Understanding how people work together and relate to each other in other countries is, in essence, being globally sensitive to their way of doing things.
STEP 1: Being globally aware
STEP 2: Learning the skills to be more adaptable in these interactions
STEP 3: Using those skills combined with selling skills to effectively interact and do business in other parts of the world
Strategic Enhancement Group (SEG) uses a Growth Path to Global Success for sales people to learn new skills that, when used properly, will help them sell more and be more successful.
The Growth Path includes not only the training element, but also a process for communicating the importance of the initiative, preparing the participants for the learning and reinforcing and coaching them to use what they have learned.
75% of overall effectiveness is achieved before and after the training event.
Pre Event Preparation and Communication
Prior to an learning event, preparation should be done to set the expectations and help improve learner readiness. This takes little time but reaps great rewards.
Having seminars that employ inside-out learning with skill practice in the workshop give the best chance that the skills will be used. Our programs challenge people to think, which helps participants to make better connections between the new skills being learned and their use in the work place.
Post Coaching and Reinforcement
Having a workforce that is fluent in the ways of the world is no longer optional.
There are 13 key ways (cultural dimensions) to work with people around the world. The five most critical ones are task/relationship, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism and context communication. And of those, arguably the most important one is around task/relationship. And not relationship as Americans understand it. People in 80% of the countries in the world tend to be more relationship-oriented than people in the United States. One of the biggest mistakes Americans can make when working with people from other cultures is the urge to get down to business right away. In most countries around the world, that relationship is paramount in gaining trust as well as them deciding whether or not they even want to do business with you. It doesn’t matter if your widget is the best thing ever invented either. Moving too fast to the task is a major breach of trust. This is just one of the dimensions to consider.
Many business opportunities are lost due to cultural misunderstandings. Everyone who is involved in an interaction, from sales to support, with someone from a different culture, needs to have and use the appropriate cultural knowledge and skills in those interactions. The consequence of not doing so can result in costly mistakes, broken deals or worse yet, broken relationships. Things we may take for granted, like inviting a support person to join in on the conversation when making decisions, can be strictly taboo in another country where the hierarchy is strictly adhered to. Or singling out another for their important contributions can result in mortification and embarrassment for that person.
Culture has a lot to do with how you would interact with people in a country. Culture has aspects that are obvious such as language and styles of dress, food, and housing. It also has some aspects that are not so obvious – the importance of nonverbal communication, role expectations, what motivates people, attitudes towards work, negotiation styles, ways of establishing rapport, pace of moving from formal to informal interactions and many other values, beliefs and patterns of behavior. Violate any of these norms and that could be the end of any chance to do business with them. And some of these things are nowhere on our radar, so It’s no wonder that we are in the dark about what went wrong.
With all that is going on in the world, it seems like a sound strategy not to put all your eggs in one basket/marketplace. Expanding to other parts of the world makes a lot of sense ONLY if it is done the right way. Most companies get the strategy on paper but forget that they are not dealing with companies, they are dealing with people. They will move forward with what worked for them domestically only to find that it doesn’t fly internationally. This could ultimately prevent them from growing. You need to adapt your marketing, sales delivery, branding and value propositions to the culture to which you are expanding.
This is a common mistake. Many companies believe they can enter new markets by following the same play book that made them successful in another country. They are learning the painful lesson that they cannot make that assumption. Every country has its own local laws, cultural norms, unique business practices, language etc. and thus require a play book specifically for that country. They each have a patriotic pride that needs to be respected. According to Mary Beth Lamb, co-author of Do’s and Taboos Around the World for Women in Business, “having the right people is key. Companies fail when they put a global strategy and structure in place, but don’t develop global people who can make the strategy work.”
Strategic Enhancement Group can help your organization understand how to be globally effective in sales - and how to put that understanding to action. Drawing upon proven expertise we can help your organization avoid costly mistakes by: