#59 | Selling Globally at US Trade Shows

David Oliva, General Manager at Organomation, never had any international experiences growing up, yet he’s successfully running a global company now.

By leveraging time at US trade shows, he’s able to connect with visiting distributors from around the world.

He gives great practical advice on how your website is a 24x7 selling machine, how associations can recommend ways to excel at the right trade shows, and how to avoid the “mistakes” he’s made.

You will enjoy this episode, especially if you manufacture a laboratory product and wonder about translation, distributors, and China.


Other Links:

Listen to this episode about having your distributors do your translation: https://www.theglobalmarketingshow.com/e/global-sales-vs-global-marketing/

Learn how to rock virtual international trade shows: https://www.rapporttranslations.com/videos/international-virtual-trade-shows

Reach out to meet Bill Kinney if you want to increase your ROI on trade shows: http://meetroi.com/


Connect with Wendy - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/

Connect with David - https://www.linkedin.com/in/doliva/

Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com


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ATTENTION:  Below is a machine generated transcription of the podcast.  Yes, at Rapport International, we talk a lot about how machine translation is not good quality.  Here you see an example of what a machine can do in your own your language.  This transcription is provided as a gist and to give time indicators to find a topic of interest.


[00:00:35] Hi listeners. And thank you for joining the global marketing podcast. I am so perplexed because we sponsored the show at Rapport International and it got back to me that a lot of people were listening to the podcast and didn't realize that it was sponsored by a company. So I'm going to start adding in.

[00:00:55] Tidbits about Rapport International and learning lessons that you have from [00:01:00] there. Some of the fun facts and cultural tidbits that we have. So, so you know who Rapport International is. We are a company that connects people around the world across languages and cultures. With high quality written translation and spoken interpretation services.

[00:01:19] We have a real specialty in global marketing, thus the global marketing show podcast. So it is always my pleasure to hear stories [00:01:30] from executives at global companies. Particularly when there were only selling in the United States and they've got a huge global network and sales. So it's going to be a fun interview today with David Oliver, from Oregon, not or Ghana mation, Organa mation, which is made up of the words, organic and automatic, which I think is so creative.

[00:01:53] So welcome, David. It's great to have you here.

[00:01:56] David: Thanks Wendy. I appreciate it. Yeah.

[00:01:59] Wendy: [00:02:00] Yeah. As a child and young adult, you had no international exposure. You had no international business experience. It, wasn't a big part of your life and now you're heading up. Sales and marketing for . So that is such a success story because a lot of people that I have on here talk about some childhood experiences.

[00:02:24] So this is, this is going to be really good to get people to realize that they can do it. So tell me a little [00:02:30] bit about your background and how you ended up in global business.

[00:02:33] David: Sure. So after I received my MBA, my first job after graduate school was working for a software company. And I would say in some ways that was my first foray into international business, in that all of our development teams, whether it was the software we were developing or the websites we were managing, we [00:03:00] worked with teams located all over the world.

[00:03:03] So that was my first introduction to international business in terms of. Needing to respond to emails and take phone calls at all different times of the day, because the progress we were making as a company really was a 24 7 operation

[00:03:20] Wendy: it's. So without having had much international exposure, you're working with this software company and, and now you're 24 [00:03:30] 7 you're across different languages and cultures.

[00:03:33] You must have had some fears. Of getting involved in that particularly fresh out of business school?

[00:03:40] David: Yeah, absolutely. It was a little intimidating, I think, as a pretty introverted person, it was. Easier to have a relationship with all these people that was purely online to start in terms of I'm someone who I think I'm [00:04:00] fairly, I'm a fairly good writer.

[00:04:01] So it was somewhat easy for me to keep up with everything and writing and ease into having strong personal relationships with all of the team members. It would have been much more intimidating for me to work at a company with 500 employees. So I tried to meet all at once.

[00:04:19] Wendy: Oh, how fascinating. So here you are, even though it was global and you didn't have the experience you could write and it was more asynchronous communication.

[00:04:28] Cause you didn't have to do it [00:04:30] live. You could write. When you were in the mood to do it, or when you needed to respond.

[00:04:34] David: Yeah, absolutely. I was really able to ease into meeting dozens of people at a time and get to know them virtually, which I think was a little easier for me. Okay.

[00:04:47] Wendy: And so which, what countries work were you working with at the software?

[00:04:52] David: In terms of our website management. We had a development team in Thailand. And then [00:05:00] in terms of the individual products that we managed and updated, those were projects that we would put out to bid with software developers. So there was a lot of variation and where those software companies were located, but it was a lot here.

[00:05:17] Wendy: Oh, interesting. So w w like a lot of, I just assumed that it might've been India. Cause there's so much development that's going on over there. So you were working with people in Europe.

[00:05:27] David: Yeah. Yeah, no, it was it really [00:05:30] depended on the the project, what we were doing, but none of the upkeep we were doing to the programs in terms of making improvements and troubleshooting, none of that was done in the United States.

[00:05:42] So we handled in our. Our office in Massachusetts was really that the customer facing side of the business in terms of customer service and sales and marketing.

[00:05:55] Wendy: Okay. Okay. So, so which countries [00:06:00] in Europe were you working with? Was it UK, Ireland and English or. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:06:06] David: it was, it was primarily UK and Ireland, UK and

[00:06:09] Wendy: Ireland.

[00:06:09] Okay. And so with Thailand, UK, and Ireland, there was, you did a lot in English then you didn't have to translate or interpret in other languages?

[00:06:19] David: No, not too much. And I'm sure to some degree in somewhat similar to my experience at organic nation, usually. The project [00:06:30] manager. The point person overseas is probably the most well-spoken in English, which makes the, the bridging the gap between the two teams, much simpler.

[00:06:40] Oh,

[00:06:40] Wendy: okay. Okay. So then you leave that company and you move over to organic.

[00:06:49] David: Yep. In 2012, I was hired as the sales and marketing manager. And I've been here ever since and assume they're all of general manager a few years ago, but [00:07:00] sales and marketing. Certainly still my primary focus as it really is the lifeblood of the company.

[00:07:06] Wendy: Okay. Right. I introduced you a sales and marketing manager, but I, I knew that you had been promoted to general manager, so yes. Late. Congratulations and sorry about that at the beginning. Okay. So you take over sales and marketing for again, a mission. Why don't you tell us a little bit about what organic nation does?

[00:07:25] David: Absolutely. So we make. Equipment that is used in [00:07:30] sample preparation for laboratories. And more specifically, our products are evaporators and extract or. And our evaporation equipment concentrates samples. We specialize in a technology called nitrogen blow down where most of the instruments, a whole test tubes and underneath the test tubes, there is a heating unit that applies heat [00:08:00] and a stream of nitrogen is shot down into the test tubes, which helps reduce the volume of the sample through evaporate.

[00:08:09] That

[00:08:09] Wendy: is really cool and way different than anything else that I've had on the show here. So do you have many competitors?

[00:08:20] David: Yes, we do what really helps our business stand out. As we have very strong brand recognition, both in the us and throughout the world. The [00:08:30] company has a very interesting story in that Dr.

[00:08:33] Neil McNiven was a chemist and an engineer, and he actually invented. Many of our product designs for his own use at the Worcester foundation, which is where he worked as a chemist. So he was an individual who didn't see a solution on the market and to start, I'm sure he didn't know whether or not it would be profitable or it really invented these products for his own use and ended up with a [00:09:00] business.

[00:09:01] Wendy: Now, is he still involved?

[00:09:04] David: No, unfortunately he passed away in the nineties and the company is currently owned and operated by his two children.

[00:09:11] Wendy: Oh. So that's been a successful handover. So that's, I mean, that's the perfect inventor. He can't find something that he needs, so he invents it and then a good company is built from there.

[00:09:24] And so how did, how have you taken. The the [00:09:30] equipment to market.

[00:09:30] David: I would say that my first project was to redesign our website because we do have such a small sales team. Our website really is that all day, all night sales tool that serves us internationally. It really is the best customer facing tool.

[00:09:51] We have both for end users worldwide, but also distributors who carry our product. So we wanted to make sure we [00:10:00] were very happy with the face of the company. So investing in our online properties is certainly something we spend a lot of resources on.

[00:10:08] Wendy: Okay. So you put the, so you get the website up and then people have to find you, do you come up, like, do you optimize it for search or how do you drive people to your website?

[00:10:20] David: We certainly do try to optimize it for search. It helps that we do sell such specific problem products, I should say, [00:10:30] in our, in our niche where just naturally due to the content we have, we rank pretty well. But yes, we certainly try and optimize it so that we do. Rank well, and what I was mentioning earlier about brand recognition is in terms of that nitrogen evaporation technology, what the company invented was the first commercially successful product of its type.

[00:10:58] So we really did have that [00:11:00] first mover status, which has led to our name, being synonymous with nitrogen blow down. So, yeah, we have a lot of brand value and people come to us for whether it was products.

[00:11:10] Wendy: Okay. And so how do they hear there must be quite a network. So what what I want you to talk about is that you had mentioned before that you don't travel to international trade shows.

[00:11:23] You've done a lot of your networking at trade shows in the United States. And then I want you to talk about. Your [00:11:30] website, whether you've translated that, and I don't think you have, and, and how you made that decision, what's your plans for it. So would you like to start with trade shows or website?

[00:11:41] David: Yeah, absolutely. I'm happy to get into that early on. And I would say for the first several decades of the company's existence, we were founded in 1959. Exhibiting at the largest trade shows in our space. One of which is Pittcon, [00:12:00] which is a yearly event, was critically important to getting our brand out there.

[00:12:06] And this was pre-internet when trade shows in my mind played a much more important role in showing equipment. And I think one thing I want to note is. Our equipment does cost several thousand dollars. This is a capital purchase for universities and municipal laboratory. So it is something that people want to want to see in person in a lot of [00:12:30] cases.

[00:12:30] If they're not familiar with the equipment from previous experience. So I mentioned distributing at those shows because I think a lot of international visitors found us there and we've established a lot of. Relationships with international distributors who are visiting those us shows, establishing those connections in person.

[00:12:52] And we've had distributors who we've worked at for 10, 20 years, who we met way back when at past [00:13:00] Pittcon decades ago.

[00:13:01] Wendy: That's fantastic that you have those long-term relationships with the distributors. And I think it's really important to note here that P you know, if you're in an industry where you have a big conference in the United States, And you have big equipment, particularly you get it to that show.

[00:13:21] And then the international people come out. This is the first time I've heard mention of that, but I know there's lots of shows with international visitors. So it's a good, good [00:13:30] tactic to take, to build your global business.

[00:13:33] David: Absolutely. Yeah. I would highlight that even though the overall attendance for some of the major shows have declined in our space.

[00:13:44] International visitors continue to this day to increase. So that has really helped my current trade show strategy. I'm a member of the laboratory products association and the strategy that's worked really well [00:14:00] is that at the trade shows, the trade organization has a dedicated meeting room where. I typically before a show, reach out to distributors to see if they happen to be coming to it and schedule an in-person meeting where I meet at the trade show.

[00:14:20] And that's been extremely helpful because we work with a lot of. Small distributors who are about our size. We're a small family business ourselves, and a lot [00:14:30] of our distributors fit that same mold. And just because of the size of the businesses and the need for our products. I might only sell to, or sell through a distributor one or two units a year.

[00:14:46] So, whereas I can afford to go to Peru with, to meet with a specific distributor there. That same distributor has a lot of value, sees a lot of value in coming to that show at the U S where they can meet with a [00:15:00] number of manufacturers. And it's enabled me to meet a lot of our distributors face-to-face, which has been very helpful.

[00:15:07] Wendy: That's fascinating. That's very effective. And, and doing your work beforehand to set up the meetings, rather than going to hope that somebody is going to come in.

[00:15:19] David: Absolutely at this point, I feel pretty comfortable each year committing to going to certain shows just because I know without that [00:15:30] communication, that there will be enough interest from distributors to justify it.

[00:15:35] But certainly the more I can fill my schedule over those three days Traveling to traveling to a city within the U S and having 10 meetings with distributors over a three-day period is a great use of time, in my opinion.

[00:15:50] Wendy: And so the laboratory products, association, pit con, what else? There's a couple other ones that you, you go to, which ones are [00:16:00] those

[00:16:00] David: ACS?

[00:16:01] The American chemical society is a. Trade show that they sponsor a trade show that occurs twice a year, once in the fall. And once in the spring, it's an exposition that's paired with their, their meetings essentially. Organic nation sells to a lot of colleges and universities and ACS is a very popular.

[00:16:27] Trade organization [00:16:30] for chemists in the academic space. So it makes sense for us to be at a lot of those shows.

[00:16:34] Wendy: Okay. And so what other kinds of companies would you recommend that would go here that could use the same tactic as you?

[00:16:45] David: Well, I would be curious for. Are there companies marketing products, I'd be interested to know which trade shows I should back up, which trade associations they [00:17:00] see at relevant trade shows.

[00:17:02] And it might make a lot of sense for those companies to join trade shows trade organizations that can really help them move forward.

[00:17:11] Wendy: Okay, so that makes it okay. So if you know what industry you're in, go get into the trade show association and find out what trade shows are going on. And then you're not even exhibiting there.

[00:17:25] You're just, do you get an attendee list or how do you find the distributors [00:17:30] that you're reaching out?

[00:17:31] David: Well, a lot of the distributors I eat with are current distributors of ours. So I'm already in contact with them on a regular basis, but certainly I have had some success with having the initial introductory meeting and a trade show with a distributor.

[00:17:53] I haven't. With yet. And usually that's just an additional step in the [00:18:00] research we do. When we're trying to find a new distributor in a market we're interested in,

[00:18:07] Wendy: how would you research to find a distributor that would be the right size and carry the right products?

[00:18:16] David: Historically we've relied on.

[00:18:19] Online research that we've just done on our own. Looking at, as, as I mentioned before, most of our successful distributors are [00:18:30] about our size. So I know to avoid some distributors who. Are much larger than us who aren't going to necessarily invest the time into our products. I'm more interested in companies that fit.

[00:18:46] What's become a successful mold for a distributor based on our experience. So that's what I've looked for online, but there's also other avenues, [00:19:00] including Going through the well through the embassy or the trade office, certainly working with a grant program, like step, which you're aware of.

[00:19:11] One of the, one of the activities you can ask. For that office to complete, has to do at doing a initial market check of a certain territory to see if your products are applicable there and having the embassy [00:19:30] and their trade specialists actually assist with vesting some researching some of those distributors to see if they have a potential interest in working with.

[00:19:40] Wendy: Right. And so do you have to pay, I think I know the answer to this, but I'm going to talk about your experience. Did you have to pay to have the initial market check research by one of the trade representatives?

[00:19:55] David: Yeah, absolutely. But that is one of the qualified activities. [00:20:00] Where you, if you do receive one of those grants, you are able to apply those funds.

[00:20:05] So if it wasn't totally free to us, it was a subsidized rate that we paid, which allowed us to have more of those research reports completed on our behalf because we weren't flooding the entire bill.

[00:20:21] Wendy: Okay. So this, the state government offers some free resources and some paid for services and the grants.

[00:20:28] Can you talk about what kind [00:20:30] of support you got as a free resource, and then talk more about the step grants and what you paid for

[00:20:38] David: as a free resource? I believe that there are generalized research report. That are published on industry. And to give you an example, I believe I would have access for a research report on the health care industry for a [00:21:00] certain region.

[00:21:01] Or a territory. And I think that's a great example because healthcare doesn't really fit our products in terms of we serve laboratories mostly for environmental samples. So I think that's a great example of how there is some free research, but it's not necessarily going to help you. If the closest product category or industry doesn't really fit your specific business.

[00:21:29] Wendy: [00:21:30] Oh, okay. So so you didn't use much of their free Ray sources cause I understand they do some consulting, but that maybe that's more pointing to you pointing you to where you can get

[00:21:44] David: resources in terms of. What's worked for us was more of the paid services that were more targeted to our needs. For example, selecting a specific country where we had had [00:22:00] difficulty signing up a distributor and having the initial market check done, and then having some of the partnering services done by the local trade office.

[00:22:10] They're establishing the first contact with the distributor and seeing if they would be potentially interested in carrying our product.

[00:22:19] Wendy: Okay. Okay. All right. And then tell me more about how you use the step grant. And I know you were planning on maybe sticking a big toe in the international [00:22:30] markets for doing a trade show.

[00:22:33] So I'm curious about how you use them to help support this, how you got them and what you were planning on.

[00:22:40] David: Absolutely. Well, the good news is that for the last two step applications, we were approved and received some grant funding. So that was very exciting. The unfortunate news was that the bulk of those grant [00:23:00] funds or.

[00:23:01] Go towards international trade shows, which didn't end up happening because of the pandemic. Back to the good news. We are able to reallocate those resources both this year and next year to other activities that help us with our export business. And right now we're in the process of getting quotes on having materials translated.[00:23:30]

[00:23:30] Evaluating, whether we want to create a mini site, that's localized for a specific country to see if that's a good way to expose our brains. To a certain country or territory. There's a lot of other things we can do to apply those funds in hopes of growing international business. But I'll be very excited for next summer attending our first international trade show in Germany.[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] Wendy: So which show are you going to over in Germany

[00:24:04] David: that will be handling BRCA, which is a large shelter. Kurt has every other year and is specifically focused on laboratory equipment. And analytic has an interesting organization and that they've branched out. The show in Germany is still their flagship show, but they also span they [00:24:30] also sponsor other international shows, not in the U S but they sponsor one that's in India and a couple in Asia as well.

[00:24:39] Wendy: Oh, okay. All right. So your one in Germany could just be a first one and you could be going to all different places then?

[00:24:46] David: Absolutely. Yeah. They've really established, it's a pretty unique brand in the space in terms of an organization that sponsors shows throughout the year in multiple countries.

[00:24:57] Wendy: Okay.

[00:24:58] All right. So back to [00:25:00] your website, So you do this robust website to provide all the information it's a good face and you've never translated it. So talk to me about that.

[00:25:11] David: So where the website is really helpful is generating our direct sales while also serving as a resource for distributors. So as part of the discounts and other compensation that we [00:25:30] provide distributors, historically, a lot of that translation and the selling of our products in their markets has really dependent on the distributor, completing that work on our behalf.

[00:25:47] Wendy: And have you run into any problems with that?

[00:25:51] David: Not specifically in terms of the content. I would say [00:26:00] there's some distributors where they're just saying. Well positioned because for a host of different reasons, a leading one is that they're serving some laboratory markets that don't really fit our products. Even though we do have equipment that is somewhat in general use in terms of it can be used in a lot of different types of laboratories.

[00:26:27] Just for example, if there was a distributor. [00:26:30] India, who is very excited to work with us. If they mostly or exclusively sold to hospitals, we might not be the best fit for them.

[00:26:39] Wendy: Okay. And so w. Having them do the translation. They may not get to it cause they're not a good fit. But then your distributors that are a good fit, you haven't had any problems that you know of with the content.

[00:26:53] David: Right. Did that that's fair. Yeah. My point was that even if the distributor [00:27:00] had all the translated materials they might not do well. A number of other reasons, such as their customer lists, not really having a need for our products.

[00:27:10] Wendy: Oh, okay. You know, an earlier episode it's the global marketing show podcast.

[00:27:17] Number 25, Zach CELDT, who was a international sales person. He talks about issues that he he's run into with distributors doing the translation. Cause they're not [00:27:30] professional translators. And they may not be fully bilingual and English. So anybody who's who's has their distributors doing it or thinking about it, you might want to listen into what he has to say about that.

[00:27:43] So, okay. So on the website now they've been doing the distributors have been doing the content, but you're reallocating the step grant to do the translation. So talk to me about how you're thinking about going about

[00:27:57] David: that. Well, I think the translated materials [00:28:00] could be extremely critical in territories where we haven't had much of a sales presence.

[00:28:07] And by that, I mean, we're looking to set up a new distributor where, you know, in the other, in the other case we have a distributor set up or a compensating them. Promoting and marketing our products. So they have a vested interest in creating those materials. But if we're starting from scratch in a market where we don't have a distribution partner having [00:28:30] more translated materials to advertise to them as a, as a whole separate challenge,

[00:28:36] Wendy: what countries are you in?

[00:28:37] Now?

[00:28:38] David: We, the majority of our business is. Export in terms of the countries we do very well. Most of Asia, we do very well in the, that's probably our strongest performing general region. Specifically China, we do very well and and then smaller [00:29:00] amounts of business and Mexico, Canada. One thing that I think might surprise people is that because of our niche, there are certain countries where we take a look at what we believe is very rural high level data.

[00:29:15] And it might only be double digits per year in terms of new instruments that are sold for our specific product category. So it's always. Evaluation and [00:29:30] determination on our end, in terms of the business we want to chase because there's some places, or even if we had a hundred percent of the market demand each year are still talking and pretty low numbers.

[00:29:44] Wendy: So setting up a distributor, there might not make sense, but having some translation on your website to pull the direct traffic would.

[00:29:54] David: Yeah, and that certainly there's some markets where we don't necessarily, [00:30:00] there isn't necessarily the need for what I would consider a full-time distributor. The better approach for getting sales is having that end user.

[00:30:12] I need that equipment. And then we find a distributor locally who can facilitate the sale to complete the installation. And the you know, are in really the the logistics regarding the instrument and the payment. Those are probably the most [00:30:30] important things that, that. Distributor would be assisting us with I don't a one-off transaction like that.

[00:30:37] Wendy: Oh, interesting. Okay. So back to, you know, you had mentioned Peru before, you're selling a lot in Mexico. You, so you have distributors there, but now, you know, I call in from Peru, even though your distributor in Mexico might be able to speak Spanish to me and facilitate the conversation. You still need to find a local distributor.

[00:30:58] To take them through the whole [00:31:00] process.

[00:31:01] David: Yeah. And certainly that's case by case. I mean, one thing we're very comfortable with is shipping directly, no matter where the customer is, but it really depends on their needs. Where if they want a local rep to do the installation, to assist with some level of training, if they've never used a product like ours before.

[00:31:23] Those are some things where we do really need a local rep to facilitate the sale.

[00:31:28] Wendy: Oh, okay. [00:31:30] Right. So, so, okay. So back to the, the your website and the step grant. So you're, so you you're reallocating the step grant. You're going to do the translation of your website and which languages are you going to take it into?

[00:31:45] David: That is something we are trying to determine right now. We certainly think for our product brochures, having more of those in Spanish that we own would be super useful. And [00:32:00] we're also considering of mini site for Japan. Which would be a scaled down version of our, our website, selecting key pages and key products we wanted to promote and having that translated and hosting with the organic nation dot J P website extension.

[00:32:19] And yeah, I mean, part of that's a function of wanting to keep some of the costs of the translation. Down and really just using that scaled down [00:32:30] website is a launching pad for those relationships.

[00:32:34] Wendy: Yeah. And that's a perfect way to do it too, is you're talking about. Brochures and Spanish, because you want to have more consistency there that goes across your Mexican market, and then you control the message and you can take it out to Peru or Spain or what other, whatever other Spanish-speaking market you want.

[00:32:53] And a mini site for Japan. If you just pick the products that you want to sell there, I think that's, that's a [00:33:00] really good way of looking at it because then you're maximizing the return on your translation instead of just saying, do the whole website.

[00:33:09] David: Yeah. That is the hope is that we can certainly one thing that's always present in our thinking is that we are, we are a small business.

[00:33:17] So if we can optimize. By really focusing on the specific markets we want to target the specific products, only paying for the translation that we need trying to be as efficient as possible [00:33:30] is really critical to us just from a budget perspective.

[00:33:33] Wendy: Right. And I think any size of business, it's still you know, And the book that I wrote, the language of global marketing, a talk about how you have to build a corporate strategy first, then your marketing strategy, before you think about your multi-lingual or your global marketing strategy, because those pieces have to all fit up together.

[00:33:52] So there's been a lot of times when people will say, oh yeah, we just want to translate our website. And then they get sticker shock, but there's [00:34:00] stuff in there like news releases from five years ago that they don't need to

[00:34:05] David: do. Right. Yeah. And that, that's the hope with leading with our best performing products and also the products we think will do really well on that specific market.

[00:34:16] So maybe there's all product lines. We really aren't focusing on as we try and sign up new distribution partners. And there'll be a time if things go well to educate those distributors on those [00:34:30] slower moving products as well. Right.

[00:34:32] Wendy: Right. So you mentioned you're going out to get quotes on translation.

[00:34:38] How will you make your decision on the right company to hire?

[00:34:43] David: That is a good question. I think we're focused mostly on reviews that we can find the presentation of those websites. How responsive people are in providing those quotes to us. I'd [00:35:00] say just the conversations with those firms in general, in terms of how we feel about the prospect of doing business with them.

[00:35:08] Long-term.

[00:35:09] Wendy: All right. And we are one of the companies, right?

[00:35:12] David: You are. Yeah. It's one of those things where I mentioned the step, the window for using the step funds being extended, due to the pandemic. So some of the funds we thought we would be using this year, we have through the [00:35:30] end of next year. So it's, we don't have a big time crunch, so we're slowly but surely getting there on starting to get all those quotes.

[00:35:39] We want to avoid.

[00:35:40] Wendy: Right, right. Yeah. And it's really interesting to evaluate the different quotes, because we did a research study a few years back and companies quote in different ways. So it's really hard to compare apples to oranges. And so I was really glad to hear you, didn't say, you know, low [00:36:00] cost or using Google translate because then I'd be flipping out at.

[00:36:05] But it's digging in to find out what is their quality control process and who does the translation. And what's your turn around record and, and reviews can give a lot of information on that. And do they specialize who's, you know, where you have a consistency of voice. So those are, you know, some of the things that if you're picking a translation company that you'd also want to consider.[00:36:30]

[00:36:30] David: Yeah, just as a side note that I just thought of some of the feedback from distributors and our international markets is that the print medium is still of high value and in some places, much more valuable than our online presence. So I think historically we haven't necessarily had a need to have the whole website translate.

[00:36:57] If anything in certain markets, it might [00:37:00] be translation of key print materials that can be distributed locally. Yeah.

[00:37:09] Wendy: The other thing that I recommend for that is. Use the content on your website that you'd put in the brochure. So then you're using the same translation, which is cheaper and also keeps your consistency of voice, which is what you want to do for marketing.[00:37:30]

[00:37:30] And then you pay a little bit for layout and you've got the printing costs, which you'd have anyway for that, but that's the way to leverage your content.

[00:37:39] David: Yeah.

[00:37:41] Wendy: Yeah. Yeah. And even if you can do it on your website, so somebody could click through in, and what I've seen as people have clickable PDFs for brochures.

[00:37:53] So then it's on the website and the distributor or the client can always find it and just [00:38:00] print it out from there. And that'll save you some printing costs or shipping or access, you know, getting that information to the people. They can print it right out from wherever they are.

[00:38:10] David: Absolutely. And that's something we've been thinking about a lot as we revamp our online presence, as the idea of whether it run distributor portal would be useful for our website, which would be a more formalized, fancy, let's say feature [00:38:30] rich way of hosting materials and providing distributors with access to.

[00:38:35] Wendy: And then you have to think, do you, is there any reason to limit that material to the distributors or do you just put it up on your website or even gate it? So if somebody wants to download it, you're collecting their email information. So you can do marketing campaigns to them or follow up.

[00:38:53] David: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:38:54] I mean, one of the larger issues we've had is certain hosting [00:39:00] platforms not being available. In certain markets. And by that I'm specifically referring new China as far as files. I want to share that might be located in a Google drive that I can't share with a Chinese distributor because they don't have access to that platform.

[00:39:18] Whereas if it was more standardized on our website, that might be a better work

[00:39:22] Wendy: around. Right. Cause you just put it up as a downloadable PDF and that should be accessible from [00:39:30] anywhere. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, but duplicate that content. So you've been doing global business. I'm curious about, you know, what mistakes your company might have made that, or, you know, something you wish you would have done better because those are always good learning lessons.

[00:39:49] David: Yeah. I would certainly focus on proactivity. As I may have noted. I think a lot of those strong distributor [00:40:00] relationships occurred because we were at trade shows and had conversations with those distributors, which is great in terms of us being proactive and showing up for those shows. But it always makes you wonder in terms of.

[00:40:15] What other countries could we have established a foothold in years ago if we had done a little more on, on our end. And I, there are certainly some markets where we weren't a first [00:40:30] mover where we probably had an opportunity to be, had we been. A little more proactive and an example could have been attending a international trade show before now there are certainly some markets.

[00:40:42] We may have been able to establish relationships sooner if it wasn't more incoming. And by that, I mean, those international visitors who chose to visit the United States.

[00:40:53] Wendy: Right, right. That's a good point. You know, I did a webinar. With Andrew White for [00:41:00] the New Hampshire office of international commerce.

[00:41:03] And he talked about even going virtual, how, you know, we, we talked about international trade shows and then also how he's transitioned to virtual. So if anybody wants to deep dive, or if you want to listen to that on how you go international and how you can. Be effective. I'll put the link into the show notes and it's also on our website Rapport, translations.com.

[00:41:25] And you can search for New Hampshire. Oh, I see webinar and it'll come up. But, [00:41:30] but that's it, it's having a plan when you're going to the trade shows on how you're going to leverage it. To be successful and you make a really good point start doing it because who knows what you're missing out on.

[00:41:45] David: Yeah. And I could see how that would be very helpful in that the two, all virtual shows that we participated in the past 12 months or a little lacking. So certainly trying to figure out [00:42:00] if we can improve our approach. That would certainly be a requirement if we were to consider displaying our products and they all virtual arena again, you know, my hope is that we can move towards hybrid arrangements or in person shows, but it would be nice to have some tips on how to present ourselves better and position ourselves to do well.

[00:42:27] If we got. Interested in [00:42:30] participating in another virtual only event.

[00:42:33] Wendy: You know, another good resource is bill Kenny from meet M E T. I think it's met. Calm, I'll put it in the show notes too, but his company focuses on helping companies be efficient at trade shows. So they make a whole preplan, they help implement the plan and then they keep the metrics [00:43:00] afterwards and then they figure out which shows are best.

[00:43:03] And then they negotiate with the show sponsors on how to eat. Be better year over year. So they've got a, a real interesting company. I haven't heard of anybody else doing

[00:43:16] David: that. Hmm. Yeah. One thing that's been real helpful than me. That's similar to that is that trade organization. I mentioned the laboratory products association.

[00:43:27] They have some great survey data [00:43:30] on end users who are mostly we'll have managers in terms of what shows are viable, which types of marketing materials are most of interest. So having, having those resources about the. Specific buyers in our space is very useful and not just going off our hunch of what we think will work best and reaching our target clients.

[00:43:57] Wendy: That's fantastic. Okay. So [00:44:00] back to mistakes, being more proactive and going to trade shows to open new markets would have been something. What else do you look back

[00:44:07] David: on? I think I could say something similar for product development. In terms of having a, having a focus on adjusting or altering product designs to focus on specific types of end users.

[00:44:27] One thing that's really helped us [00:44:30] over the years is that our products are very long, last thing. And that. Are very user-friendly in terms of operation, which I think has made them well positioned to do well internationally. So much of the focus in the lab equipment space and the domestic market is more and more automation so that you can do more sample [00:45:00] processing with fewer people or in international markets.

[00:45:03] That's not necessarily the case. Due to labor rates and a host of other factors. So our instruments have been well positioned, but I think there was more of an opportunity there to develop products for specific needs outside of the U S

[00:45:21] Wendy: that is brilliant advice because you don't know how many companies have come across that don't think global [00:45:30] from the start and they need to adapt.

[00:45:32] You know, and whether it's their messaging or whether, how they develop it, or, you know, software companies that build for one language, not thinking about going into other languages. So that whole product development just think global from the start. And it'll save you headaches later on.

[00:45:50] David: Yeah. Yeah, I totally, yeah.

[00:45:52] I agree with that. Yeah.

[00:45:54] Wendy: You know what we have I am enjoying this conversation so much. I could keep going, but we're running out of time. [00:46:00] So I got to jump to some of the personal stuff that I'd like to learn about you. So, first off, what's your favorite foreign word?

[00:46:09] David: Lauren word let's go with shall ye, which I believe is deal and Chinese.

[00:46:16] I ye

[00:46:20] Wendy: I love that. So you may hear a lot of other words, but you know, if people are nodding and smiling, gie that you know that you have a deal. [00:46:30] Ah, that's a great one. I really like that. How about a crazy cross-cultural experience?

[00:46:38] David: Crazy. Cross-country all experience I had I had dinner at a trade show with basically it was myself.

[00:46:49] And then what was the entire sales staff of a Japanese. Company, which we were interested in doing business [00:47:00] with. So trying to participate in the conversation and engage with each of the individuals. I was trying to make an impression on and connect with in a noisy restaurant where I hadn't met anyone.

[00:47:15] Previously that was a an interesting situation, right?

[00:47:22] Wendy: And did anybody speak English?

[00:47:24] David: I believe two, two of the, two of the individuals did, but it was a, it was a [00:47:30] large group. And I should say to felt. Comfortable in their, in their English. Right?

[00:47:36] Wendy: Yeah. So how do you do

[00:47:38] David: I think, I think it went pretty well.

[00:47:41] It was it was a good night with a lot of laughs. I don't think too many of them were at my expense. So

[00:47:50] Wendy: did you get the G

[00:47:58] all right, well, that's [00:48:00] fantastic. Oh no, no, no. And save for vacation.

[00:48:03] David: Ooh. Well, living in new England, all my life, it's very tough to beat. Puerto Rico, especially during the winter.

[00:48:12] Wendy: Yeah. Yeah. That's a fabulous place. I've been there a couple of times and in the winter it is even more fabulous. So, yeah. All right.

[00:48:24] Well, thank you so much for speaking with us today. I think our, our. Rapport [00:48:30] International tidbit will be gie is word of the day. Where can people find you if they want to learn more or get in touch with you?

[00:48:37] David: Certainly organic nation.com for anyone who's interested in learning more about our business.

[00:48:46] It is exactly. It's spelled exactly how you would think and certainly nitrogen evaporators. Our web presence is very strong if you're interested in learning more about what we do.

[00:48:58] Wendy: Okay. And how [00:49:00] about you? Are you on LinkedIn?

[00:49:04] David: I

[00:49:04] Wendy: can Oliver Oliver

[00:49:06] David: all of yeah, linkedin.com/d Oliver, O L I V E.

[00:49:12] Wendy: Okay. So that sounds like a good place to find him. And if you need his product, certainly check out the website and go there. I really enjoyed this, David, so thank you so much for, for joining me today.

[00:49:26] David: Thanks, Wendy. I really appreciate it too. Thank you.

[00:49:28] Wendy: Yeah. And if, if [00:49:30] listeners, if you learn something today share with a manufacturer or somebody who might be a business owner or leader or marketer that would be interested in the global marketing show, there's some really great advice that came out of this conversation today.

[00:49:46] So share it and go in and give us a five star review. And we'll catch you next time.

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