As a telemarketing and lead generation services provider, The Lead Generation Company export is the ability to help other companies export to the UK. Trust is a critical element in what they do, so we spoke to them about how they sell Scotland every day as a nation of trustworthy and honest people who always want to help others.
What does your company do?
The Lead Generation Company is a fast growing, multi award winning B2B telemarketing, lead generation, appointment setting and marketing database company. We help businesses in other countries to export their own products & services to the UK via lead generation and appointment setting services.
When was your company launched, who by and why?
2013 by Steven Smith (Managing Director)
How long has the company been exporting?
What do you currently export, and where to?
USA, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Norway
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
The realisation that the UK marketplace is restrictive and competitive for what we do. Where we can add value and stand out from the competition is to help companies who want to export their own products & services to the UK. Therefore, what we are exporting is the ability to help other companies export to the UK! In other words we are selling sales to businesses in other countries to help them sell into the UK marketplace.
What is the easiest part of exporting?
Nothing is easy! The easiest part is talking with customers and understanding their business.
And the most challenging part?
Client expectations! Progressive companies appreciate that it takes time to build a sales pipeline and that it’s not always the sales person’s fault if the market is not immediately receptive to a product or service. It takes time to build a pipeline and time to get in front of senior decision makers. Trust is also critical as we are a service provider rather than selling a physical product. But we sell Scotland every day as a nation of trustworthy and honest people who always want to help others – it’s in our DNA.
Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
All of the above, it’s about empathy. Appreciation that each culture is different and not to take this personally.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International have been brilliant!
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
To realise the world is not a big place anymore. With the world moving to digital, everyone is contactable.
To ‘be findable’ as you want to appear when people start looking for your product or service. You need to blend inbound and outbound marketing to drive and sustain growth.
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years time?
We are looking to establish ourselves as a ‘go to’ lead generation company for businesses in other countries who want to target the UK marketplace. In that respect we want to draw enquiries from these companies. Therefore, there is no restriction to what markets we can assist as long as it is business to business. However, after three years of exporting we can see a clear and present opportunity with companies in the Nordic region.
Whereas we are very fortunate to receive so many inbound enquiries, we are currently developing an outbound sales strategy to start approaching relevant companies to drive our export business. With the weak pound, the UK is an attractive place to do business if you are based in the Nordic region.
We can also charge a higher price (and normally do so we do not appear too cheap given the exchange rates!). Through our Business Gateway contacts we have started to research who, where and how to approach these markets.
In 5 years time international sales are targeted at 50% of turnover meaning some £1,000,000 in sales.
The Lead Generation Company have been shortlisted in the E-Commerce, Most Entrepreneurial and Micro Exporter of the Year categories at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Enterprise. Join us on 22 March to celebrate international trade across Scotland.