as they'll know the landscape/competitive landscape best.

Should you need some viable starting points, I can introduce you if you wish. I'm new to the site, but will try to reply soonest.

Best,
www.unitedcommercesolutions.com

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John Lawrence, on behalf of Uniglobe Double S Travel in LU2.

And of course, when you are ready to press the flesh and introduce yourself in person - the best way of expanding and exporting - we can help with all your specialist business travel needs; such needs being very different to those of a leisure/holiday traveller

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Roger Figg, on behalf of UKTI South East in PO15.

Anne

I am an International Trade Advuiser from UK Trade and Investment in the South East region. One of the respondees has mentioned already how UK Trade and Investment can assist your company with international distributor searches. I happen to be in Reading visiting a client on Monday 25th February and if you would like to met up on that day, I would be happy to explain more. If you wish to take up that offer, I will be available to meet around 1:00, although it would have to be somewhere in the vicinity of Reading station as i am travelling by public transport. Let me know if you want to do that. My telephone number is 07740 611218.

Kind Regards

Roger Figg

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Florian Keller, on behalf of UK Trade & Investment Switzerland in Switzerland.

Dear Anne

I am a Trade Officer at UK Trade & Investment, working overseas in Switzerland. As my colleagues have already lined out we can help British companies to find not only an unspecific list of distributors but also the ideal partner for your business in our market.

However after I had a look at your webpage I have to inform you that Switzerland is not a market you should focus on. We have really strict regulations on letter boxes which have to be outside the house - flaps as the ones you sell are not allowed in our country. If you whish more information have a look at the following webpage
http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseite/post-geschaeftskunden/post-briefe/post-briefe-erhalten/post-briefe-briefkasten.htm

So my adivce is: Don't think about Switzerland for your product focus on other markets. Eventhough this information is not a good one for you it saves you time, energy and money that you can spend on other markets

Best regards from snowy Switzerland
Florian

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David Sellings, on behalf of Me4U Limited in RG40.

I have just published an ebook entitled "Winning with Partners: A Practicel Guide to International Expansion for SMEs' which may be of assitance. You can check it out at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/david-sellings-and-viveka-odlen-persson/winning-with-partners-a-practical-guide-to-international-expansion-for-smes/ebook/product-20694844.html;jsessionid=B7A197B122EF3DB759B86804A6E1A1F1

Best regards
David Sellings

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