Adapt to new normal of conducting B2B negotiations, exporters told

Filipino exporters are advised to adapt to the new normal of executing business-to-business (B2B) negotiations with the growing importance of digital technologies amid the pandemic.

Alma Argayoso, Consul Commercial at Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PITC)-Sydney, Australia, said they must learn how to adapt,pivot and evolve their businesses.

“Benefits of doing digital such as in the case of physical trade fairs where you get to have F2F or face-to-face negotiations, going digital allows you to have 20/7 access to global buyers. You can explore new markets, do targeted marketing campaigns, get access to analytics, and there is that sustainable factor beyond the pandemic,” she said.

Argayoso said digital negotiations involve preparation, presentation, negotiation process, follow-up, tracking, and virtual signing of contracts.

“Sometimes or most of the time, the negotiation process does not happen in just one meeting but over a course of several meetings so in such a case you need to follow up and then track the progress of negotiation by using a customer relations management software or sales enablement software,” she said.

“Then there’s bargaining during the discussion and then if you are successful, then perhaps the party will accept and consider the terms of your offer and then you proceed to signing a contract,” Argayoso said, adding the need to send through post or courier the signed copy or copies of the contract.

She said the trade office and the embassy or consulate can help “bridge the divide” considering everything is now done virtually.

Argayoso said these can do background checks like whether Filipino exporters are dealing with a legitimate company, meet their clients or potential clients, and provide other relevant business, market or economic information.

“We can scope your competition or the market. For instance, we go tothe grocery anyway every week so we could definitely provide that information in terms of your competition in the market like similar products, what are the pricing, and for instance how does it look, what are the ingredients, how is it positioned and all that,” she said.

Argayoso said the trade office and embassy or the consulate also help negotiate market access, and promote and patronize products.

“We can help negotiate market access if it is something that’s not allowed in a particular market, then we help with that in terms of the market access,” she added. “And then of course, we can promote your products. Certainly, we can do this and we do this through our platform so we have our Facebook, we have our Instagram and then it’s also featured in some of our videos and all that.”

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