Minutehack's contributor groupView Author Profile
Taking your business global can be daunting. After all, different countries will have different processes, laws and requirements you will need to meet to grow your revenue. However, it is your relationships with overseas clients that could make or break your company.
If you want to grow your business profitability, reputation and brand loyalty, read the below advice on how to connect with international clients.
Understand Cultural Differences
It is crucial to perform in-depth research on a client’s local customs and etiquette. Many cultures may find it rude to discuss pricing upfront, which could lead to them turning to a more discreet industry rival. Some countries also don’t like businesses that are self-promotional.
For example, most Australians prefer a self-deprecating approach over an initial hard sell. If, however, you are attempting to form a strong relationship with a South American client, it is customary to kiss a business associate on both cheeks over shaking their hand.
Learn About Their Interests
If you want to build a strong professional relationship with a client, which can secure their loyalty for years to come, you must aim to connect with them on a personal level. To do so, you should take a genuine interest in their life, hobbies and passions.
To connect with an Aussie client who loves Australian rules football, you should take the time to learn more about the game. For example, you can learn about the odds-on favourite for the upcoming AFL Grand Final, which could help you to strike up a natural conversation.
Look for common ground with a client, such as caring for a young family or their career journey. If you take the time to learn more about a client and appear sincere in your interest, it will increase the likelihood of them renewing their contract or submitting a larger order in the future.
Familiarise Yourself with Their Time Zone
The last thing you will want to do is upset an important customer by calling them in the middle of the night. To avoid making this mistake and to retain your valued clients, you should familiarise yourself with their time zones, so you can connect with them at a time that suits their needs.
To do so, you or your employees might need to stay a little late or arrive at work early to answer their calls and respond to their queries.
Attempt to Speak Clearly
While local and national clients might not have an issue understanding your dialect, it is likely your international clients might struggle to understand you over the phone or via video call. It is, therefore, important to speak as clearly as possible, which can help them to learn more about your business and prevent confusion.
Confirm the Payment Currency
Prevent arguments and frustration by confirming to a client the currency you wish to be paid in for your products or services.
If you fail to do so, a client might assume they can pay in their local currency, which could leave them out of pocket if there is a miscommunication and it could even lead to an unwanted legal dispute. It might also be beneficial to customise your business rates for your client’s currency, which could improve customer satisfaction.
Always Ask for Clarification
There are bound to be differences in a language when communicating with international customers, even if English is their mother tongue. For example, Australians and Americans could use local slang or jargon, which could prevent you from understanding what they are asking you for or telling you.
If so, you should ask for further clarification to ensure your interpretation is correct. This can prevent crossed wires down the road, which could otherwise lead to a client cancelling an order or failing to renew an important contract.
So, if you want to build long-lasting relationships with overseas clients, you should consider the above top tips to develop a rock-solid customer base and grow your annual profitability.
How To Connect With International Clients