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How to Engage Overseas Clients with Confidence

Adrian Hay, Business Development Executive

KSM Group, Phoenix Noise Control

For most small and medium businesses, it is not everyday that you could receive projects from overseas clients. It is definitely not only a huge recognition on your technical ability, but also a good opportunity to expand your business to other regions.

Our firm has started from a humble background of selling electrical equipment to developing our own products in industrial noise control. It was a long journey back since 1982. Throughout the journey, we have some experiences in managing clients from different regions, such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and etc.

But before we get too excited about it, we would like to share some of the key points that we have taken note to ensure a smooth execution of the project. This includes a project that we have undertaken to assist a client who requires a noise control solution related to renovation and redevelopment of four existing oil platforms in the Middle East. Our main task was to assist our customer in solving the complicated HVAC noise issue across all the four platforms.

Ensure a clear, and direct communication between both parties

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Since it could be the initial time that both of you or the person-in-charge get to know each other, it is important to ensure that all the communication is carried out in a transparent fashion. For the first encounter, it may require several exchanges over a period of time, including virtual or physical meeting to build a good level of trust among both parties. More importantly, patience will be virtue here while waiting for the other party to reply. At the same time, it will be ideal if both parties have a basic level of trust before engaging with each other.

We kicked off the solutions by studying the in and out of the overall duct layouts across all the four platforms. With all the information provided, we were able to identify the main noise sources, as well as the noise requirement of each space type.

During the process, we ensure that all the correspondents are clear and direct. This is to avoid any incongruence on the expectations on meeting the technical or commercial requirements. If there is any specific parts that we have no idea about it, we will try our best to clarify with the person-in-charge and ensure that both of us are on the same page before we proceed. This is very important as some clients could be rather demanding on to the very details.  

For example, we need to be very clear on the constraint of space they have on the platform to ensure that pressure drop across the rectangular silencer is taken care of. At the same time, we worked with the consultant to identify the changes in the duct layout to meet the best possibility of noise criteria of each space type. Thus we are able to recommend the best alternative to the duct layout changes to ensure that the acoustic performance is the best for the scenario.

Ensure a prompt reply to the person-in-charge

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Since there is a difference in time and geographical location, we always ensure that we are very prompt in corresponding with our clients. We worked very closely with the consultant to follow the required acoustical recommendation to select the best rectangular silencer for the project.

However, we need to correspond well when there is unforeseen circumstance occurred. This is because this could affect the progress of the project and causing delays to the project. By replying promptly, we are able to convey the message timely to allow rooms for improvement or risk mitigation if there could be any changes required. Fortunately, for the project mentioned, we are able to complete successfully the whole design and selection within the limited time frame. Furthermore, this has increased the level of confidence towards our capability in delivering the project.

Keep proper documentations

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It is always important to keep everything on written record to ensure there is no misunderstanding and miscommunication. At the same time, it will be the responsibility of both parties to keep track of the project’s progress and also keep themselves up to date as well.

In our scenario, this is rather critical when it comes to the fabrication stage. There are quite a few things we need to be aware of.

First of all, we need to make sure that the rectangular silencers are able to meet the stringent standards of our clients in order to withstand the harsh and extreme offshore conditions. Therefore, we need to keep a record of it to ensure that our client is aware that we are meeting the standard they require.

At the same time, we need to ensure that all the stainless steel silencers are to be delivered to the site on time. Hence we could meet the critical requests of our clients.

In conclusion, it could be very exciting to receive orders from other countries. However, we should approach it with confidence and careful steps to ensure a successful project delivery.

We are happy to hear from you all to see what we could improve further during the process of engaging with clients.

KSM Group are specialists in the Electrical, Instrumentation, Noise and Vibration control sectors, dedicated to making environments smarter and more efficient. Established in 1983, KSM Group has since evolved from a humble electrical company to trusted distributed and partner to some of the world’s biggest brands. In addition, we design and manufacture our Phoenix range of in-house noise control equipment. We are the first local manufacturer of top quality blowdown silencers. We achieve ISO 9001 recognition in 2000, a global standard for quality management systems. Our testing lab is the first in Malaysia for air distribution system silencers based on ISO 7235.

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