Selling is a skill that any commercial have but it is true that the ways to sell are changing in every country and Middle East is not an exception.
In this scenario, it is important for companies and manufacturers to understand how they can start selling in the Middle East or what are the business opportunities in the Middle East to make good profits.
When planning to expand your business in Arab countries, you first need to understand the culture and traditions of the region. Selling a particular product in a way that appeals to the residents of the country is a quick and sure approach to achieving success.
1. Family as a tribe
Middle Eastern countries are collectivist in nature. They exhibit a high degree of attachment to their families, groups and tribes. Therefore, while selling in Arab countries, it is important to respect the family traditions and elders and collectivist nature of the people there. You can cater for the collectivist nature by featuring a family using a particular product on the website or packaging, or by customising the product for family or group use.
2. Language and religion it matters
In most Middle Eastern countries, Arabic is the first language. However, many of these nations know English and use it routinely; they still prefer Arabic to English. When selling anything in Arab countries, it’s a good idea to have packaging with Arabic writing. Clearly, you will have an advantage over your competitor who does not recognize the language tradition .
Remember as well, any business in the Middle East must keep in mind the religious faith, holidays, customs and traditions of Islam. For example, most organisations in Arab countries are closed or half open during the month of Ramzan, as Islamic nations observe a strict fast during this time. Rarely does any enterprise function fully. Therefore, before seeking business opportunities in the Middle East, companies should ensure that they will not interfere with Arabs during Ramzan.
3. Luxury show status
Wealth and luxury are ways to show status and respect in society. Furthermore, most Arab countries are wealthy and can afford luxury as a basic necessity. Thus, businesses selling luxury are doing very well in the Middle East compared to other businesses selling economic products or those that do not define class. Sellers can provide a hint of luxury in their products in one or more of the following ways.
Packaging in rich and expensive packaging tailored only for Arabs is one way to make products look classy.
4. Relationships more than transactions
For Arabs relationships are more important than transactions. However, now the focus is gradually increasing on quality, after-sales service, profitability, maintenance and support costs, etc., but relationships still have the highest priority. If a company manages to establish a good relationship and rapport with an Arab, it will surely close a deal.
5. Be There or not
To start selling in the Middle East and do profitable business in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, it is important to comply with their laws. It is legal to sell in these countries by using one of the three ways below:
You can choose to sell in Arab countries directly from your home country through e-commerce. Although e-commerce has yet to establish a strong foundation in the Middle East, it is still a growing business with many opportunities in the future.
Trade Agents – This is a common sales method in Middle Eastern countries. Most US manufacturers engage middlemen or sales agents or authorize their distributors in the Middle East to sell their products and services. Nevertheless, in this case, the manufacturer has to share the profits with the middleman. And therefore, such businesses are less profitable.
Physical presence – If you are wondering how to do business in the Middle East to make the biggest profit, this is the best answer to your concerns.