Important ways for making the best possible use of the time during a visit to export markets are mentioned below:
1. Make sure to have all the possible information about each prospect before calling on him.
2. To spend the first working day making appointments may be a waste of time. So make appointments in advance, add to them as time goes by.
3. Plan how to get to meetings without wasting working time – a street map may be useful.
4. As much cannot be seen from a taxi – be prepared to walk, and look around.
5. Time and punctuality can be important. Some people are time conscious and appreciate punctuality for appointments, while in other countries time is often meaningless. Notice varying office hours; some countries start early and finish early – and some later and finish later as in Britain. In hot countries sometimes businessmen start early, say 6 a.m., and finish at midday.
6. Don’t judge a prospective customer purely by what his office looks like. In some countries business is often done in cafes, so be prepared.
7. Doing business with ‘foreigners’ requires great understanding, some being keen to try new ideas, while other are less willing to do so.
8. Entertainment in business varies – nationals of some countries enjoy it, but others often have just a sandwich and a glass of milk for lunch and do not entertain visiting businessmen much.
9. Always record names accurately, and learn the local customs in how they are said and what titles are used.
10. Remember to keep record things done during visit. The best time to do this is in the evening, so that the impressions are fresh and up- to-date, ready for the next day. Important points may be forgotten if one waits to get back home.