You may be able to smooth over some lack of good business practices in your domestic markets. This is sometimes possible simply because you know your market well and are able to compensate in other areas.
You cannot smooth over any lack in good business practices as easily in international markets. The cultural differences in you international markets highlight any little areas lacking in good business practices.
The communication hurdles in doing international business means you must start with excellent business practices. If you don't?. . . well things just get messy. Then things are difficult to see clearly to analyze and move forward.
Start With The Right Definition For You
In international sales, confusion often happens right at the beginning of the sales process. With the basics. In order to generate leads you must know what they are.
- Who is your ideal international lead?
This is a deceptively simple question. Beware. If you do have the answer to this question, your international marketing is set for success. Chances are you don't know the right answer.
In the very beginning of all cross-cultural communication, mistakes usually originate in your own camp. You are your own first barrier in cross-cultural communication.
Sales teams and marketing teams often have very different definitions of what a “lead" is.
You cannot expect to have a good lead generation process if you have different definitions within your own company. This leads to inefficiency in your domestic market. It can actually block all of your international business.
- Lost leads mean lost sales.
Your online business should be generating inquiries.
If it is not generating any international inquiries, do not immediately assume it is a question of vague international business necessities. It might not even have much to do with a lack of international traffic.
Your Lead Definition Is A Base For Your Whole Lead Generation
Before doing anything else, evaluate your definition of a lead. Once you can:
- define what you mean by a lead, you will be able to qualify it.
- qualify your leads, you will be able to measure them.
- measure your leads, you can adjust your lead generation system.
- adjust your lead generation system, you can improve it.
- improve your lead generation system, you get to know your market better.
It is easy to document, track and measure results online. But if you start off with the wrong definition you will not be able to work with these results to get what you want.
You will need to adapt your definition of your ideal lead to meet the reality of your international market. This takes good marketing. It is easy to do if you start off on the right foot.
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Cindy King is a Cross-Cultural eMarketer & International Sales Specialist, aligning businesses with different cultures. She has over 25 years field experience in international business development and helps mid-sized business owners create international business development strategies that shorten time to profitability.