There are several prerequisites that exporters have to satisfy before they actually sell commodities abroad among which the establishment of business relations with potential customers deserves special attention. Generally, exporters can obtain information about prospect customers overseas through the following channels:
1. Banks in the buyer's country
2. Chambers of Commerce in foreign
3. Consulates stationed abroad
4. Various trade associations
5. Trade directory
6. Newspaper and advertisement
Having obtained the name and address of the prospect customers, the exporter may set out to send letters, circulars, catalogues, and price lists to the parties concerned. Such letters should tell the reader how his name is obtained and give him some details about the exporter's business, for example, the range of the goods handled and in what quantities.
Very often, it is the importer who initiates such an inquiry letter to the exporter to seek for information about the products he is interested in. In such a case, the letter should be answered promptly and explicitly to create goodwill and leave a good impression on the reader. If the inquiry is from a regular customer, a direct and polite reply, with an expression of thanks, is all that is necessary. But if you reply to an inquiry from a new source, you will naturally approach it more carefully. For example, you may add a favorable comment on the goods inquired about and draw attention to other products likely to be of interest.