|A GUIDE TO EXPORTING
SOLID WOOD PRODUCTS
TRADE SERVICING: THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Trade servicing is very important and can mean the difference between export success and failure. Trade servicing involves identifying key players (importers, distributors, and buyers), establishing good relationships with them, and most importantly, maintaining and improving these relationships. This is particularly significant given the traditional U.S. wood exporter's reputation overseas as an occasional supplier of the export market only when supplies permit. The most effective producers are those which have stayed in the export market in good times as well as bad. Being reliable sometimes means sacrificing short-term gains for long-term market development opportunities.
There is no substitute for a good working relationship with the overseas buyer. These good long term relationships are best established through a series of quality interactions, most likely requiring face to face contact in the early stages. For example, after meeting a wood products buyer at an overseas trade show and making a few shipments, it may be advantageous to invite the buyer to visit your facility in order to strengthen the relationship. Increasing your business will ultimately depend on providing solutions to your buyers problems, and this will require a full understanding of their needs.