"More than ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of their customers, companies have to move towards delighting them. In other words, exceed their best expectations. While it is true that the decision of the need to buy a mold is very rational, in practice, already in the buying phase, the emotional components come in. "And selling a mold - just like selling any other product - relies, above all, on the ability to establish connections with people."

This was one of the main conclusions of the webinar 'Roadmap for Internationalization', held under the international promotion strategy 'Engineering & Tooling from Portugal'. For the guest speaker, José Carlos Pereira, consultant and trainer, "the ability to relate to people is fundamental to ensure business success".

The international destination markets for mouldmaking exports, and all its current dynamics, require new and differentiated approach models to convert leads into clients, he defended. And he exemplified: in the mold industry, between the amount of quotes made and the results achieved, the percentage oscillates, at most, in values around 5%. "This means that, to achieve 5 million in sales, a company has to budget at least 100 million", he stressed, considering that this scenario can change and companies can, in fact, have a different performance.

"Among customers, those who don't know and don't buy, those who know and don't buy, and those who know and buy, there are a number of opportunities that companies should take advantage of. How? By planning and measuring results", he stated.

Considering the current moment that the economy is going through, he reminded that the pandemic brought a new, more virtual, approach. "And through online media, the goal today is to get customers to visit companies, and not so much that companies devote so much effort to contacting customers, as they traditionally do at fairs or missions," he argued. However, he admitted, "the molds business is a complex B2B", because, in practice, companies don't sell molds, but rather "their highly qualified and professional capacity to do so, they sell engineering, they sell quality, they sell excellence".

In his opinion, what will lead to the client's final decision "is not, in most cases, the price. But rather the certainty that the company will be able to do the best job. That is, trust is, in this aspect, a "key" factor. And if this trust doesn't exist, if you can't create a relationship with the customer, "then, yes, the only thing you discuss is the price.

With the world changing at a vertiginous speed, José Carlos Pereira admits that it's hard not to feel the volatility or the uncertainty. But, in essence, "if we understand people's behavior we often get better results than having the best and most recent technologies.

The strategy of each company has to aim, besides the increase in sales, also at the growth of the organization and its positioning and notoriety. "We have to reach the market not with the price flag, but with the value certification," he added. To respond to a world that today is characterized by fragility, by anxiety, by not being linear and even incomprehensible, he argues that companies have to bet on speed, agility, and adaptation.

Scale and market diversification are, in his opinion, unavoidable paths. However, for companies to be able to orient themselves and walk with a defined path, it is essential that they are guided by indicators and have a real notion of the 'cost' of their clients. Measuring is, in his opinion, fundamental. Because, he stressed, "many times, we apply a lot of resources in the conquest of new clients and we forget to assure that we keep satisfied the ones that are already ours". This balance, he sustains, "is fundamental for the business to run well".

In the specific case of the mouldmaking industry and its international markets, the speaker shared his concerns with the more than thirty professionals that attended the webinar. "In Portuguese molds, 75% of sales are based in 10 markets; almost 50% are in three markets and 60% are in five markets (Spain, Germany, France, Poland and Czech Republic)", he warned, considering that this dependency "may bring negative aspects in the future". As an example, he recalled the dependence on the automotive sector and the challenges that this has posed to companies.

"We need to sell more, better, in new sectors, with new models of approach and looking more closely at the new narratives of virtual and social selling," he considered. Proximity is important, even when we talk about internationalization, he stressed, considering it to be, therefore, very important that companies rely on facilitators and market knowledgeable organizations. And for the strategy to be well succeeded, he concluded, it is necessary "patience, persistence, perseverance, plan, and price".


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