The Role of the Sales Contact in Gathering Credit Information

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Articles | Comments Off on The Role of the Sales Contact in Gathering Credit Information

The initial contact with a new customer is often a sales person.  Part of the sales cycle is negotiating the sales terms and credit relationship with the new customer.  The following should provide guidelines for sales people to collect information which will support the credit terms and limit decision for international customers.

Correctly Identifying Your New Customer: The name your customer uses in day to day business may not be the legal name of the company.  Be sure to ask for the legal name of your new customer.

Trade references: Just as in the case of a domestic sale (U.S. customer), trade references provide valuable information for evaluating customer credit-worthiness.  Additional international considerations include foreign company trade references, foreign currencies, and communication obstacles.

It is generally acceptable for companies to provide non-U.S. references.  A trade reference from a supplier in an EU country, for example would be considered with equal weight by most underwriters to a U.S. reference.   If the vendor is in a foreign country, be sure to ask for the currency denomination.

Reaching the Referred Vendor:  You may be corresponding with a company in a widely different time zone.  In most cases, email will be a better communication method, since fax transmissions in some countries with poor land-line connections may be problematic.  Ask for an email address, contact name, and fax number for each reference.

Financial Information: If you are negotiating a particularly large sale in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, you may need to ask your customer for a copy of a recent annual financial statement.

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