Chinese Sales Strategy – How to Sell to China

Chinese Sales Strategy – How to Sell to China

China Sales Strategy – Part of any China Sales Strategy should include a customer profile and what products are targeted to these customers. A good China Sales Strategy should also explore all sales and marketing channels. At a minimum, it should cover the following four channels:

So, should I sell Online in China?

Over 30% of all products sold in China are through e-commerce platforms. Did you know that today e-commerce sales in China are more than the combined totals of the USA & UK!

When analysing the potential selling channels, your China Sales Strategy should identify whether sales will be made online, offline or a mixture of both.

TCI China offers advice and solutions to companies seeking to develop an online store in China. Please visit our Ecommerce Consulting page to learn more about the services which we offer.

Should I exhibit at Trade Shows in China?

Trade with China has been built via trade shows. In the past, it was buyers going to China to source products to bring home. Today it is companies going to China to exhibit at trade shows to find Chinese buyers. Did you know that annually over 3000 trade shows are held in China!

There are two main categories of trade shows in China. One type is “International Trade Show/ Fair”, and it focuses on international buyers & sellers. The second category is  “Domestic Trade Show/Fair”, and is focused on domestic buyers within China.

While Trade shows can be lucrative, general feedback says that it takes four years of attendance to start to gain any real business. Therefore any sales strategy should consider early tradeshows as marketing and branding opportunities.

So, your China Sales Strategy should analyse the trade shows in China and determine types of trade shows will meet your company’s sales targets.

TCI China offers Tradeshow Assistance Services; our team are ready to discuss your China Trade Show requirements

Why you should do a Competition Analysis – Importers of Record

Any good sales strategy should include an analysis of the competition in the target market. The competitor analysis should include what products are sold in that market and what prices these similar products are fetching.

Another benefit of a competitor analysis is that it enables the company’s sales team to design a target customer profile.

So how to find the buyers in China who are already importing products from into China? The most successful approach is to search for the Importer of Record in China.

Getting these names will automatically provide your company with a list of targeted customers who are already importing and selling a product which is similar to the products which you are trying to sell into China.

TCI’s China Market Research Services offers this service to clients.


Why you should use Chinese Wholesalers & Sales Agents for your China Sales Strategy

Using sales agents or wholesalers in China is a prevalent method for companies trying to develop and grow sales in China. It is strategically vital to determine if regional or national sales agents/ wholesalers are required.

One of the main ways companies meet sales agents or wholesalers is at tradeshows.

While this approach can be a low-cost option for companies to develop and grow sales into China, it is also vital that the China Sales Strategy conducts a full review of the potential risks to the company which this approach poses. These include:

The buyer belongs to the wholesaler or sales agent.

    • These parties are very protective of their customers. Wholesalers in China can be very reluctant to allow their suppliers to meet their customers.

Wholesalers & sales agents always side with the buyer in China

Most exporters to China complain that their agents in China do not support them in times of conflict with the customers in China. This is because these agents understand it is their relationship with the customers makes them money. Therefore, exporters to China need to factor this into their China Sales Strategies.

Eight Week Rule for Sales Agents

Factor in an eight-week trial window with sales agents.  During this time, they will introduce your products to their buyers. So, if the sales response is weak, then the sales agents will be reluctant to continue promoting these products.

Loyalty is Rare

If customers complain about the price or quality of the products, the wholesaler or sales agent will seek out alternative suppliers so that they can continue making money from the customer.

Protect your brand and logo in China

China operates a first to file policy for trademarks and logos. It is not unknown for agents in China to register the trademarks and logos of their foreign suppliers without the knowledge of the supplier! This will enable them to use products of other sellers and brand these products as the goods of the original supplier.

So, over to you

If you are looking to develop a China Sales Strategy or change a strategy and require some assistance, please contact me. All our discussions will be in strict confidence.

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Or email me Aidan Conaty

Aidan Conaty | think China, think TCI