The short answer is TRUST- the same thing an international supplier is looking for. A low risk, successful transaction, which hopefully will lead to profit and opportunity for more business in the future.
Trust is required in any exchange. There is risk involved in trade, that is why there is profit in it. We have developed institutions like banks that oversee the exchange of money, payment providers that hold funds until delivery and governments and legal systems that stand behind contracts to assist our dealings with each other because without them trade would grind to a halt.
Throughout history importers and exporters have led the way developing techniques to manage risk.
Today we can communicate with each other so easily online we sometimes forget there are cultural differences that can cause misunderstandings if we do not keep them in mind. A good example to compare different ways of trust and managing risk is PRC and Western countries. In ancient history Chinese merchants and traders were conducting business long before banks could oversee transactions. With so many people they developed their system of building trust over time with business partners and colleagues. Guanxi 关系, literally ‘relationship’ is a mix of interpersonal trust and business or professional trust and it applies both within and between businesses.
Contrast this to the West, where the default position is trust in business. ‘Yes, yes I trust you, let’s get down to business (...after you sign this heavy contract)’. It is a professional and business trust, interpersonal is not so important - at least not at first. David de Cremer expressed the different approach well in this article for Harvard Business Review when he quoted a Chinese executive "In People’s Republic of China you build trust first, once that is achieved, only then you do business" rather than the other way round.
So to sell to Western buyers is easy, right? No. Just because they are in a hurry to trust so they can do business with you doesn’t mean they take unnecessary risks. There is probably the same percentage of unscrupulous people in any culture, everyone is wary. Check back soon for an article on what buyers will look for to check your company . The important point is that they often look closely at a company before they ever make contact with you. (Of course there is no reason you cannot take the same approach.) You might have tens or hundreds of thousands, even millions, of hits on your website or product platform page but few enquiries - and this may be the reason. A first impression showing you are professional and ready to do business is critical.
What this rush to conduct business often causes is misunderstanding between buyer and supplier. Expectations are not discussed as they should be, but I am sure you have heard these things talked about:
So how do we work together so that both sides win? We manage expectations to help the relationship.