In case of Japanese industrial machinery or automotive market, it seems that there are misunderstandings among foreign companies about your future Japanese customer’s decision maker (or key person) to purchase of your products.
It is important to propose your propose your products to appropriate person who is decision maker. So I will explain who is the real decision making person to purchase your products in this market.
1. Purchasing person
Most of foreign companies firstly contact purchasing person of your potential customer. But If your customer is industrial machinery or components manufacturer, purchasing person is not appropriate person to contact. Of course, purchasing person is officially the window to product suppliers. But their actual mission is only to reduce the purchasing cost. And most of them are always thinking about it. Therefore even if you want to propose your products which are expensive but high performance or functionality,?purchasing person will not be interested in your products. And the actual key persons are generally engineers, as purchasing person is just follow to engineers’ choice of products.
2. Engineering manager
Engineers are key persons to choose your products. However, it is very important to understand that engineering managers are generally NOT key persons. Engineering managers actually have power to decide many things, but they usually follow to their staff engineers. It is because these engineers work on evaluating your products. So once engineers ask their engineering manager to purchase products, this manager will usually approve it then request purchasing department to purchase. So?generally engineering managers are NOT key persons.
3. Engineering person
As I explained in the above,?staff engineers are generally key persons to propose your products. However, the problem is that it is very difficult to get contact information of these key persons. And if you ask purchasing person to introduce such engineer, they will usually refuse it as they know engineers are very busy on many projects. Maybe?the best way to find such key persons would be ask Japanese sales representative to look for key persons. Then they will continuously and persistently look for these key persons if they are professional sales people.
And maybe, the most important thing for foreign companies to enter into Japanese market is to find appropriate Japanese partner who know the market of your products.