Top tips for manufacturers new to exporting

1 August 2016


The Brexit referendum result may have triggered uncertainty but, ironically, the subsequent fall in the value of the pound has created a more competitive climate for UK businesses trading overseas.

Some of these may be manufacturers new to exporting so what advice can be given to them as they start out in generating overseas sales?

Operations director of Lowe Engineering, Leeds, Graeme Walker, says: “We find that it is best to keep it simple and brief and, when talking technically, be aware that your prospective customer may not understand all the descriptive words you may use. Certainly do not use acronyms.

“Patience and perseverance are key to the successful sale - never get into arguments with potential clients, use explanations instead.

“When questions are raised, always respond quickly and politely as if they are your most important customer. This can be quite demanding at times. Always take the call if you can and go that extra mile to build up trust. We are fortunate that the British are traditionally viewed as trustworthy.”

Lowe Engineering, founded as George E Lowe in the 1930s, is currently a steam and water sampling manufacturer, producing technology used in power and process installations. The company also supplies continuous emissions and process gas monitoring equipment.

Graeme Walker adds: “We have successfully exported around the world without actually meeting the end customer on a number of occasions and the order values have been significant.

“Having a man on the ground is a help in most countries, for example the Russian and African territories. However, we do not see the need to invest in an overseas office and prefer to carefully choose a related trading partner through complimentary products, usually a manufacturer or distributer with technical expertise.

“When the currency markets are favourable, we can enjoy up to 50 per cent of our turnover in exports. We suspect that a main reason for our success is that we have been trading for 75 years under our current, or a similar, name and we have a reputation for supplying quality products.

“From our perspective, the EU market is not significant - our main target is the Rest of the World and there is a lot of that to go at!

“New exporters should be aware that not all export opportunities are good ones, you may be contacted by ‘buying houses’ through an email or web page enquiry. These tend to be box resellers and can be a waste of time and effort. They are easy to identify as they will give you only very limited information for what is required.

“As a manufacturer that’s it.  Selling overseas does not need to be complicated although it can be challenging. At the end of the day, they are interested to buy from you - so go for it!”


Chamber International can help you look at the possible impact of Brexit on your existing exports and imports. Contact Tim Bailey on 0845 034 7200 or via email for advice.


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Chamber International - Lowe Engineering