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Chapter 13. International Sales > Credit Card Orders - Pg. 189

International Sales 189 Once you have found a relevant site, you can email the Webmaster or whoever is responsible for the site and inquire about advertising or swapping links. Since people are more apt to hear about small companies from their own country and therefore visit those Web sites, this is an ideal way to promote your store in other countries. Assuming you advertise or link on a well-respected foreign site, you will gain immediate respect through your association with the site. If you have enough money in your advertising budget, you can look around for some relevant foreign magazines and newspapers in which you might be able to advertise. You should be able to get some contact information from one of your foreign customers, a foreign Web site with which you have a relationship, or by searching the Web or domestic magazines. As far as searching the Web, you can simply add the word magazine to the type of search we discussed when looking for Web sites. You should also check out some of the larger bookstores and magazine/news shops that might feature an international section. When you do begin to gain international customers, be sure to ask them how they found out about your business. Many of Tronix's inter national customers found the site through newsgroups, links on smaller product-related "webzines," personal home pages, and major search engines. This will give you a better idea of how they are ending up on your doorstep and where you should focus your international promotional efforts. Joe's Take: I've seen my international business grow in a pattern. I started out with a few customers from Germany and the Netherlands, and within a few months I noticed an increasing number of new customers from those two countries. Shortly thereafter, I received my first orders from Japan, Brazil, France, Canada, and Israel. Within a few weeks, I had many new clients from these same countries. Tip When supplying information about your Web site to the many search engines available on the Net, it is essential to include in your company description that you ship worldwide and specialize in exporting products. You should also try to become involved in newsgroups that not only deal with your particular type of store but also are dedicated to imported prod- ucts or foreign countries. International Telecommunications The majority of your international customers will use your online order form or standard email to place orders so they can save on the cost of expensive phone calls. International phone orders will be rare. If you feel that it is important enough to your business, you can order international toll-free service, which is offered by both AT&T and MCI. You might want to offer this service only to your most loyal international customers. With AT&T, the same toll-free number you use domestically can also be used internationally. Several options are available, described on the AT&T Web site (www.att.com), including AT&T Direct 800 Service, AT&T Toll-Free Service, and AT&T Universal Freephone Service. MCI International Toll Free Service offers call routing, call termination, and network management services. For more information, visit the Web site (www.mci.com), contact your nearest MCI branch office, or call 1-800-988-9294. Credit Card Orders As with domestic orders, international credit card orders need to be verified. Credit card fraud is not just an American phenomenon, and verifying an international credit card can be a more time-con- suming process than verifying a domestic card.