It is universally acknowledged that it is easy to imitate others but hard to be yourself.
It is not that you cannot imitate. Imitation is OK, but you need to hold a sense of propriety. In the beginning, you must imitate and learn the merits of others because you need to learn a lot. At this time, imitation can let you make progress as soon as possible.
Mr. Gulong, a famous writer, also imitated Jin Yong when he started his career. At that time, his writing was slightly immature, and his imitation was evident. But, slowly, he formed his unique style of writing, character shaping, and story structure. When the “Lu Xiaofeng’s Legend” was serialized in Hong Kong’s “Ming Pao Daily”, his book has not shown any traces of imitation. Thus, he stood out among the many famous writers in Hong Kong and Taiwan at that time.
The same is true for foreign trade. “Imitation” is actually a shortcut. In the beginning, it can help you adapt and develop as soon as possible. But in the next process, without summaries, thinking, and change, this road will bring you to a dead end. And it limits your thinking and development in turn.
Tips 1: No Universal Templates for Consumers
In foreign trade, the email has always been the main way of communication. Due to geographical differences, salespeople will not have too many opportunities to face their consumers directly. So, most of the work is done by mail. In the beginning, newcomers tend to be at a loss. They don’t know how to write emails and cover letters, how to respond to new inquiries, and how to negotiate with consumers, etc.
Therefore, they will naturally imitate others’ email writing to meet the requirements of the company and develop themselves.
Of course, there is nothing wrong to do so. But, this “shortcut” will limit your own thinking one day.
Case: A joke of super sale rep
When I published “Cover Letter” in the forum, I used many cases to explain the problems in emails from the views of foreign consumers. Also, I have repeatedly stressed that the email cannot be sent in bulk. And salespeople should customize it for each consumer. However, there is still a large amount of mail to be copied. What’s more, salespeople use software to send emails in groups, which make many consumers annoyed. This also gets a lot of hard-working salespeople into trouble.
At that time, a Canadian consumer told me, “I have received more than 1,700 emails from China this week. Apart from the company name and contact information, the content is almost the same. It seems that there is a super salesman in China who works for countless companies.”
I can only smile when I listen.
I give this example to warn that emails can be imitated, but not copied. After all, the situation of each consumer and market is different. There is no such thing as a template.
We need to treat each consumer as an independent individual. So, we should understand the mutual situation and make suitable solutions, instead of treating different consumers in the same way. Otherwise, it is a waste of precious time for each other.
If you have difficulty when writing, you can try to figure out and imitate other well-written emails. You can use and learn some appropriate sentence patterns, and gradually transform them into your own things while imitating. This “transformation” takes time, needs to be practiced, needs to be considered. Simple plagiarism will never bring development.
Tips 2: Character
Someone once asked, “I am introverted, not talkative, not good at dealing with people. Isn’t a person like me unfit for foreign trade?”
In fact, this is not the case at all. What we have to do is to discover our strengths, not to give up because of some shortcomings. Perhaps I can give examples in this way. If you don’t like to deal with people, you can’t make foreign trade. Those who are not good at English are not suitable for foreign trade. People with a strong personality and easy to offend consumer can’t do foreign trade. People with low academic qualifications cannot do foreign trade. Those who are afraid of dealing with foreigners are unfit for foreign trade either. And so on.
However, if such a list goes on, there will be no one in China’s foreign trade circle. Everyone has his own shortcomings and problems. This is very realistic and requires us to face it, rather than treating it as a reason to give up foreign trade.
In my opinion, personality is not the key to your career. The real core is your own interests and confidence. With those two factors, even if you are in trouble, you will believe in yourself, and go all out.
No one is born for foreign trade. Probably, some people are good at communication, English, or like dealing with consumers, etc. But these advantages are not particularly important in my opinion. The whole career is like a long run. No one knows the result without reaching the end. Opportunity is actually relatively equal to anyone. The person who remains in the lead does not necessarily lead to the end; those who are now backward may not always lag behind.
Tips 3: Build Your Own Thinking System for Developing Consumers
I always like to emphasize thinking. In my opinion, as a salesman, what supports your work execution is your overall thinking and knowledge system.
Negotiations, emails, and communication are all supported by the way of thinking behind them. What you do is a reflection of your thinking.
People think differently, and the results may be very different. For example, the salesman sends a sample of $50 to the consumer. Some will feel that interested consumers will certainly pay sample fees, and those who are unwilling to pay are liars. However, some salespeople will think that as long as consumers are willing to bear the cost of express delivery, it is fair and reasonable for them to cover the sample fee.
Or, some salespeople deem that it is crucial to invest in the B2B website because an inquiry can help develop consumers accurately. However, some salespeople believe that B2B is waiting for gains without pains. It is better to take the initiative to search for target consumers and develop in a targeted manner.
I don’t want to judge right or wrong here. Everyone has his own set of guidelines, his own ideas, and goals.
If you want to do a good job in foreign trade, you don’t have to learn other people’s ways of doing things. But you need to try to figure out the angles of others thinking about problems. Building your own set of thinking systems is the point. It is not advisable to follow the herd. You must have our judgments and the ability to think independently.
The foreign trade industry is neither big nor small. Consumers often choose suppliers for their own reasons. Also, consumers hate suppliers for their own judgment. Therefore, we have no way to cater to all consumers with a whole set of methods. We can only communicate and adapt according to different consumers.
Execution is a reflection of thinking for the salesperson. The salesperson needs a comprehensive layout. Such a way of thinking is the key to action.
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