Develop your sales in the EU

Your checklist

Plan for each EU target market

As you develop each EU market, you should have an up-to-date sales and marketing plan for your company in place if you're selling direct into the market. Or, if you're using agents or distributors, a joint plan in consultation with your export partner. 

Top tips for your sales and marketing plan

Each plan should set out your sales targets for the year, how you will achieve these sales, and the resources required.

As you build your knowledge of each market you will be able to target more effectively, by responding to customer feedback from the market which will help shape your export proposition and product or service for each market:

  • Each plan should set out milestones over the year to allow you to manage your costs and monitor sales against target
  • Continue to gather market research, both desk and primary research, and ensure you are capturing the market knowledge within the company – this should be part of any agreement with your agent or distributor
  • Reflect on the performance over the previous year, and where you may need to alter your approach to maximise the market opportunity:
    • You may need to change your export partner
    • Revise your pricing to ensure you continue to be competitive in the market
    • Change your marketing to better target your markets
  • Seek feedback from customers in the market as to why they are buying from you, and to develop further opportunities
  • Build strong relationships with your export partner(s) through market visits and continual feedback and support to ensure they remain committed to your company

Refine your export proposition

It's unlikely you'll have got everything right when you enter each individual market for the first time. Until you are trading in the market, and seeing at first hand the opportunities for your company, only then are you able to shape your product or service most effectively to capitalise fully on the market opportunity.

Your export proposition for each EU market should set out your added value offer which sets you apart in the market:

  • The unique nature of the product or service for that market
  • The quality of the product or service
  • Your delivery/after sales offer and price points

Protect and expand those elements of your product or service which are shown to be the most important choice factors for your customer in each EU market.

Identify the right exhibitions and trade shows

As you develop each market, one option is to investigate the relevant trade shows or exhibitions for your product or service in the EU.

Attending or exhibiting at the right trade show can:

  • Raise awareness of your product or service
  • Allow you to assess the competition and how they are positioned
  • Identify new export partners or customers in market

We support key exhibitions and trade shows throughout the year which may match your target market. And can offer support for eligible companies to attend or exhibit at selected events. 

Find EU trade shows in our event section

Alternatively, our free market research service can pinpoint the best exhibitions or trade shows in Europe for your product or service or find out which European exhibitions your competitors or customers attend.

Contact our market research team

Prepare before you go

If you're attending an exhibition or trade show in the EU market, use this handy checklist to make the most of your time there: 

  • Plan and budget fully for the event
  • Ensure your website and social media are up-to-date
  • Promote your presence at the exhibition to key contacts and buyers in the market beforehand
  • Use the exhibition matchmaking service if available, or your own meeting scheduling software (readily available), to set up meetings prior to the event with your priority targets
  • Use social media tools such as Linked In to introduce yourself to key prospects
  • Have your question set and pitch ready for the exhibition
  • Prioritise your follow up after the exhibition to secure any leads or prospects

Getting the most from market visits

The advantages of visiting your target EU markets, include:

  • Building your knowledge of how the market works and what your competition is doing
  • Opportunity to meet with priority customers face-to-face and deepen your relationship with them
  • Building your relationship with your export partner if you have one in market

If you're visiting your export partner, to maximise your time include meetings with your end customers, as well as using the time to plan the next stages of the market development with your export partner.

Plan any market visit well in advance. Set your objectives for the visit to then allow you to arrange your itinerary and ensure you achieve any priority research or meetings you want to undertake to build your sales in the market. 

We can help you to research and plan your market visit. If there's a Scottish Development International (SDI) or Department for International Trade (DIT) office in the market, then build this into your market visit and discuss your future plans for expanding into the market with your Scottish Enterprise/SDI export adviser or account manager.

Get the right support and advice

We've a range of support that can help you get the most from visiting markets - from expert advice and market insights to funding and grants.

Other useful websites

Explore the Department for International Trade's Overseas Trade Fair Programme

Stay informed via the Trade Show News Network

Search for EU trades shows on the Expo-Guide website

Contact us

Got any questions about EU opportunities or expanding in new markets? Our export advisers are here to help.

Disclaimer

All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. The contents of this guide have been provided by our training partners, Upper Quartile. Upper Quartile is not affiliated with any of the third parties or listings represented on our website. Third party listings are drawn from public domain and industry body data sources. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Upper Quartile and Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page.