Programme in International Marketing
Export Assistance
Guides to Exporting
Export Glossary
Export Acronyms
Export Documentation
Proforma Invoice
Commercial Invoice
Packing Lists
Insurance Forms
Customs Documents
Document Completion Guide
Export Marketing
What is involved in export Marketing?
Export Marketing Channels
Using Export Agents
Finding Export Agents
The Role of Trade Fairs
Finding Trade Fairs
Create your own e-Marketing Campaign
Website internationalisation
E-marketplaces
Export portals
Embassies and Consulates
ETO Systems
Dealing with Export Environments
Trade Agreements
Export Tools
Export Readiness Checker
Export Checklists
Export Business Planner
Export SWOT Analyser
Country Risk Evaluator
Trademap
Product map
Translator
Currency Converter
Export Documentation
Document Completion Guide
Export Software & Technology solutions
Export e-Newsletter
Export Law
Laws affecting Exports
Maritime Insurance
Exchange Control
SA Export Regulations
Trade/Maritime Lawyers
ITC Services
Export Tools
Trademap
Productmap
Export Assistance
Trade Advisors

 

EXPORT MARKETING
You are here: Export Marketing > Using export agents  
Using export agents

What is the role of the export agent?

Let us begin by defining an export agent. An export agent is a firm (or individual) that undertakes most of the exporting activities on behalf of an exporter usually for a commission. A key feature of the traditional export agent is that they never really take ownership of the goods, which always remain under the control of the exporter. The agent thus will do most of the marketing of the principle (i.e. the export firm) and the firm’s products.

What exactly does the export agent do?

The agent may travel abroad, do research, prepare an export plan, advise the exporter on how to adapt their marketing mix, make contact with potential buyers, negotiate deals with the buyers, take care of all promotional activities, handle the logistics and documentation, and much more. All of these tasks, the export will do on the exporter’s behalf. The exporter normally pays the agent for the expenses they have incurred marketing the firm’s products and handling the export administration, and will generally earn a commission on any sales generated. In essence the export agent becomes the exporter’s export department. In some cases, the principle will want to keep tight control over the agent’s activities, while in other instances, the agent is given free reign. Some companies may employ an agent for very specific tasks such as undertaking marketing research or handling the export administration and logistics only.

Using an agent is a relatively easy and painless way for a local company to enter the export market, as they generally have to do very little – the agent does all (or at least some) of the export marketing on the firm’s behalf.

Things you need to look out for

When seeking an export agent to assist you, you need to bear the following in mind:

  • Does the export agent have the skills and experience to do the job?
  • Does the export agent have the technical knowledge to market your product(s), especially if you are selling a very technical product?
  • Does the export agent have a good network of contacts that he/she can turn to for help?
  • Does the export agent have a working knowledge of the foreign marketplace (for example, do they understand the culture and speak the language)?
  • How many other companies does the export agent represent?
  • Does the agent represent any competing or similar products?
  • Does the agent represent any complementary products?
  • Does the export agent have a suitable personality to successful market/sell your products abroad?
  • Do you think that you can get on with the export agent on a personal level?
  • Can the export agent provide you with any references from other companies they have helped, and if so, go ahead, check these references?
  • Do you agree with how the export agent proposes to market your products?
  • Is the export agent affordable (is he/she proposing reasonable expenses and commissions)?
  • Is the export agent prepared to enter into a formal contract with you?
  • Does the contract or agreement with the export agent impose any restrictions on you (a) in terms of exclusivity, (b) with respect to the period of the agreement, and (c) as far as non-performance or conflict issues are concerned (i.e. can you get out of the contract if you need to)?

The contract

The contract that you sign with your export agent may have dramatic implications for the success of your firm. If you plan to sign such a contract, we recommend that you consider certain issues. Click here to learn more about possible clauses in the agency contract.

Top of page
Custom Search
Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
Export Reference
TARIC Codes
HS Codes
SIC Codes
Country Codes
Airline Codes
Airport Codes
Port Codes
Telephone Codes
Export control
Electricity Voltages
Transportation Types
Container Types
Hazardous Cargo Symbols
International Trade Agreements
Country Info
International Trade Organisations
Export Documentation
E-marketplaces
Export Opportunities
Export portals
E-marketplaces
International Trade Fairs
Country Info
Country Help
International Trade Statistics
Trademap
Productmap
Sources of International Statistics
UNCTAD Statistics

Our sister sites:

CountryHelp

Trade Training

FreightForwarderHelp

AssociationFinder

LearnTheNet

- Copyright: Cornelius Bothma -


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

         
exppo