LittleUpStarts

US Sales. New Business & Market Development
Sell. Build. Expand.

The United States of America is home to one of the world’s most competitive economies & with one of the largest consumer markets in the world, there’s a good chance there’s a strong market for your business

Market Year Stats USA
Population 2010 est 313.2 M
No. Households 2010 est 114.8 M
Currency 2010 US Dollar
GDP 2010 $14.72 T
GDP Growth Rate 2010 2.70%
Inflation 2010 1.60%
Unemployment Rate 2010 9.70%
Population Below Poverty Line 2010 15.30%
Imports 2010 $ 1,935 T
Exports 2010 $ 1.289 T
No. Mobile Phone Users 2010 279 M
No. of Internet Users 2009 245 M
Sales Tax (paid at point of sale) 2010 0-10.25% (State & Local)
Applies at Point of Purchase

 

Understanding US Business Culture

While the American’s & the British may appear similar in language & culture, the two nations are actually quite different. Understanding the idiosyncrasies between them will ensure you’re better equipped to enter the market, negotiate deals & develop long-term business relationships.

Building Relationships - Americans often build relationships through business, not business through relationships. Work out the details of the deal first, the relationships will come later.

Active Selling - Is expected, often to a degree that might be considered excessive in the many markets, particularly the UK & mainland EU.

Time is Money - Be well prepared with samples, packaging & sales sheets. Know your ROI, sales forecasts, pricing & the logistics.

Deadlines - Are Real & Short!  Respond quickly or risk losing the business.

Know Your Competition - Know your competitive advantage over specific US suppliers, as well as your domestic & international track record.

Say What You Mean - Being direct is a virtue;  Ask for what you want, Say what you mean & Do what you say.  Being shy & unassertive may be seen as weakness in the US. Americans won’t take offence to well-phrased, direct questions because they ALWAYS reserve the right to say no.

Be Positive - The British tendency to be self-effacing or downplay achievements can CLASH with Americans ‘Can-Do’ attitude & tendency to take information at face value.

Follow Up is Key - Effective follow-up is essential & often involves persistent & repetitive attempts to make contact. If you’ve called or emailed someone 2-3 times & haven’t heard back, don’t assume they are disinterested. Instead, remember that persistence is expected in the US; it may take you as many as 10+ attempts to get a response, whether positive or negative.

Business Etiquette - Conduct in the US is generally conservative, polite & succinct; it is important to clarify the Benefits for your prospective customer.

Articulate Your Competitive Advantage - One of the keys to success is having a strong product or service offering & being able to clearly articulate your competitive advantage.

US Buyers are Time Poor & Bombarded - With marketing collateral & sales pitches from hundreds of companies, it’s extremely difficult to get their attention. Success in the US is often based on persistence. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to need to hear your message a no. times before they can differentiate it from all the others.

Increase Your Chances of Getting Noticed - by keeping the message concise & diversifying the channels you use to deliver it, such as email, phone, publications, third parties & personal visits.

Americans are Creators of  30-Second Sales Pitch - Whether you like or loathe the idea, the level of marketing noise bombarding buyers & the no. of competitors makes it a necessity. You need to be sure you can move a US buyer from passive disinterest to curious engagement as quickly & effectively as possible – ideally in 30-60 seconds!

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