The Art of the Deal. Getting to Yes. How to Win Friends & Influence People. There have been volumes written about how to make the sale. Heck, even in popular culture we learned from Alec Baldwin about the need to Always Be Closing!
But that is only half the story. The sales you make will only ever be as good as the contract that you and the buyer sign. Or that you sign with your distributor or licensee. These documents contain a description of each party’s responsibilities, help secure payment and provide recourse if the relationship falters. Instead of worrying about what you’re expected to do or what the other party is supposed to do, you can easily review the terms when the contract is written down.
And this is just as true for your global sales and purchases as it is for those in the United States. In fact, it may be even more important when you are doing business abroad, dealing with a business culture that may have different expectations than back home and where key details could be “lost in translation”. By relying only on written contracts, you can reduce the risk of disagreements or confusion.
This may sound complicated, but don’t let this be a reason not to engage in international trade! SCORE and CFITO are here to help set you up for success and learn how to protect your short- and long-term interests. Nate Friends will help you structure agreements with the sales representatives you hire for their knowledge of the market you are entering, with the local distributor you engage to help move your products, and with the licensee who will produce and sell your products abroad.
I look forward to joining you in October for this not-to-be-missed, three-part series on international contracts!
Chris Leggett (Program Manager, CFITO)