Top 20 Ways to Get Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

Having a great product or service that you are sure many people will need isn’t good enough.

Customers won’t find you, your store, your website or your Facebook page just because you have started a business.

You have to go out and find the customers.

In fact, most business owners find they need to be looking for new customers on a regular and frequent basis even after their business becomes successful.

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Exporting your goods and services to a foreign country is never easy.

You’d have to overcome a lot of barriers, understand new cultures, languages.

And have capable partners that can make your efforts achieve any form of success.

If you’re looking for how to find international buyers for your import/export business.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

Here are ways to get started:

Exportation business is a big business around the world.

When you see the volume of imports into Nigeria.

You would see how much business people in other countries have made.

By selling to customers outside the shores of their lands.

No country has it all, hence there’s bound to be trade among countries.

It is no exaggerating when we say Nigeria is blessed with loads of resources in demand around the world

Palm Oil, Cassava, Sugar cane, Charcoal, Maize, Cocoa, etc.

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These are resources in abundance in Nigeria that have ready markets outside Nigeria.

With Exportation projected to be worth $30 billion according to Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

And with the recent economic downturn faced by the country in which many have blamed.

It is on our sole dependence on oil export as Nigeria’s only source of economic sustenance.

It is expected that Nigeria move towards more exportation of non-oil resources.

Having said that, how we go about getting foreign buyers is a tough task.

As one has to consider tough factors like trust.

And tedious activities like logistics and paper works.

This post is to give you options on how to locate foreign buyers for your Nigerian Export products, so let’s get to it right away:

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export GoodForeign Customers for Nigerian Export GoodForeign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

1. National Export Boards

The NEPC is committed to driving the zero-oil export of made in Nigeria.

Registering with the NEPC allows the agency to confirm your status.

As an exporter on any inquiry and also refer you to buyers on inquiries and facilitate global partnerships.

This is mostly done by conducting events like trade shows in which sellers connect with prospects for their products.

They are encouraging business people in Nigeria to export more.

As a registered member you benefit things like.

Market entry research to foreign countries, trade information, dissemination of both domestic and international commodities prices etc.

The good thing is you can register online on their online portal.

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2. Countries’ Chamber of Commerce

There are Chambers of Commerce for different countries in Nigeria.

We also have bilateral Chambers of commerce to help foster trade between Nigeria and other countries.

Nigeria has trade relationships with countries like India, China, Holland, United states, etc.

These days it is easier to reach these centers from the comfort of your home by visiting their web portals.

A simple google search can help you locate their web address.

When contacting these people you have to have all necessary information they need to convince them you are a genuine business

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3. Buying agents

Buying agents are procurement agents.

They represent businesses from other countries looking to procure the necessary resources.

Most foreign Buyers work based on research and knowledge that the resources they need is present in the country.

So they go about sourcing these resources.

You can contact their buying agents in Nigeria and let them know of your products.

Some of the private consultants can be buying agents for other countries in Nigeria.

Since they know more of the markets than the companies abroad do.

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4. Online Search Engines

There millions of searches on google everyday while you’re thinking on how to get buyers.

A simple positioning yourself for your prospects to find your business on google search can even do the trick for you.

If you’re familiar with SEO, It is all about ranking well at the top of any search.

That is when browsers input certain keywords related to your business anywhere in the world.

They can find your website among the search results.

Some level of investment is needed here to come up with a web page.

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And also to hire SEO experts who can help your web page rank high on the first page.

Let’s say for example a company in Europe has identified Nigeria to be cocoa rich.

And they need establish connection with suppliers.

In the course of their research online.

They would probably have visited google to type something like this “cocoa in Nigeria”.

Finding international buyers for your exports can be a unique challenge.

In this article, you will learn how to utilize your available resources to conveniently connect with prospective trade partners abroad.

The most important thing you can do is to have a web presence: a website.

Interested buyers looking on the internet should be able to find you when they search for the product you specialist in sourcing

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5. Where to connect with buyers

Trade Expos and Trade Missions

When you attend trade expos, you have the opportunity to showcase your products and services.

Meet with potential buyers and connect with trade partners.

Trade events have attendees from different regions.

Who provide exporters with a large number of business leads under a single roof.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) usually organises trade Expos.

Which is well-attended by multinationals and foreign traders.

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The LCCI ultra-modern Exhibition and Conference Centre is located at Plot 10, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Drive , Central Business District, Alausa, Lagos.

The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) is a foremost channel of trade between Nigeria and Britain.

Which encourages and promotes trade between these countries.

Among the NBCC’s objectives is to provide information.

And market intelligence service on United Kingdom/Nigerian trade.

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In the form of regular trade bulletin.

They also organised Trade Missions.

A trade mission is an international trip organised for the purpose of exploring international business opportunities.

It is an effective way to seek out potential trade partners.

For this reason, if you’re looking to export to Britain, NBCC should be your first point of call.

You need to have a registered company to join, and membership costs N200,000 for companies with less than N700m in turnover.

To register, you will need to fill out the membership application form.

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6. How to use the Internet to find customers

Various internet websites allow you to post your products or services online.

So that prospective buyers can come to you, instead of you searching for them.

These are called ‘online marketplaces’.

The way these online marketplaces work is that you as a seller posts information about your products online.

Making your services available to anyone in the world who needs them.

When interested buyers search for your services in these marketplaces.

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They can see your products and get in touch with you to make inquiries.
One important thing to note when offering your services in online marketplaces is that.

Just like meeting strangers in real life.

You must deal with contacts you meet cautiously.

Always verify their full address by using Google.

You can also query their company name and website using scamadviser.com to check how long they have been in business, as well as the level of trust they enjoy.

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7. LinkedIn 

This is a powerful but underutilized tool for finding foreign trade partners.

Companies and their employees from all over the world advertise their services on the website.

The two most effective ways you can use this platform for prospecting potential buyers are:

By using the filtered search option and joining relevant groups for your industry.
There are many groups for all types of industries on LinkedIn.

So it is best to be specific from the beginning as to what region and industry you’d like to find a group for.

You will need to find the most active groups.

And join them to begin engaging with other professionals to build up your network.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

8. Look at your Competitors

Have you identified the competitors who are already selling in your target market?

Try to find look at companies which carry similar products as you.

And learn from them how they engage their customers.

This would enable you to understand your target market better.

By this method, you should be able to find a similar business(es) in the same country that will be ready to do business with you.

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If you can’t find any competitor already operating in your target market.

Search for local products in that country that are similar to yours.

If you have a product that is higher quality, differentiated, etc.

You can often find distribution in the same retailers as the local manufacturers.

Be sure to place emphasis on what makes your product unique for the best chance of success with this tactic.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

9. Customized data search tools and trade data

Using business intelligence search tools such as Import Genius.

Is another way you can find buyers for your exports and connect with them.

Import Genuis has a large export-import database.

And helps you find what businesses imported to other countries.

And also the businesses which received these imports.

The site is populated from the US customs database, and the cheapest plan is at $99 per month.

Alternatively, you can use a free tool called Port Examiner.

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But without the depth of information that Import Genius provides.
At this stage, these trade data tools are magic wands.

You can use to gather as much of information as you can.

From transportation of goods to buyers and sellers of a particular product.

And trading prices to the shipping lines, ports, and trade lanes employed for the purpose of international trade.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

10.Government controlled foreign companies and their buying agents

These trading companies are government-controlled foreign companies.

That are involved in the import of a particular product.

Relevant to your area of export should another focus.
Most of these agencies already have buying agents in countries where they are looking to import from.

They go about outsourcing these through agents.

You can contact these buying agents in Nigeria and let them know of your products.

Some of the private consultants can be buying agents for other countries in Nigeria since they know more of the markets than the companies abroad do.

Getting in touch with these agents can help you to expand your market base tremendously.

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11. Online ads

Google and Facebook ads are good ways to advertise your products.

You can place online ads to reach  your target audience.

As a means to get quality leads for your products online.

Once you get these prospects.

Be sure to put things in place where your prospects can contact you .

If possible get their email addresses for follow-up.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

12. Online marketplace portals

For a monthly subscription fee.

These marketplace portals send targeted buyers to your online store.

Which helps you get more buyers to do business with.

13.  Develop a plan for customer acquisition. 

Consider who would make the ideal customer.

If you sell to businesses, consider what department is most likely to buy your products or services.

And what individual (what level of responsibility) would be the one to determine the specific purchase requirements.

Make some calls if you don’t know.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

Determine how long the buying cycle is.

Is buying your product a decision that can be made quickly by a single person?

Or are you selling something that has a long buying cycle, possibly involving multiple individuals?

Next think about how the typical buyer normally finds products or services like yours.

What circles do they travel in?

Are they active in social media?.

Who are they likely to listen to or where do they look when they want to buy your type of product or service.

Write all this information down and look for patterns.

Then, plan ways to put yourself and your information where the people in your target market can find it when they are ready to buy.

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14. Look for and follow business prospects on social media. 

Don’t try to sell to them on their social media feeds. Instead, try to develop relationships.

Retweet or comment on their posts.

Mention them if appropriate in your own social media posts.

JoeSmith gave a terrific presentation on retail security at today’s Chamber meeting.

Your goal: to get known and seen as a friend.

Selling is a lot easier when you sell to people who feel like they know you.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

15. What country to target?

There is no golden rule for finding the country with best buying potential.

Especially for specific business.

looking for clients, you should definitely have some strategy.

Consider what you offer, analyse the situation on the market, check competitors.

But sometimes experimenting can bring interesting results too.

Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

16. Work your local newspapers.

 Even in the digital age, daily and weekly newspapers are still an incredible source of contact information.

And leads to potential new customers.

Watch for names of people who have been promoted.

Who have won awards, who have opened new businesses.

Or who in any way may be potential customers.

Send those people personalized mailings congratulating them on their success.

Or telling them how interesting the article about them was.

Include your company name and slogan plus any appropriate product information with your signature.

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16. Don’t follow the mainstream – find your niche

People from all around the world tend to think about the USA and the UK as perfect places to find their clients.

Some kind of gold mine waiting for them to come and start the cash harvest.

Almost every decent startup, software and tech company with international ambitions have in plans to break into these markets.

Indeed, many tech and software companies successfully operate in low-cost locations and get customers from high-level of income countries, making a great deal from the costs difference.

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Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

17. Sponsor Events.

Watch for events that may bring your potential market together.

Look for fliers about the event at local networking group meetings.

Or, call and ask the organizers if there are sponsorship opportunities available.

Local events can be quite inexpensive to sponsor.

Or if the sponsorship cost is high, they may have  a “Friends” of the event option that will give you the right to have fliers at the event for a very small fee.

Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

18.Use your geo-location wisely and boldly

If you’re located close to the border, check out who is out there neighboring with you.

If there are potential clients in a neighboring country whom you can reach in an hour or two by car.

Why not target them?

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Also pay attention to low-cost flights from your place.

Some destinations might be more accessible (both physically and money-wise) than you think.

Another hack – see if there are companies in your country with operations abroad you could offer your services to.

Be sure there are companies that satisfy your ideal customer profile at the destination you choose

It might seem like a perfect idea to target some specific overseas location.

But are you sure you will find your clients there?

That there are actually prospects interested in your offer over there?

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19.Attend meetings and seminars that your prospects might attend.

If you’ve been doing that and haven’t made contacts that could lead to sales, try new networking groups.

Look in the newspapers to see what other organizations hold events.

That might attract your target market and attend some of those meetings.

Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

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2o.  Put your business name, phone number and website address on anything that you can.

If you are in a service business that uses vans or trucks.

Your name should be on all your vehicles.

So that people who see you servicing others in their neighborhood can quickly spot how to contact you.

It should be on any products  and/or labels on your products (whichever is practical).

Have magnets made up with your name and phone number and attach them to appliances  you repair.

Or hand out to customers and prospects.

The more people who have your name and contact.

The more customers you can acquire.


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