Questions to Ask In International Marketing


Imagine if you wanted to export pharmaceuticals to a country such as Rwanda. While the idea of international sales and global marketing might sound fun and sexy, there are several things to ask.

What questions might you have?

• What is your connection with the client? The danger in all trade deals is circumvention. Will that happen to you?

• Is the client the retailer as well as the importer? If Rwandan pharmacists are also the importers, do they understand importing (including all aspects of

trade, shipping, financing, warehousing, international payments, import compliance)?

• How many people are in the transaction? How many people need to be paid from this deal?

• Are you going to run into any legal problems in right here in the United States? Is permission needed from any government agency (or the manufacturers
themselves) for you to export drugs?

• What paperwork is will be required in the United States? And who will makes sure that there is

• What is the financial model behind this? Can you “follow the cash flow” to determine this project’s feasibility?

• Will local governments require that you use one of their distributors?

• Is this a potential regulatory nightmare?

• How with the Rwandans use international payments?

• What kind of marketing, sales or IT support will the Rwandans need from you?

• Is bribery necessary within Rwanda? If so how will you handle the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), which prohibits U.S. companies from paying bribes?

• Are shipments insurable in case of damage or theft? Which firms ship to Rwanda and what are their rates? Will warehousing be needed?

• When do you get paid? Understanding what triggers your payment, who releases it and when, is crucial.

• Unless you can hold the pen, meaning you control all the money coming in and going out. If you need to be in the middle of this transaction, can you collect all the money and pay it out when appropriate?

• The final question is: Do you really know how to do international trade deals?

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