Af Kasper Kølbæk mail
When I visit new customers in Germany, I wear a suit and tie – something I would never do in Denmark. Whether this is because our German neighbours have a better fashion sense is probably doubtful. Nonetheless, differing dress codes is one of the differences that Jacob Himmelstrup experiences when he visits Danish and German customers.
He is the managing director of Linimatic A/S, one of a total of eight participants in the Confederation of Danish Industry’s export readiness course which has been designed to help businesses increase their exports to the German market. Germany is already Denmark’s largest export partner, but Germany still offers Danish businesses plenty of opportunity.
“We are currently seeing increased German demand and purchasing power. At the same time, a number of other large potential export markets, such as Russia and Brazil, are letting us down. That is why the obvious thing for Danish businesses is to jump aboard the German growth train. The course helps participants to identify and establish contact with the right customers,” explains Senior Consultant at the Confederation of Danish Industry Christian Eskelund-Hansen, who is one of the initiators of the export course.
The export course is aimed at small and medium-sized companies in the metal and machinery industry which may not themselves have the contacts and resources to kick down the door to the German market. One of the participants is Linimatic, a small company in the north of Zealand, which specialises in zinc – the company produces everything from cog wheels to hospital equipment and already exports a small percentage of its products to Germany.
“We want to have a greater presence in Germany and acquire more German customers. That is why getting help from experts to identify these customers is a huge advantage,” says Managing Director of Linimatic Jacob Himmelstrup.
Linimatic has been given help to enhance its marketing. Because if Danish companies such as Linimatic are to compete against their German rivals, they need to be fully prepared and ready to move when potential customers show interest. This is something Jacob Himmelstrup has already experienced during the export course.
“During the export course we already set up the first customer meetings, but the other day I received an e-mail from a customer who wanted to move the meeting forward. In a situation like that it is very important to have catalogues and marketing materials ready so that we are able to move immediately,” he says.