Posted on October 15, 2011
The first thing someone new to international business relations learns is that not everyone is the same. Anytime your business is involved in a global commerce situation, you must understand the nuances that matter most to the individuals with whom you are dealing. Stumbling haphazardly out of the blocks by making customary mistakes can be very harmful to any future success.
It is easier to communicate now than at any other time in history with people around the world, but that often also makes it easier to make mistakes, too. Emails and video conferencing have made it possible to transact business with people on the other side of the globe, and this is a great way to launch negotiations with companies you may know very little about. However, establishing a working situation almost always requires some personal contact before any firm deals are made.
During phone calls or video conferencing, it is extremely important to understand protocol regarding the culture of the people you are conversing with, and the same holds true in any physical meetings as well. Additionally, the first contact requires that you know etiquette concerning the handshake or greeting.
The Importance of the Greeting in International Commerce
In most international commerce, both parties attempt to learn the traditional form of greeting of the other party. Throughout the world, the western handshake style of greeting is understood, but that does not necessarily mean that it should be the automatic first choice. If you are familiar enough with the customs of the person(s) you are meeting, you should be prepared to greet them in that fashion. Read more...
Posted on September 13, 2011
Okay, so let me paint you a picture to share my tips for client clarity... let's say you just finished a client discovery session and offered the client to work with you privately and make a 5 figure investment in your services. Let's, for the sake of the example, assume that the client was expecting an investment a little closer to 4 figures and as a result, he pushes back with something like... "So what makes you qualified to charge that much?"
From time to time everyone needs a little clarity. Yes, that includes your clients and prospects. What's important to note at those times, is as the service provider, you must always keep a level head and provide a response that will add value, not create discord. While the customer is not always right, the customer always deserves to be treated with respect and provided with a level of service that is respectful and exemplary of your brand.
It's important to note that clarity is not a personal attack on you. It means that the decision to invest in your services is a stretch for them and that produces fear and in fear, we want to find a way out. We position ourselves that way by seeking clarity or creating an objection to what we know is exactly what we need to achieve our next level. Our ego begins to run rampant and the result... well, let's just say that it could be a less than favorable conversation where you, the service provider, must encourage a response to maintain your brand positioning and get the new client.
When faced with an experience that may be less than favorable, because I get it, no one wants to be challenged, it is still your responsibility to remember why you are in business and what level of service you've committed to offer your clients and prospective clients. Don't take a question as a sign that you are not an expert and cannot solve their problem. Instead, take it as an opportunity to provide additional education and perhaps coaching them successfully out of their comfort zone. Read more...
Posted on August 12, 2011
Running a small business today is comparable to being a dwarf competing against numerous giants. The presence of industry leaders for retail, manufacturing, wholesale, among others may be enough to make small business owners cringe. Big firms have vast resources at their disposal. Fortunately, business consulting firms can even out the playing field since these firms can guide small business owners towards success.
Why go for consultancy?
Many people may not probably believe it, but the market leaders we see today once started as small businesses too. These companies realized they needed to change for the better and found ways to facilitate this change and improve product and service quality.
If you have a small business, it only makes sense to ask help from a small business consultant to enhance or change some practices in your business. These consultants know exactly what you will need to compete as a new kid on the block with the so-called big kids.
Small business consultants can identify equipment, workers or facilities your business needs to have. They can also help you improve aspects such as accounting or production procedures to speed up the process without compromising quality. These changes may appear trivial right now but in the long run it can pay off large dividends. For example, a higher production rate would mean having more goods to sell. If more consumers buy your goods, your firm ends up with more revenues. Read more...