Students learn hands-on international sales work
Even one new customer in highly competitive sectors is a big deal. Students have been actively learning hands-on international sales work.
To begin with, Tero Tuomi, a SAMK lecturer, paints a big picture of the current economic situation in Finland. The export industry is facing challenges. Tuomi's conclusion for the grass-root level is that now is the time to spring into action.
Small companies do not have the resources nor the time to sell to other countries even when they want to.
The International Marketing module, led by Tuomi, required students to visit seven companies in the spring. The students, half of whom are foreign exchange students, created an Export Plan for all seven companies and almost all were also given a Sales Manual. However, half of the course was "tough sales work".
– Why are we doing this? We practise with the students. Their self-confidence improves when they realise that selling to other countries is nothing more than approaching another human being, says Tuomi.
One of the participating companies is Konepaja Wingmet from Pomarkku. Even though the work hasn't been completed, Petri Wingström, Managing Director, speaks in favour of working with students.
– We cannot know ahead of time how big benefits we will reap. Securing a new client this way and possibly through a completely different avenue is like winning the lottery in this highly competitive field, says Wingström.
Ahlström Ironworks in Noormarkku is a different kind of company. Here, the students compiled a list of French and Swedish companies and telephoned them to sell them the accommodation, meeting, restaurant and nature services as well as various cultural tours available at the ironworks.
– We are particularly happy about the fact that the students translated our brochures and sales letters into French. We will be using them for a very long time. Students often have new and fresh insightful ideas that are always welcome, says Milla Laurila, Sales Manager.
To be continued. The second course will commence in January 2017.