Planning to Enter a New Territory: Understand the Ground

So far in this series on entering new sales territory, I’ve talked about the importance of choosing your prospects wisely.

Your second step: understand the new market you’re looking to cover, and do so before you decide whether to establish a local presence.

Look deeply into growing markets.

Studying changing demographics and economic situations in the markets you want to enter is vital, but you also need to be choosy about whether to act on that knowledge.

For example, the facts tell us that by 2025 there will be 221 cities in China with one million-plus people in them. However, those facts won’t tell you how well you are ready (if at all) to capitalize on the opportunities there.

Dig deeper, and to do it before you enter that new sales territory.

Not every opportunity is the right fit. 
Not every new market is going to be the right fit for your business. Look carefully at your current situation and objectives.

For example, I have one client who saw huge growth potential in the medical-pharma industry, but they said no. Why? Because the amount of regulations and red tape was too burdensome for them, and the regulatory process would not help them meet their business objectives.

Another client of mine saw huge potential in the Ukraine and Russia, but concluded from the data we provided via the World Economic Forum that the risks of going there were greater than the opportunity.

In both of these examples, saying yes might have made more sense for others who had a higher tolerance for barriers or risk; but for these clients, staying out was the right choice.

You can still accomplish your sales goals while saying no to growth opportunities.

Sometimes you have to say no, and do less to accomplish more.

Remember, there is no wrong decision unless it’s based solely on assumptions.

Presence is relative.

Let’s say you’ve done your homework. You’re convinced you’ll be a great fit in a new market.

Next, ask whether being there necessitates having a physical presence in that market.

Sometimes, the answer is yes. In Japan and Brazil, for example, the way of doing business there says you need local presence to win local business.

In other cases, you could succeed in a new market just by operating remotely from one of your existing offices.

Here’s an example: by working with Engage, a client of ours found they could grow to serve Malaysia, Korea, Indonesian and Taiwan—an all-in-one market they could serve from their current offices in Singapore and China. In other words, they didn’t need to open new offices gain a big juicy piece of that growing market.