In Asia & Partners we define business development process in three main stages: Preparation, Presentation and Follow Up
Before we would start any kind of business development, homework shall be done. It includes preparation of
marketing materials, such as brochures, videos, clinical papers, customer feedback, etc
setting up databases of potential distributor partners
launching and developing social media accounts
A word to say about marketing materials. While you might be looking for finding distributor partner in specific countries, it is necessary to think from your potential distributor perspective. Once you will approach them with your great and much needed on the market product, what they will think first? Of course, when device is innovative and unique of its kind, they would want to know if the customer could and want to buy it. So they would need to use your marketing materials to ask end user feedback before they would move on with you on next steps. So that's why it is important to prepare not only high quality and clearly self-explainable marketing materials, but going one step further and arranging it in your customer local language. You may involve distributor to do it for you or hire freelancer from upwork.com or professional firm to have it done.
You may set databases by going online, search via Google, LinkedIn, check out in-country related exhibitions, etc. There are companies which can sell you databases in bulk, but quality of the contact is highly questionable.
Social media will help you to keep in contact with your potential distributor partners. It might be the case that they won't become your distributor right now, but a year or two later. Having social media on, and ensuring your potential partners will be following it is a great way to keep them engaged and eventually expand your network. Also social media will help to establish higher trust level once you approach the partner for the first time. It is also easy to get in top-10 search results on Google with your social media accounts on.
Once you have first stage completed, can more to second part - which is getting in touch with your distributor partners. As saying goes: 'You never have a second chance to make first impression'. So it is important that your first email, phone call is well prepared and done professionally. Research in advance about your contact point, knowing her portfolio helps a lot. I would usually reach out first via email, it is low-cost way, but can be effective if you have quality database with direct emails of decision makers, such as company directors and CEO (responses from email@example.com are very low). Once there is a mutual interest, you may set a Skype or face-to-face meeting during exhibition or in-country visit. During the meeting you would ask potential partner all additional questions that helps you to evaluate her suitability to represent your company. After you have done this process ideally with 3-5 companies, can shortlist and decided who would be your best partner if you work on exclusive basis or group of partners.
On Follow Up stage you discuss the agreement and further details of business partnership, terms and conditions, timing, order plan and execution, training and delivery terms. Depending on distributor partner, it may take from few days to up to a year. It is the best to clarify terms during face-to-face meetings via Skype or at personal visits as it can speed up the process. One of the decisive questions would be who is responsible for registration, when and how it will be done. Ideally you want to hold certificate for important markets and maybe let distributor to handle registration in smaller countries in exchange for exclusive right to represent you.
Three-step approach: Preparation, Presentation and Follow-Up will ensure you business development bring necessary results and can be replicated for each market to facilitate your further expansion. Contact Asia & Partners for more information via firstname.lastname@example.org