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Cindy King’s Weekly Business Article Review – January 18, 2010

Here’s another selection of articles from BizSugar with the thoughts they inspired on international business.

Deals Stalled? How to Advance a Sale

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S. Anthony Iannarino looks at one of the points made in the book Spin Selling: the difference between an advance and a continuation. In other words, how to recognize the difference in advancing on to the next step in the sales process, or simply having the sales process continue at the same stage. It’s about learning how to make sales.

International salespeople often need to spend time acquiring the skill of identifying this difference.  It is very easy to make the mistake of thinking there is an advance when there isn’t one, or thinking you are still in the continuation phase when the other party is ready to move forward. Many sales are lost because both parties are out of sync in the sales process.

Have you seen cross-cultural mistakes due to wrong interpretations of the international sales process?

10 Predictions, Forecasts and Trends That Will Shape Our Global Small Business World In 2010

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This is a very interesting read by Laurel Delaney.  All of the 10 points she makes are worth considering.  I particularly like number 7: the “come-out-of-nowhere theory”.  One of the first things you learn in international business is to expect the unexpected.  And the unexpected can really be something you could never possibly imagine.

I find it interesting to note how people prepare for the unexpected. Of course you learn adaptability and flexibility.  But you also learn how to deal with risk and to be ready with back-up plans when things are important.

How do you prepare for the unexpected in international business?

The Story Of The Small Business Marketing Plan

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Bill Glazer writes a great article on the need for small businesses to put their marketing plans into action.  This reminds me a lot about what I notice with many of the companies around me.  They don’t actually put enough effort into taking their business international.

I also liked this: “The successful plan is part science, part instinct, and all passion for selling.” I think many people want international business to be all science and they aren’t willing to put enough faith in their instinct and passion.

What are the main challenges for businesses going international where you live?

Social Media Monitoring, Using Twitter as a PR Early Warning System

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Bill Rice writes about using Twitter to listen to what others are saying.  We have had many examples of how international news spreads in real time through Twitter.  And we have also heard many people confirm they have made sales thanks to Twitter.  But most of these sales were with North Americans.

Twitter monitoring will tell us if and how companies are overcoming cross-cultural barriers to use Twitter effectively in some way for international business.

Are you connecting with your international markets on Twitter?

A Social Media Fable

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Jerry Kennedy shares a story that highlights the different demographics using social media. This one is simply about someone who is new to Facebook. Community managers often say that the toughest part of their job is dealing with different people from different cultures.

People skills are crucial to everyone online.  They are also crucial to international business. Anyone interested in developing international business look into taking advantage of social media to strengthen their people skills.

Have you encountered any situations online where you needed strong people skills?

How The Internet Can Help Entrepreneurs Grow

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The title of this article grabbed me.  Although the story is not really surprising, it does show someone with a problem shared by others, who gets up and does something about it.

I would love to hear about similar stories with people who live in small countries.

Do you think this is something we will see a lot of from developing countries?

Russian Blog

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This submission of this Russian blog on bizSugar reminded me that other countries are trying to find their way in web marketing, and yet they do not have their own culture specific platforms in their own countries.  Many cultures may take a while to develop their own web marketing structures simply because of their small size.  Blog or website owners in these countries will continue to use the main North American platforms and best practices.

But there are already many country-specific web marketing platforms and there will undoubtedly be more in the future as the web develops further.  This will be interesting to watch for international web marketing.

What international web marketing practices have you noticed?

Cindy King is a cross-cultural marketer helping businesses develop globally with international social media. Follow Cindy on Twitter @CindyKing

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  • Hi Cindy, Yet another super list of articles. I particularly like S. Anthony Iannarino advice on advancing the sale. As you point out, this is a huge issue for salespeople and something that many find difficult to master. Managing the sales process effectively is for me the key skill towards making the sale. Looking forward to reading the others. Thanks, Niall

  • I liked that one too. While I liked Anthony’s point on “agreeing to continuations” what has really worked for us is explaining the sales process to the prospect from day 1. This is: 1st You’ll get this questionaire, 2nd we’ll inquire further, 3rd We’ll assess and propose, 4th you’ll decide, etc. Of course, if you spice clarity with getting continuous agreement, then even better.

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