Sunday, October 17, 2010

Importer Exporter International Trade Tip

An email received this evening brought about this little tip for ALL importers and exporters.

COURTESY

DO NOT ASSUME
that the party you are trying to reach understands your phone number area code, country code, plus city code, etc..

Place the proper separators between the numbers and put your complete address in the email so they know what country they are expected to call, NEVER assume they are experts at making calls outside their country.

What brought this to my attention was an email that was basically blank with a telephone number only. The phone number had 9 digits starting with 2120000000 (not going to post the actual number for privacy reasons). I immediately assumed to be the 212 area code in the USA.

BUT WAIT!

Country code 21 is in North Africa and since about 50% of our 53,000 monthly website visitors are from OUTSIDE the USA, I simply do not know which country this person is from? And without nothing more than an email address and name, I cannot reply with the answers they may be seeking??

Here was my reply:

Hello,

Thank you for the inquiry.

With 53K people visiting our website every month and dealing with thousands
of emails, we have to ask that you provide more details on what you submitted
your inquiry about?

We also do not know if you are located in the 212 area code or in the 21 country
code (about 50% of our 53K visitors are from outside the USA so we do not know
without proper code seperators).

Additionally, we have found that email provides a much faster means of providing
answers to legitimate inquiries that we may be able to assist you with and does
not expose us to hundreds of callbacks to sales people trying to sell us on our
long distance phone bill.

Thank you for understanding and we look forward to your detailed response.

Kindest regards,

Ron Coble
Coble International - International Marketing Services


A couple of other COURTESY items that a lot of would-be international traders do not seem to understand is that the world does not operate on the same time as they do. Be courteous before calling someone, look up what time it is in their town/country, it is FREE to do so at:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock
- bookmark it, mark it as a favorite or set up a desktop shortcut for ease of accessing anytime you may need it.

Also, do not expect everyone to return your calls, tell them you will be sending them an email to confirm your phone message and repeat your phone number, area code, country code and the country from which you are calling.

Quite honestly, about 75% of my phone messages never get responded to because the connection is so garbled I cannot determine the phone number and REMEMBER the party you are contacting is under NO OBLIGATION to call or email you back. Yes, it would be COURTEOUS on their part to do so, but it simply isn't their obligation to do so.

Ron Coble
International Trade And Business Marketing Services

Labels: , ,