Exploring foreign countries as a tourist is far different experience than a business trip or trade mission. It is more relaxing and fun. So let your market exploration be so.
1. Talk to Tour Guides
Tour guides came from the same country as you did, but much earlier. They may have lived dozens of years abroad and have outstanding knowledge of local culture, language, infrastructure and everyday life. Share what you do with your tour guides and ask whether it could fit a local market. The answer may be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but in any case you will receive the reasonable response with wide explanation.
2. Talk to Drivers and Hotel Staff
Bus, taxi or boat drivers, unlike tour guides, are usually local middle or upper lower class people. They are a great source of information for you on how ‘simple people’ live, what they are dreaming to have or what they have in abundance. It is a good idea not only to ask them whether they would welcome certain product or service but also discuss very particular questions, such as how much they would pay, would they like the name of the product, what would be the impact of a product, technology or project on their everyday lives etc.
3. Talk to Fellow Tourists
Who knows, maybe not only you are considering the country you visit as a potential market. Share your plans; fellow tourists may advise you what to read, where to go and who to speak to explore the local market. After all, a fellow tourist may be interested and will join you in a market exploration and penetration.
4. Be the Client of Yourself Abroad
If you sell food – visit local grocery stores. If you are in construction business – visit local construction sites. You’ve got the idea?
Remember, your main focus is still to relax and recharge your batteries before the next business season begins. Those simple activities won’t spoil your vacation – they won’t take much of your time. But they may result in a nice sale for your business.
So, try it right away and share your experience in the comments below. Have a good vacation!