To demonstrate some of the drags to market entry and/or deeper market penetrations, and to show how not having a internationally competent US SME compounds the problem, please note the veritable, secular, stations of the cross that the pioneering rep must bear in seeing whether the principal’s product or service gets not just procured but accepted in a foreign country:

  1. The principal has a monological, international business belief system where non-dissent by staff creates a confirmation bias among its paid employees
  2. The principal lacks both an international vision and in-company person that has the knowledge and authorization to reality-instruct domestic-focused management
  3. If there is a change in the principal’s management that the rep inherits, when all of the previously shared, institutional, international knowledge gets shoved out the door, there is also bound to be a shallowing of the pools of shared meaning/values that were formerly extant in the rep/principal relationship
  4. The principal believes that a foreign importer/distributor in a given country should know all potential customers and KOL’s in its country without having to rely on the rep for new introductions
  5. The principal believes the foreign namelessness of its brand, and its continuing anonymity, can still be reliably offset by its IP, its US clinical studies, the product’s functionality and the right distributor
  6. The principal believes it should not be obligated to do coop advertising of its brand with its foreign distributors – that the burden should be the foreign distributor’s alone
  7. The principal fails to understand the ongoing threat the foreign distributor feels to exclusive distribution rights to a brand they helped build awareness for
  8. The principal has such a short-term fixation on profit margins that it tries to justify not doing coop advertising with the rep’s foreign distributors (to raise an awareness of a brand), yet still complains at the infrequency of a foreign customer’s reorders
  9. The principal management lacks situational awareness and is disinterested in trying to appreciate foreign currency fluctuations, legal barriers, non-tariff barriers, cultural nuance, foreign regulatory organizations or macro-economic realities
  10. The principal fails to recognize how much “snake oil” surrounds new health, beauty and medical products claiming to do extraordinary things and what a drag such claims and assertions can have in entering foreign markets.