Selling Products and Services Abroad (Int)


Students will discuss the marketing challenges of selling products to foreign markets.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
Sales and Marketing

Warm Up (5 mins)

Why do you think foreign companies might sometimes have trouble selling their products in Japan? Can you think of any examples?

Do you think Japanese companies have an advantage selling in other Asian markets compared to European or North American companies? Why or why not?


Listening (5 mins)

Watch the following video about an Australian swimwear export company.

1. Why did Duncan choose New Zealand as his first export market?


Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the article.

1. What should a Marketing Manager do before entering a foreign market?

2. Why are trade shows helpful when making an export plan?

Grammar (5 mins)

Noun Phrases

Sometimes a "noun phrase" can be the subject of a sentence, often used together with a "be" verb.


Answer with Noun Phrase

What would you miss if you lived in a foreign country?

The biggest thing I would miss is my favorite foods.

Which European city would you like to visit?

The place I would like to visit the most is Paris.

Who do you admire?

The person I admire the most is Mother Teresa.

What kind of product are you working on?

The product we are working on is a new kind of cooking appliance.

What do you worry about on a long trip? One thing I worry about is...
  The thing I worry about is...
  Something I worry about is...
What are you saving money for? One thing I am saving money for is...
  The thing I am saving money for is...
  Something I am saving money for is...
What do you miss about your home town? One thing I miss about my home town is...
  The thing I miss about my home town is...
  Something I miss about my home town is...

Complete the above sentences using noun phrases.

With your instructor, practice making answers to original questions using noun phrases.

Vocabulary (5 mins)

Word or expressionExample sentence
deviceAn electronic or electrical machine. Usually small and simple to operate.
distributorAn agent who agrees to help sell a company's products to the end customers.
wholesale discountA reduction in price given by manufacturers to a bulk distributor.
outsourceTo hire an outside company or individual to do tasks normally done internally by company staff.
depreciateTo lose value.
hedgeTo sign a contract which limits the price range a company must pay for a currency or commodity.
We won't make enough profit on this item unless we negotiate a better __________ from the manufacturer.
Our Financial Controller is going to ______________ the price of oil for next year.
I just bought a ____________ that can translate ten different languages.
If you can't find a ____________ for this equipment part you'll need to contact the manufacturer directly.
Financial experts believe the Japanese yen will _____________ next year against the U.S. dollar.
The IT project was too difficult for us to complete alone so we decided to __________ it to a software expert.

Complete the above sentences using the new vocabulary items.

Try making original sentences with the new vocabulary.

Role Play (15 mins)

Wayne:Akiko, I'd like to talk to you about how we sell our new Medi-Slim1000 weight monitor device in the Taiwan market.
Akiko:Alright. Well as you know, we've never entered that market before but all the market research suggests it's a good opportunity for us.
Wayne:Do you know any local distributors that we could work with?
Akiko:Yes, there is a Taiwanese company that has expressed interest. But they want a fairly deep wholesale discount from us.
Wayne:OK. Maybe we could look at creating our own sales team instead. How about shipping costs? Will it be expensive?
Akiko:We've had a quote of 1500 yen per unit from our main international shipping agent.
Wayne:Alright. How about local advertising? Can we handle that or should we outsource?
Akiko:Well considering the language differences, we thought it would be best to use a local agency to handle the online promotion campaign.
Wayne:One thing I am worried about is the exchange rate. What if the Taiwan Dollar depreciates? How will that affect our margins?
Akiko:I've spoken to the finance team and they say we can hedge against any extreme currency change.
Wayne:Fine. Let's organize a project team to start working on this.

Try the role play again but this time imagine your company has a product or service that you want to sell in a foreign country.

Extension Activity

What are some of the biggest challenges that Japanese exporters must face?

Can you think of products popular in Japan that have failed in some foreign markets? Can you think of any foreign companies that failed when they tried to enter Japan? What happened?

Review and Quiz (5 mins)

Do you have any questions about this lesson?

What did you learn today?

Did you learn any new vocabulary or expressions?

Ask your instructor for tips on how you can improve your English.

Finally, don't forget to take the quiz after all your lessons are finished today.

Thank you !