Learn what we do to qualify a cold business lead from China.
There are two ways to perform due diligence: in person and online. Let’s look at both.
We use online research to evaluate three key aspects: company capacity, the decision maker’s background, and the performance of brands they have partnered with.
Decision Maker’s Background.
To get a sense of the decision maker’s background, we go to LinkedIn as well as performing searches on Chinese search engine Baidu to find press releases and articles that might offer clues.
Performance of Brands.
To judge the performance of brands they have partnered with, we look at sales and marketing information on a variety of channels, including TMall, JD.com, WeChat official accounts, Red (Xiao Hong Shu), TikTok or Douyin, Weibo and Zhihu.
It’s always better to get information from real conversations, but it’s important to be prepared so that you know which questions they can only answer in person (that you can’t find answers online).
It’s crucial to pay attention to the tone of the conversation and understand when they may be getting annoyed with all the questions.
…it’s important to be prepared so that you know which questions they can only answer in person…
In a face-to-face meeting, there are a few best practices:
- Be curious. Always ask questions but don’t focus on sales.
- Be complimentary. Ask questions in a way that shows you respect what they do.
- Be open. For sensitive questions, offer information about your own company to help make them comfortable.
- Be aware of who you are talking with. If you sense the person you are talking with is a junior employee, ask for the contact of the decision maker.
Below is a checklist that we use in our due diligence conversations, and where we look for the answers.
Defining the Sector:
- Are you an importer? / Do you have an import license?
- What products do you import, from which regions? Share a brand name you work with
check their company website and WeChat official account
- What product categories are you looking for?
- When was your company founded?
- What was last year’s revenue? Last five years?
- What are your sales channels, online and offline?
- What is your main target audience?
check online sales channels
Defining the Right Contact:
- How many years have you been in the import industry?
- Share a project or case that you worked on
- What were the sales per year of the project?
Armed with these tools, you should be able to develop a clear profile of the company you are interested in before you even pick up the phone and make that call.
Are you attending a trade show in China any time soon?
Download our checklists and have them on-hand when talking to a prospect:
- If you want to qualify your business lead:
Download Our Questions HERE
- If you want to gather feedback about your product:
Download Our Questions HERE