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Cindy King’s Weekly Business Article Review – March 1, 2010

Each week I share the articles I enjoyed reading on BizSugar with some of the thoughts they inspired on international business. Here are the articles I read last week.

50% Of Messages On Twitter Are Non-English

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This article on the Online Media Gazette gives some statistics from recent research on the number of languages used on Twitter and only half of the tweets are in English.

This is a great reminder to keep a tab on various social media profiles if you are interested in being an early adopter in using social media to reach international markets. Of course you also need to answer other questions before setting up a tweet plan in a foreign language.

Do you use Twitter to develop your international business networks?

The Little Fish Guide to Niche Dominance

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This is a good article on dominating a niche through business blogging.  But it is also appropriate for an international niche.  In this case, I would recommend modifying step 2, to adapt your content to your international audience.

Does your business blog target an international niche?  If so, what are you doing to dominate your niche?

5 Ways to Improve Your Empathy and EQ in Sales

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Anthony Iannarino has written an excellent article on how empathy helps in sales. All of the points here are important in international sales too.

I particularly like: “pause between stimulus and response and consider your outcome”. It’s so easy to assume we know what others are thinking. Pausing a short time before responding can be very useful in cross-cultural communication.

What do you do to improve your empathy in sales?

Tell Personal Stories – Sell More and Gain New Clients

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Chris Hamilton reminds us of the value of telling personal stories in sales.  This reminded me of how useful this is in international sales.  It’s often much easier to convey a message across cultures with a story.

And this also reminded me of the importance of not being too focused on telling your story.  You still need to pay very close attention to the people listening to you. Some people may find you too ego-centric. Some might find your stories too long or not relevant. There’s an art to story telling.

Do you tell personal stories when selling?

Blogging for Businesses Results in 55% More Traffic, 97% More Inbound Links!!

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SysComm provides some interesting graphs and statistics on the reasons why businesses blog. Search engine optimization and online visibility are obvious reasons.  And this is also an important reason to consider a business blog within an international marketing plan.

What goals do you have for your business blogging?

Sealed With a Kiss (The Art of Closing)

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Alen Mejor says the art of closing a sale is “the art of making decisions with which people agree”.  And of course when selling across cultures this is not always easy.  You often need strong cross-cultural communication skills to get people from different cultures to agree.

Alen’s article brings up quite a few of the roadblocks to closing a sale and it’s interesting reading this with international sales in mind.

Are you comfortable closing international sales?

Small Business Advice: How to Spot Difficult Customers

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I enjoyed reading Cynthia Myers’ article. I do think you spend a bit more time to work through some of the traits outlined here.  A customer from a different culture may first come across as a micro-manager, but this relationship might change once trust is established.

The one thing I would add for international customers is to always hone in the customers capacity to actually pay for your products or services.  It’s not only a question of whether they have money in their bank account, but also whether they can get the money into yours.

What do you look for in a good international customer?

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. A nice mix again this week. I like the personal stories one – this is a really valuable tip for people who are selling. Make your product relevant by telling a good story that applies it to the real world. Agree with you on the conciseness – I have been caught out a couple of times like that. Make it relevant and to the point and do not waffle on :).

  • Anonymous

    “50% Of Messages On Twitter Are Non-English”
    I wud say that most of them r not, but wot do i no?

  • Hi Cindy, as always, great list! We just installed the translate button (see under the post) on Bloggertone, It would be really cool if there was something similar available for Twitter??

  • Along the same lines… I shared a house with the leading Car Salesperson (two years) for Chicago (about as competitive as it gets).nnOne of her u2018tricksu2019 was to talk to people as much as possible, and talk more, and more…nnShe knew her customers inside out. And even if they didnu2019t buy, theyu2019d send others to her because she was so helpful.nnMost sales people, donu2019t know how to listen. nnTheyu2019re in broadcast mode. nnThey need to flip it around. n

  • How very true Tori. It amazed me when I was an Ann Summers Manager the amount of party organisers that didn’t target male customers. When I first started I didn’t drive and I’d always leave a brochure with every taxi driver I hired and developed many loyal customers in them. Everyone is a potential customer for most products and yes, developing that all important relationship is the first step, knowing your product definitely comes second, sales technique comes third, in my opinion. Great post.

  • ToriHawthorne

    Thanks for your comments guys…nWhen concentration is put on sales technique I feel it creates a more pushy sales-person. All that will do is turn customers away.nAnd my male sales agents are doing well ;-)nnThanks to ye all for taking time to comment.

  • Hi TorinnCustomer before product everytime (provided that the product delivers of course!). nnOften the argument is made that you cannot create a great product without the sales first to pay for development (especially in the services business). But I have seen when product or service development has not happened properly before it was sold to an unsuspecting public. nnThis is a disaster, hence the comment above that the product needs to do what it says when purchased!nnRegardsnBarney

  • If I was selling cosmetics, why would I not consider men? There is a market for every product and service out there, otherwise it would not be thought of :)nnIn the same light, there is product for every person, and a person for every product. But only the person can dictate the product they prefer (aside from obvious advertising cajoling).nnIt is possible to sell to people who never considered a product, create a market that was not previously there. it’s the thought process and techniques used then, that will dictate success, I feel.nnGreat post Tori, thanks for highlighting the importance of the WIIFT, when attempting to sell 🙂

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