A Global View Doing Business Internationally, Part II:
Offering Greater Levels Of Service
You must be prepared to supply your international customer with an even greater level of service than you present to your local customers. To inspire confidence in your international customers, you may need to offer such things as 24/7 telephone support, extended warranties, and other services that will help customers have trust in doing business with you.
It will be necessary to understand all of the rules that control international business practices in your own country, as well as those in your customer’s country. Awareness of the rules will permit you to provide services beyond those anticipated by your buyer, and make you feel sure that you are operating within the boundaries of local law.
Always be on the lookout for experienced businesses as your service providers, particularly when it comes to insurance, shipping, freight forwarders, etc. Your helpmeet companies such as these are great allies and will assist in keeping everything in order, and will also help in resolving problems related to their part of your business processes.
As technology wears away the cultural, geographic, and communication barriers, even small businesses can frequently tap into the international marketplace. If you think your company is too small to engage in international business opportunities, think again!
Modern business is worldwide, and demands that people travel to foreign countries, where they will mix with foreign clients, customers, or colleagues. Each one of the cultures that you visit will also have their own etiquette rules… many of them, unwritten. When two or more different cultures merge, it is commonplace for small etiquette errors to happen that might have harmful consequences.
International business etiquette makes itself quite evident, and in many shapes and sizes. You can find yourself in a snafu in short seconds. Throughout the world, the citizens of different cultures have varying etiquette rules that apply to such things as business meetings, personal space, communication, food, gift giving, and much more. For those wishing to make a good impression, a comprehension of international business etiquette is imperative.
Always keep in mind that meetings are significant moments where trust is being nurtured and affirmed. Be straightforward and clear concerning your desires.
Never conduct business using verbal agreements or orders. Always put everything in writing with the obligatory signatures. Participating in international business is different than in domestic business. Outside of the United States, signatures and seals are mandatory to seal the deal. Don’t worry about offending your buyer, as this is just another part of doing business internationally.
A key skill for those wanting to be successful when working abroad, is a deep understanding of international business etiquette and the differences in the contractual processes. Through a great appreciation and knowledge of others’ cultures, you are building stronger and longer-lasting business associations. This, coupled with your outstanding services and features list, will be the foundation for your international relationship for many years into the future!