Are International Sales Financially “Off Limits” for your Medical Manufacturing Plant?”
By Mark Aying

When faced with too much competition, instead of splitting the pie, consider making more pie. Expand your customer base internationally.

Many factories can’t handle the start-up and operating expense of a global sales channel. But there’s an alternate strategy: Outsourcing international sales to a rep firm.

My company, Asian Medical, is an outsource sales firm. When I first talk to prospective medical manufacturers, they’re always surprised to find out that It’s not the huge factories that hire me. They don’t need to. They do enough business to have their own overseas sales reps. They pay their own reps’ salaries, office rents, travel costs and other expenses associated with doing business in Asia Pac.

The International Sales “Sweet Spot” for Medical Equipment

Asian Medical’s niche is US manufacturers with annual revenues of $5 million – $100 million. They’re companies that make medical products that are in high demand in Asia Pacific and Middle East with high enough profit margins to afford Asian Medical’s sales commission.

A medium-sized factory may not be able to budget for a full-time international sales rep. But with outsourced sales, it’s “pay for performance” only. The manufacturers rep pays his own sales expenses, so it becomes affordable to open markets that would otherwise be financially off-limits.

Here is what the manufacturing community says about outsourcing their international sales:
“One of our best – if not the best decision – we’ve made in International Sales is working with Michael O’Malley in Asia. He’s extremely knowledgeable, thorough and, most importantly, consistently achieves or beats sales goals each year.”
— Judy Thomas, VP Marketing and Sales, Burton Medical Products USA

“With Michael’s work in developing a network of distributors, our Asia business has grown in double digit figures each year. Michael has helped us develop relationships with our dealer network that are
mutually beneficial and long lasting.”
— Janis Dezso, Bovie Medical

“Burton Medical is very pleased with the marketing efforts by Asian Medical Inc. and Michael O’Malley. His knowledge of Asian business policies and culture is providing our company a continuing growth
pattern. In Asia, our market share is increasing and customer awareness of Burton Medical lights is accelerating.”
— Connor W. Lamm, Burton Medical

Happy Chinese New Year!

In the Western world, 2013 is well under way. But for those of us who do business in Asia, we’re getting ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which starts on Feb. 10 and runs for about 2 weeks. (It’s the Year of the Snake, by the way).

When you do business in Asian countries, you have to understand and be sensitive to their holidays. In Chinese countries — China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam — the Chinese New Year is based on the moon. So the holiday dates changes every year.
You must know when it begins because for those 2 weeks, nothing is done. No one holds meetings in Asia during New Year celebrations!

Over my decades of doing business in Asia, I figured out how to use the holiday to my advantage.

Many Chinese are superstitious. For example, it’s bad luck to have anything outstanding, or bows untied, or things that are not put away before the end of the year. If any of my Chinese customers owes me money in January, I always remind them, “You want to pay that before your Chinese New Year, don’t you?”

Holidays are one example of understanding how a country’s culture can affect your ability to maximize –or detract from–business opportunities in foreign countries.
I wish you a very prosperous Year of the Snake.