Just recently they were in Israel; and then in China. AAT‘s globetrotting managers – CEO Markus Binder and Head of Sales of AAT-Freezing, Martin Kink – have reached a new milestone in their mission to position the BoxFreezer in the most important world markets. We took the opportunity to ask Martin Kink a few questions about the China trip.
How did the China trip come about, Mr. Kink?
At the beginning of December I took a call from a German company that is active in the same market as AAT-Freezing, to ask if we were interested in offering a BoxFreezer to their Chinese customer. The customer then invited us to come to China and present the product in person. Of course, a chance like that is something you don‘t pass up.
Had you never tried to get into the Chinese market before?
Oh yes, we had made several attempts. We sent direct mailings and our embassy tried to make contacts for us, and we went to the biggest trade fair of the meat-processing industry. We made a lot of contacts but none of them resulted in inquiries. I had to learn how you only really get to talk to Chinese companies when someone recommends you to them personally. Finding someone who knows the market and is willing to recommend you is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To be honest, we had almost given up.
And was the trip worth the effort?
Absolutely! We now have a German partner who has a huge international network in our target market. In a very short time, this has resulted in two projects, one in China and one in Poland. Also, we want to use our combined know-how to take advantage of possible product synergies. But what makes me especially happy is that we got very positive feedback in China and as well as a potential customer we have also found a potential sales partner.
Did anything funny happen on the trip?
A customer put on a tasting session of their products and wanted to know what our favourite flavour was. Apparently we explained this a bit too enthusiastically, so that they believed we were the ultimate sausage experts. Five minutes later they had put aprons on us and we had to demonstrate the perfect way to cook these products!
What happens next in China?
We have submitted our offer and are waiting for a reaction from the customer. Together with our new Chinese partner we will position the BoxFreezer on the Chinese market. We are optimistic about having some projects there soon.