Finding your way in the European market can be challenging for exporters. In the first half of March, Globally Cool’s Warner and Peter spent some days in Cairo for the Engineering Export Council of Egypt (EECE) to give a two-day workshop entitled ‘In business you either compete or capitulate’ and meet with Egyptian companies from the sector. The focus of the mission was to train the participants on how to develop export plans and work on their capability to enter the European market.
The 60 attending company representatives were broken into teams to work on the development of a fictitious export plan to supply a German buyer, and potential investor, with suitable products for his green energy bus manufacturing operations. The challenge of exporting to Germany and the typically difficult and demanding client proved to make the workshop both informative, highly participative, and many times fun for all involved.
Be excellent or extinct
There were no ‘punches pulled’ by Peter and Warner as they opened the event with slides that presented comments such as ‘Be special or be spurned, Be different or be dead, Be excellent or extinct!’ Illustrating that having products and services that clearly demonstrate a company’s unique selling proposition (USP), is the only way to excite a new market or client. In order to claim a space in the competitive landscape of Europe and in particular the demanding engineering excellence of Germany you need to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Fumbling for words
Peter – as Herr Hurst, the CEO of the German company Hurst Technologies – forced the groups to address him correctly during an elevator pitch exemplifying their USP as he waited in a queue for a taxi alongside the elected group’s spokesperson. Of course, this caused some hilarity in the room as the participants had obviously never been in this position in real life previously. You can image that many times Herr Hurst’s taxi had arrived, leaving the company representative still fumbling for words. Amusing, but in reality, being able to ace the elevator pitch is an essential for any company representative selling domestically or internationally.
Stepping out of the comfort zone
Next to this, all stages of developing an export plan were covered over the very busy two-day event. Many participants, being engineers or from the technical discipline in their companies, were challenged to use their creativity – which is not in their comfort zone, but is a fundamental quality of marketing.
Well done Egypt!
Overall, the participants thoroughly enjoyed the interaction and being able to ask Warner and Peter for advice from their in-depth export marketing experience. Both Warner and Peter were also highly impressed by the capabilities of the companies and the engineering sector as a whole in Egypt. They left Egypt knowing that the participating companies have significant potential to be successful in Europe with trade, investment, joint ventures or technology exchange potential.
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