With whom do we fit?
The German market is interesting for many businesses in the surrounding countries. It has a strong economy, well-known companies with networks in the global market and the image of good quality. Germany is an ideal platform for bringing ideas and products from the technical sector to market.
But a good product is often not enough. Every industry has its own visible and invisible structures, regulations and complications seem to abound and interaction with German business partners at a personal level is not always easy. We have a lot of experience in these areas. Do we fit your company's needs?
Convince us about your product! Tell us your story! Because we also want to be able to express it in the most persuasive way. Together with you, we will then develop the sales approach that will work best for you in Germany..
Our way of working is based on personal contact with the people in your company. What we are looking for is rapid decision-making and close cooperation. We do not see ourselves as external service providers, we see ourselves as your colleagues.
Developing a market in Germany takes time, demands patience and requires preparation, down to the last detail. It is essential to understand the structure and rules of the industry concerned. Because if you are well prepared, one chance is enough.
We work step by step
Every company, product and industry is different. The chances of success and the necessary investment can often only be assessed in the course of the project. We work step by step, evaluate the results with you after each stage, and then decide how to proceed. You determine the time schedule and the investment – there are no long-term contracts. And you decide what role we should play, with you and with your customers.
Do we see potential for your ideas in the German market?
To establish this, we perform a market scan which takes stock of market size, competitors, sales channels, pricing, entry criteria and regulation. We then work with you to assess the opportunities and risks that await us.
Because every market has its own rules.
Are your product benefits as relevant to the German market as they are to the Dutch?
What evidence, documentation and certification is required? Does your product complement other products on the market? Together with you we develop a profile of the requirements your product must meet.
Your approach is optimised when all of its components fit the requirements – and are integrated with each other!
'Learning by doing' is the wrong principle when exporting to Germany. So we provide a live test opportunity in order to get input. We present your product to selected experts and test their reactions. We also visit trade fairs and other venues where we can test the product's sales story.
If this throws up a requirement for more homework we make sure that any issues are tackled before going to market!
'Ready to go' means customer contact, product presentation, trade fair attendance – all aspects for which you need sales professionals. Then there are the phone calls, correspondence, order processing and easy accessibility – aspects for which a functioning back office is a must. We offer you both – with your own contact person, German address, telephone number, e-mail address, etc. In other words, your own front office in the German market.
Your cost model
You determine the time schedule and the investment yourself, without long-term contracts. You only pay for the parts you need. You work with us only until it pays you to invest in your own sales organisation. It is, indeed, a step by step process...
1. Introductory meeting
We introduce ourselves, get to know you, draw up a task description and then send you a quote. This introductory meeting is always free of charge.
2. Market scan
We agree a fixed price, which will depend on the starting situation. For example, you may already have market information which we can use. A market scan usually costs 2,000 to 5,000 euros.
3. Product tuning
This step may be skipped, depending on the outcome of the market scan. If product tuning is required, we agree a fixed price for this. External services (e.g. certification, quality marks) are paid by you, directly to the relevant service providers.
4. Live test
We will mention three to five contacts, in advance, with whom we will test the product. This can take place in the context of visits, presentations or fairs. We charge an hourly rate for the costs incurred, agreed in advance.
5. Sales & frontoffice
You pay a basic monthly fee of 490 euros. This amount covers setting up your infrastructure and includes 10 hours of service per month. Every additional hour of service provided by our internal or external (sales) services will be invoiced at an agreed hourly rate. Travel expenses, mileage and external costs are charged at cost. We will also agree a success fee in the form of a commission on sales turnover.
+ hourly rate
6. Duration and cost transparency
You will receive a specified invoice every month. Travel, external expenses and activities involving high costs are always agreed with you in advance. You can terminate your front office at any time, on 3 months' notice. The above-mentioned prices are quoted free of obligation until the order is confirmed and exclude VAT. Our general terms and conditions apply.
When I started my first working day at a Dutch company, on 1 April 1997, my first concern was my lack of knowledge of the language. So in the first few weeks I focused entirely on learning Dutch. But it soon became clear to me that language was actually the least problem. The real communication problems were quite different and made things very difficult for me in the beginning. Much of what I had learned in Germany about organising, communicating, solving problems and also about dealing with colleagues was of no use here and was sometimes even counterproductive. It was a nerve-wracking time: as sales manager for Germany I was confronted with the requirements of German customers, which I had to fulfil according to the rules of a Dutch company.
Since then, this challenge has always remained with me. In the course of my career I became familiar with cross-border cooperation from different perspectives. As a salesperson from Germany I developed markets in the Netherlands and other countries, for a variety of products. Later on, I helped Dutch companies launch themselves across the border.
The terms 'cultural difference' and 'Mentalitatsunterschied' have, in the meantime, acquired a very broad meaning for me. You can do a lot of things wrong in this area. But you can also combine the strengths of those on both sides of the border – into a real success story. Dutch and Germans differ greatly. Though one could also say that this makes them a perfect team.
In 2010 I established myself as an independent consultant and thereafter supervised many 'cross-border' projects. This revealed that small and medium-sized Dutch businesses do need practical support during the initial phase. I then set up Front-office GmbH in 2015, which helps our partners to develop their sales activities in Germany.
Our motto: It's best to work on markets from the inside out.
Please contact us.