How to outshine your competitors at German trade fairsJun 5, 2019
Are you heading to a trade fair in Germany? Germany is Europe’s most significant trade fair country, a favourite destination of businesses seeking growth and exports – and for good reason. Competition is tough and there are many noteworthy competitors fighting for customers’ attention. Find out how you can outshine your competitors at Germany’s massive trade fairs.
Germany is a country that, although it also sells in English, buys in German. In order to succeed at German trade fairs and on the country’s markets in general, it is extremely important to have a command of the language and culture – or to rely on an expert to steer your company through the minefield of cultural differences.
“Many of our potential customers speak only German, and offering service in their language gave us a valuable competitive edge over other businesses exhibiting at the fair. We would absolutely purchase this service again.”
In April, we made our first trade fair outing to the Bauma construction machinery trade fair in Munich together with our customer Rodo Machinery. The week in Germany was a success for Rodo and this success was aided by Juulia Bernhardt, who is in charge of sales and marketing at Traduct. She provided our customer with support in German-language sales and interpreting. Read on to see how you can succeed at a German trade fair.
Importance of knowing the German language and culture
Rodo Machinery’s CEO and founder Jarno Kylander is happy with the trade fair experience. “This was our first trade fair in Germany as our company seeks growth in Europe. Our goal at the fair was to connect with European retailers and potential customers. We were looking for a native speaker of German for our trade fair team, someone with sales and marketing experience in the German market. We knew that the Germans sell in English, but buy in German.
“We chose Traduct as our partner, as they were able to offer us precisely the type of service we needed, tailored for the trade fair. Our trade fair team was reinforced by Juulia Bernhardt, who could carry out sales negotiations in German, represent our products at our stand at Bauma and act as an interpreter in more demanding situations. Juulia was already familiar with our products and German business culture, which helped us to effectively reach our entire potential customer base, allowing us to move straight on to sales negotiations after the trade fair. Many of our most potential customers spoke only German, and offering service in their language gave us a valuable competitive edge over other businesses exhibiting at the fair. We would absolutely purchase this service again.”
How to succeed at a German trade fair
Juulia from Traduct says that, in addition to the international visitors at the German trade fair, there were many Germans who wish to trade in their native language for whatever reason. “This need should not be downplayed because, in German business culture, the German language has an extremely significant impact on companies’ buying appetite. To achieve an optimal result at German trade fairs, it is important to have someone on site who is versed in the German language and business culture. Especially companies participating in a German trade fair for the first time will benefit significantly from the service. English alone will not allow you to reach your entire potential customer base at a German trade fair, that’s a fact.”
“Potential customers’ buying appetite will increase by up to 25% when material is available in their native language.”
Traduct’s new trade fair concept also includes a culture coaching service that we offer together with our partner Birgit Griese-Saarinen from Fideco. Birgit, a cultural consultant, has coached Finnish companies in how to operate on the German markets for over a decade. In addition to broader training packages, you can order from us an hour-long culture coaching session tailored specifically for trade fairs, where Birgit carefully prepares Finnish companies for their German trade fair triumph. The service can be tailored specifically for the needs of your company.
Of course, our trade fair service concept also includes the translation of trade fair material into the desired languages, a key one being German. The importance of German-language material at a trade fair should not be overlooked: research shows that potential customers’ buying appetite will increase by 25% when material is available in their native language.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if your company is headed to a trade fair in Germany! Together, we can plan the perfect trade fair package to suit your needs and help you achieve the best possible results.
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