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Business Partner / Distributor Search in Turkey

Having the right local partners in Turkey is crucial for your success in the market. We have more than 20 years of experience in business partner / distributor / importer search in Turkey bringing hundreds of companies together that are active over a wide range of different sectors.  

You might need partners with different profiles & set-ups; a distributor network covering all targeted regions of the country, a distributor with the required licences to enter local tenders, a sales agent that already has good access & relationship with the major key accounts, a distributor that can provide service & maintenance to your customers, a JV partner or simply a partner to handle the logistics & collection.  

It is too expensive and risky to establish a partnership with the first company that you met and see how it develops. We support you to find the best possible fit to your business & expectations by systematically screening the whole market in your sector. We understand not only the technical & business requirements but also the local dynamics, different business mentalities and motivation of the distributors to create a win-to-win situation. We are building bridges between you and your local partners by supporting you to overcome the cultural differences and language barriers. 

We are supporting our clients not only for the partner search but also continuously or on demand throughout your cooperation. 

In addition, our employee leasing service can provide you the support you need to manage your local distributor network, for example with your own business development manager without registering your own local subsidiary.

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Get in touch with us

Portrait of Berna Gurleyen, Head of Competence Centre-Research Services at FMC Group

Ms. Berna Y. Gurleyen

Head of Competence Centre-Research Services

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+90 542 559 25 86
b.gurleyen@fmcgroup.com

Scope of Business Partner / Distributor Search in Turkey

  • Systematic search of possible candidates according to your ideal business partner criteria through our own database and by desk research to create long-list
  • Interviews with potential key customers to get direct recommendations and feedback about the local players
  • Prequalification of all long-listed companies to create a short-list of the best candidates
  • Interviews with these suitable candidates using a well-structured questionnaire. Assessment of these candidates by our expertise
  • Bringing together the complete overview of all companies, insight of the short-listed candidates, all conducted interviews and brief market information in a detailed report
  • Organizing your market visit for the face-to-face meetings and attending all the meetings together with you providing support and consultancy
  • Strategic advice and brainstorming on your distributor set-up 
  • Reference checks
  • Further support after the business partner search 

Advantages of a Business Partner Search in Turkey with FMC Group

  • Good and fast understanding of your business, products, goals, and needs. Being able to look into the markets as if you have your own eyes in Turkey 
  • Systematic search and evaluation of all alternative companies present in the Turkish market to ensure the best candidates are found
  • Searching partners in the complementary business fields that will match to your own products / services so that it creates a perfect synergy
  • Knowledge of the local market and culture 
  • Cultural guidance, we understand different business mentalities 
  • Collection of specific market information through interviews with key customers and candidates

Business Culture in Turkey

To have successful business in Turkey, it is essential to understand the specific characteristics of your local business partners as the Turkish culture is a combination of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, European and Ottoman traditions. It is more “people” that do business together in Turkey than “companies”.

Non-Verbal Communication in Turkey

  • Interpersonal space is less than in Europe 
  • Tipping your head forward or slight bow means “yes” like in Europe
  • Shaking the head from side to side or raising your eyebrows means “no” 
  • It is rude to blow your nose in public or pointing someone with your finger
  • Indirect communication. No direct “no” as this can be impolite
  • No direct negative feedback and criticism

Business Attitude

  • Can be emotional and spontaneous
  • Expect more short-term orientation and lack off long term planning
  • Very flexible according to the needs and adapting fast to the changes
  • Family and extended family are highly important. Colleagues are part of this extended family and therefore relations to the boss and colleagues are more important
  • Strong leader and often more submissive employees

Meetings

  • It is good to be introduced by third party local contacts as Turkish people might not trust people from outside their circles at the beginning
  • Address your contact as Ms. Or Mr., if you would like to address in Turkish “First Name + Hanım” for ladies and “First Name + Bey” for gentlemen. Add additional titles like Doctor or Professor should be used in addition before the first name, if there are any
  • Schedule the meeting one or two weeks before, confirm in the previous week by phone or email
  • Avoid the public, religious holidays, Ramadan as well as Friday praying time (12:00 till 14:00)
  • Learn and understand the roles of your contacts in the organization
  • To get to know you better, you can be invited to business meals

Negotiations

  • The decision-making process can be long 
  • It might take couple meetings, business meals and meeting with many employees until you meet the key decision maker 
  • Do not push it hard and be patient during negotiations
  • Turkish people trust on people more than the written agreements so take your time to establish this trust
  • Bargaining at many levels is most likely
  • Maintaining a friendly but consistent position

A Client Example for Distributor Search in Turkey

Client Situation: A European industrial cleaning machinery producer wanted to have a network of sales agents in different regions of Turkey. They did not have any direct sales experience in Turkey before but only a few of their machines were already available in the market through different channels. They aimed to utilize their full potential in the market where there was already strong international competition. 

Project scope:  First, market conditions, direct competition and their local organizations were explored. With key customer interviews, their needs, current machinery park, technical service requirements, payment terms and all other recommendations are identified. Project adapted to search of one strong exclusive distributor according to the local conditions of their segment in Turkey giving exclusivity after first year if targets are reached. 

Accordingly, distributor search started by making the long-list of possible companies. All long-listed companies are contacted & evaluated according to the ideal distributor criteria that has been set such as sales network, reputation, current customer portfolio, technical service network throughout the country, interest, and foreign language skills. Most suitable companies are short-listed.  After a market visit to the potential distributors together with FMC Group Project Manager, all candidates are further evaluated. At the end, one company has chosen as the distributor in Turkey. 

Result: Successful relationship since 2012; even during Corona times. Through the years, FMC Group supported them in a flexible way; from accompanying the distributor in the initial trainings to effectively communicating the sales improvement strategies of our Client to the distributor.