Role of Export Agent during Lead Generation
When entering a new market always take the lead generation step into your own. All kinds of export representatives can promise to you all the leads you dream of, but this route has two disadvantages: (1) you remain unfamiliar with the new market and (2) you cannot guide and monitor the performance of your representative.
Foreign Market Intelligence is key to success
With every market you enter you should perform a market study. The lead generation phase will help you with many key aspects of the market intelligence you will need during the market entry. In case you start the market penetration by an intermediary the generated leads will keep you in control during the search for a good local partner. You will also be able to test his knowledge and check his network. When you are unfamiliar with the market, you might be trapped in the nice words of candidate agents.
Keep control of your foreign representative
When skipping the lead generation phase you will lose control over the works of your representative. Moreover you will be able to motivate your new agent by providing him with a head start. The initial phases of a partnership with a foreign agent or distributor are the most important. If you and your foreign partner are unable to give each other business in the first few months, pressure on the relationship will arise. It is in both of your interest to get the business starting (meaning money and orders coming in).
Backdoor in Relationship
In case you went through a proper lead generation phase you will always feel independent and confident. When your foreign representative is underperforming or is unable to provide the right quality, you will always have the option to start over. With solid leads in hand you do not need to start from scratch and you might even be able to keep the flow of orders continue.