Relationships key to making it in US defence industry

Relationships key to making it in the USA defence industry

While having a strong brand and excellent product are crucial to succeeding in the US defence industry, establishing good relationships is equally as vital.

Speaking to Defence Connect, aerospace and defence director for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Vince Howie offered his advice to Australian businesses hoping to expand into the US market, saying relationship building should be a number one priority.

"The main thing I would tell Australians is find somebody that they can establish a relationship with, they can trust, so that they can open doors and let them see what it takes to do business in the United States," Mr Howie said.

While it may seem daunting, going back to basics and developing relationships face-to-face is the best way to make an impact in the US defence market, he added.

"I think that for Australian companies, number one is they need to put a presence in the US. Again, that's to develop those relationships. Go out there and meet the companies that do similar things that they do.

"Maybe they'll be a competitor and maybe they will be a source for them someday. Because things happen. You could have a great source today and something happened in their shop and they're gone and they need help immediately, where an Australian company could fit right in. Sometimes, the orders are so big they have to farm them out.

"I think there's a lot of ways to do that, but unless you're looking eye-to-eye, it's tough to do business."

To hear more from Vince Howie, listen to our podcast here.

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