Finding clients and business development in South Korea

Grow your international sales

We provide strategic business development services to grow your presence in South Korea. We help you customize your offering for the country and follow-up on leads or approach new clients.
Especially technology products or sales to businesses or governments may have long sales cycles. Our continuous presence in South Korea ensures trust and prompt follow-up.
International business development
Clients supported
50 +
Flights saved
1
Countries
0 +
Generated on turnover
$ 0 M

How to sell your product or service in South Korea?

South Korea has a population of about 52 million as of 2023. Known for its economic miracle, technological advancements, and vibrant culture, South Korea is a significant global player.

With a GDP per capita of approximately $31,000 USD in 2023, South Korea’s economy is heavily driven by exports. Major industries include electronics (like smartphones and TVs), automobiles, shipbuilding, and steel. The country is also a leader in technological innovation and digitalization.

South Korean Business etiquette

South Koreans are serious businessmen and tough negotiators. Koreans are familiar with English and if well educated, are functionally fluent in the language. However as English is not their native language, do not assume that their appearance of agreement is an indication of understanding. Koreans prefer that a familiar face make the introductions to a new business associate. They are extremely patriotic. Thus any awareness shown by foreigners of Korean culture, is rated highly.

South Koreans play with their cards close to their chest so be prepared for anything! They will always believe that they are negotiating from a position of strength (Customer is King) and try and get the maximum from the deal whilst giving away the minimum.

Confusianism and Kibun in Korean business culture?

If you wish to get familiar with the Korean culture, it’s important to know the tenets on which it’s built. Confucianism stands for virtues like honour, sincerity, duty, respect, filial piety, honour and of course, loyalty. Theoretically, Koreans believe they maintain these values even in the workplace.

Kibun, on the other hand, encapsulates another important trait of Korean culture. It means saving face, reputation, or someone’s feelings. Kibun implies refraining from open insults. But Westerners need to understand that Kibun is often a one way street. As a supplier to a Korean customer, you can lose face, repeatedly, as long as the customer saves his!

South Korea negotiation tactics

The bigger the group that you meet, the more important is your product. Remember that South Koreans will negotiate hard and wear you down, with the expectation that the weak or impatient foreigner will compromise on something to quickly close the deal. So, be prepared and follow these tactics:

  • Schedule your meeting a few weeks in advance. It should ideally be held between 10 and 12 am or 2 to 4 pm.
  • Be on time, inform if you’re late and be patient
  • Be prepared with a gift on the first meeting, but refrain from openly displaying it. Accept and present gifts with both hands.
  • Send in your company information prior to the meeting so that they have time to review it internally within their team
  • State your side of the deal slowly and clearly
  • Reiterate important points
  • Be diplomatic, don’t put yourself or anyone else down (kibun)
  • To other Asians, Koreans don’t say ‘no’ directly so pay attention to body language. Koreans believe too much in the Hollywood image of Westerners, and so will say ‘no’ to them.

Why use our business development services in South Korea?

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

We are active in over 30 countries

We can compare different markets and as we can help you in all of them, we only favor the market that may work out best for you.

You Reduce your risks

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Try our services in South Korea

Our structured approach for market entry

Alliance experts has a proven methodology to start or increase your sales in a new market.

Our local teams in over 30 countries help you define your pitch and convince the right sales channels or clients.

Month 1

Scan phase

  • We get to know your company and offering
  • We make a first long-list of potential distributors, partners or clients
  • We gather feedback from them on your product
  • We review the competition

Month 2

Launch phase

  • We develop the right pitch for this market
  • We list more targets until we have all relevant ones
  • We approach them with your offering
  • We evaluate and adjust the approach where needed

Month 3 and further

Grow phase

  • We follow up on new leads and previous contacts
  • We list and approach more targets where available
  • We involve you in case of interested prospects
  • Every month we report on all contacts we had

Customer Experiences

” During our cooperation Alliance experts showed an effective approach and tracking, professionalism and provided the services reliably and on time. “
Nouraldine Banaeinejad

Nouraldin Banaeinejad

CAN Home appliances

” Alliance experts has helped us with clear insights in a market which was relatively new to us. Even under difficult circumstances they found good dealer candidates. “
Alliance Expert found distributors for Harley Davidson

Vitello Benevetti

Harley Davidson

” Alliance Experts strongly supported our growth in African markets. Innovative, effective strategies, and superb communication. “
James Martin

James Martin

Brabantia

” Outstanding service! Found the perfect partners in within a few months. Our international sales skyrocketed thanks to their expertise. “

Mehmet Aksoy

RR Engineers

” Invaluable local insights led to great distributor matches. Their approach revolutionized our market entry strategy. Highly recommend! “
Francis Huang

Francis Huang

Würth

” Alliance Experts’ tailored strategies boosted our Europe market presence phenomenally. Exceptional service, highly recommended! “
Jing Zhang

Jing Zhang

Kamtec

Companies we've helped with Business development services

Draka Polymer Films
Wella Professionals
Würth
Harley Davidson

We are active in over 30 countries