Going International

This week’s column is from Mary Ann Summers, Speakman Company’s Export Manager.  Mary Ann shares what she’s learned in two quick years & the ways she’s gone Speakman’s Export Business.

As a novice in the International arena, taking over Speakman’s International customer base and charged with the growth of that end of our business was a real challenge.  After all, my entire career involved domestic sales. It didn’t take long before I realized International sales were nothing like domestic sales, I had a lot to learn in a very short time.

2009 brought us a struggling economy, the euro-dollar decline was the sharpest since 1999 and many of our business partners were feeling the threat of the fall out.  I soon found out that I needed to find a way to stay close, to reach out and support our International partners so I started calling, found Skype, emailed, sent e-blasts, and even started a quarterly newsletter.

Mid year 2010, two years later, International sales are up significantly. Our success started in the Middle East, in Qatar, with the DOHA Int’l Airport, then in Jordan, with the USAID projects, schools and hospitals.  I owe so much to the team at the World Trade Center – Delaware who mentored me and supported my efforts with round table discussions and just being there to help me find the answers.

Speakman International is a success story and probably one of the most enjoyable challenges of my career.


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