Savvy business owners understand the importance of attracting and keeping customers. In today’s global marketplace, it’s not enough to offer a quality product at a fair price. Businesses must understand the preferences of their local and global prospects, and use that knowledge to build business practices that are appealing and effective.
Let’s discuss three tips that will help businesses thrive internationally:
Understand the nuances of how people buy around the world
Assuming all buyers shop and reach decisions the same way will set a business up for failure, especially if the client base is partly international. Conduct research of the target client’s buying process, and modify your sales process accordingly. For example, people in Latin America often prefer to do business with people they know. Unfamiliar new businesses start off at a disadvantage. The answer in this case is for companies to sell products and services through a reseller with whom their customer base already has an existing relationship. (Note to be certain to conduct due diligence on resellers to ensure their credibility).
Become familiar with your audience’s culture
To be successful internationally, a business leader must do his or her homework on the preferences of their potential customer in regards to the culture. For example, Japanese buyers favor more formal communication styles. Companies interested in conducting business in Japan should use wording and phrases on their website, marketing materials, and during customer service calls that convey a more formal tone than if they were marketing to Americans.
Prepare to deliver the service
Buyers in all countries want to receive the product or service they purchased at the agreed upon cost and in a timely manner. In addition, it’s important to international customers for businesses to respect other aspects of the buying experience. This means maintaining awareness of different time zones, and offering customer service options convenient to the buyer. The business also needs to be able to communicate in the buyer’s language if any issues arise. Being unavailable to the customer or difficult to communicate with after the sale is detrimental to a business trying to attract international buyers.
Conducting international business effectively is a challenging process, but it is worth it to be able to reach entire countries of new customers. By following these three tips, business owners will be able to attract and keep international customers and enjoy the end results of a wider client base and greater company revenue.
Stay tuned for the next posts in our series on doing business internationally where we will discuss further nuances on how people buy around the world as well as how to communicate effectively to an international audience.
About the author:
Martina Iring is the Content Marketing Strategist for eBridge. She handles all forms of copywriting, including website content, blog posts and press releases. She has worked in marketing communications for a variety of industries since 2005. Martina speaks four languages and is an avid traveller (having visited 30+ countries and counting) who gets out on the road whenever she can.
Posted September 13, 2015