Having boots on the ground and building strong face-to-face relationships are essential to developing your business in Latin America, argues JCM Global’s Tom Nieman.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ransaction technologies supplier JCM Global presented the LatAm Golf Classic at the inaugural Juegos Miami, with the money raised going to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“We’ve run the AGEM-AGA Golf Classic in Las Vegas for the last 18 years,” said Tom Nieman, vice president of sales and marketing for JCM. “It’s one of the largest charitable events in the gaming industry.
“Last year, one attendee declared it to be the unofficial public holiday for those in gaming, which was quite a compliment. We thought we’d take that same brand down to Miami, 52 players attended on Friday and we had a great time.”
Nieman was impressed with the quality of the Learning Agenda at this June’s event. “I was fortunate enough to attend several of the conferences and I was really thrilled with the calibre of the people they brought in, both the format and the use of translation made it very accessible,” he said. “A first time event is always a gamble, but running a Latin American gaming event in Miami – they were right and it worked.”
JCM has been present in the gaming segment of the Latin American market for decades and has seen success with its bill validator equipment.
“We’ve exported three generations of product to the LatAm markets and our most recent bill validator, the iVizion is doing terrific,” said Nieman. “It has really been the most technologically advanced, certainly the most successful, of any of the currency bill validators we’ve sent down to Latin America.”
We put a great deal of emphasis on being in the market and building relationships in each and every one of the countries where we’ve got opportunities
The company has always maintained a sales presence in the region with JCM’s sales manager for the Caribbean and Latin America, Eduardo Rozen, currently based in Miami.
“I’m always a big believer that you’ve got to have boots on the ground and meet people in country,” said Nieman. “We put a great deal of emphasis on being in the market and building relationships in each and every one of the countries where we’ve got opportunities.
“Eduardo puts in a lot of travel time but we’ve found this approach pays dividends in customer loyalty.”
Nieman notes that Latin American puts a great deal of emphasis on face-to-face relationships.
“More so than any other region of the world, the relationship is every bit equal in importance to the product. You’ve got to have great products but you’ve also got to have great relationships.”
When doing business in the region, Nieman suggests that it’s crucial to have three core components working in tandem. “One has to pull together all the critical elements – price, product and what I call process, and that’s where the relationship comes in. The process means – how easy is it to work with you – it starts with the relationship but it goes way beyond that.”
JCM uses two means of marketing its products, via direct sales and distributors, while in North America the company’s model leans towards direct sales and is coordinated through the JCM sales team this is not the case elsewhere.
“In markets like Latin America you can’t have that as an answer, as the absolute answer, you have to go at into a market in whatever way is appropriate given the individual country and environment,” added Nieman.