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New Business; New Markets; New Countries
New Business; New Markets; New Countries
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In these days businesses are looking for new business outside of the UK, and in new markets which can bring further challenges in undertaking your due diligence. Do you know where to go to obtain information? Are you fluent in the relevant language and understand country specific nuances?

There are various due diligence searches you can at certain times of the sales process:

  1. Initial pre-screening of targets – perhaps to checkout their latest accounts and ensure that they are properly registered.
  2. Targeting – assuming they are a good target they are likely to be on your competitors target list. In that first call, email or meeting do you want to show that you know more about them than your competitors or the incumbents? Is the business part of a larger group? Who are the ultimate owners of the business? What news stories or trade comment are there about them (perhaps in a foreign language)? Do they have issues for which you have a solution?
  3. Closing the deal – ensure that you have covered off your regulatory and risk management issues.  If not, make it clear to the prospect early on that it is a condition precedent of any contract.  If the sales process has taken a while consider refreshing the work already done.

By doing it right at the outset as well as looking professional you will protect yourself should things go wrong.

If the target is unprepared to provide you with information then you should question whether this is the sort of client with whom you wish to do business. Whilst not easy to say in this environment, it may be safer to walk away from the client and look at other targets than take on unknown risk.

Whatever the margin, you hope to be making a profit (providing you are paid), so in this context some basic or enhanced due diligence is sufficiently cost effective to be considered a valuable part of the sales process.

So by all means go and have a celebratory drink but only after you are satisfied that this new client is the right client. I was once told that when you win a deal that is the time you should lock yourselves in a room to evaluate the reasons why, so you can replicate the success, and when you lose instead of having a post mortem that is when you go down the pub.

In any event if your sales team win it is due to them getting to know the client and putting a good tender together, if they lose it is all down to your pricing!

Your next challenge is to win that second piece of business … !