Friday, November 4, 2016

How To Build Export Sales In Four Steps

Redo your spreadsheets, look for differences.   Here comes the announcement at
* Aug, 2016 trade data are now posted. Our practice is to update Dataweb as soon as possible after the Census Bureau releases monthly trade data, generally within three business days.Notice: The import and export data on Dataweb for 2010-2015 have been updated as of July 2, 2016 based on the latest official revisions from the Census Bureau (the first official revisions for 2016 data will not be available until June 2017). For the years prior to 2010, Dataweb will continue to show import and export data as originally issued by the Census Bureau with no revisions.
Yes, we begin with passion and joy, and then ground our strengths in what real world trade data (commodity, prices, target markets, trends) to form a scientific hypothesis to test.  Central to proceeding in int'l trade is the rock solid trade data.  Not the pointless junk you can buy at the 4 digit HTS level, but the most specific 10 digit level, which can only be had by gathering and analyzing it yourself, by hand. And in so doing, you have information no one else has.  Knowledge is power.  Five years is enough trend info, and then there is the practical problem wrong numbers stay wrong after five years.

And you must keep up on the trends.  So every year say around April, the full year data may be updated.  But when you find something that just looks dead wrong, like the price of caviar exported from USA (yes, we do...) then you must jump on it and get a review:
From: "M DDate: May 13, 2015 2:38:36 PM PDTTo: "johnspiers@b
Subject: Data Inquiry
Dear Mr. Spiers: This refers to your email concerning the unit price for exports of caviar (Schedule B number 1604.31.0000) to Japan during 2014. We have reviewed the data and have revised the reported statistics. Please make note of the following attachment and revisions to our published statistics. Thank you for your interest in the accuracy of our trade statistics. If you have further questions contact *****  The attached revisions are also available on our website at: In June, our revised monthly data for the three prior years will be available through our on-line data product, USA Trade. For information on our current revision policy go to:
So here are the changes made after the challenge:

Corrections to Published Export Data

SHOULD READDomestic20161604.31.0000Japan74KG1,489$19,368

SHOULD READDomestic20151604.31.0000Japan589KG30,804$222,097

SHOULD READDomestic20151604.31.0000Japan288KG9,064$117,896

SHOULD READDomestic20151604.31.0000Japan21,847KG21,759$1,097,248

SHOULD READDomestic20151604.31.0000Japan12,953KG13,517$970,738

SHOULD READDomestic20151604.31.0000Japan637KG21,729$282,607


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Management Division, Washington, D.C., 20233

The analysis on the original trade data looked ridiculous.  The client whose first foray into trade data analysis, in this case the trade data on caviar,  rejected it as impossible, evidence of criminal activity, anything except reality.  I advised him to challenge USCensus on the underlying data, and indeed they found it wrong (unlikely a Census problem, most likely a source problem corrupted data at the collection point, etc.)

Now, since we work at the ten digit level in data analysis, the new caviar trader introduces himself with information, at that point only someone in USCensus and he could have, could possibly have (OK< also me, but I am not in caviar), for a month or so.   The trader with this may make news, enhance his image and grow his business, as Ogilvy demands.

Yesterday I received this, in part of an email, from another student...
...the VP of sales I spoke with today told me "obviously you (meaning me) have been exporting for years"!  I explain my plan just as you outlined in your class (did not tell me I just completed my second class with you on Tuesday).
I followed up as you stated and found out the person I tried to contact is no longer with the company so I sent the same information update with the new VP sales contact information and we setup a call to review the opportunity to be a selling agent with them.  Finally schedule this morning.
My first question was are you currently exporting, she said no but do have sells in *****.  I told her from my data ***** and ******* are markets I would not presue because they are NOT growth markets and the price per kilo in on the decline.I explain my test market 1 size fits all (preselected pallet of product) with the MOQ FOB LCL and creating a website for serious buyers only.I told her it will be the same as a domestic order.  Her major question was who pays for all the export fees etc...I told her the buyer who imports that is their responsible.
Just so...  what I present in my classes is what I learned on the job the first decade I worked for others.  I've been self-employed since then.  I teach on the side, and as such have gathered the meta-study data that shows what I teach is also how it is done.  It is no secret, but I am the only one teaching it.  For reasons I can only imagine, no one else teaches what is effective.

The work is also crucial to economic recovery, as in YOUR economic recovery, so I am running another special session of my online seminar:

Fall Special Session  2016 
11/15- 12/6/2016   Four Sessions
Section One ~ 6 PM to 7 PM Pacific Time
(This would be 7 PM to 8 PM Mountain, 8 PM to 9 PM Central, 9 PM to 10 PM Eastern)

The tactics taught here relating to food can be used for any product, but the specificity fits with the brevity.  Here is more info on the course, and you may enroll here.... (scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the form at the bottom of the page for this special session.

eMail me if you have any questions. (Ask John in upper right)

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a masterful deployment of your tools and tactics by your student. I hope that this leads to fruitful rewards for them. As you so aptly state that most small to medium size businesses don't have an export plan or department and this creates an opportunity for us if we show them our due diligence.