Global February 14, 2010 56 Reads share

Cindy King’s Weekly Business Article Review – February 15, 2010

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

The Ultimate List: 40 Social Networking Sites Specifically For Small Business, Entrepreneurs, And Startups

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This is a great resource list by Matthew Ringer of the SmallBizBee.

The main reason why I like this list is that it reminds us there are more social networking sites out there than the few we use out of habit.  It’s particularly important to open up your horizons and look at different social networking sites when you are targeting international markets.  Different cultures like different environments.  They may be on LinkedIn but have more meaningful discussions elsewhere.

What new social networking sites have you looked at recently?

Diagnose: The Desire To Understand

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Mr. S. Anthony Iannarino raises the interesting point of providing good diagnosis in the sales process.  In international business most professionals rely on a variety of methods to hone their diagnosis skills.

Diagnosis is one of the various elements of the international sales process. In a cross-cultural environment the process of diagnosis is a longer one than when selling within one culture.  International sales people often spend more time seeking the information needed for an accurate understanding.

What differences do you see in process of diagnosis in international sales?

Ten Reasons Why Going Global Is Advantageous To Your Company

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A great short list of the reasons why businesses should go global.

As Laurel Delaney says “The knowledge you gain from learning the ropes of international business will make you open to new ideas, new approaches, new marketing techniques, new customers and new confidence to take on the world!”

What’s stopping you from going global?

Voice Mails, Gatekeepers, And Unresponsive Prospects

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Doyle Slayton reminds us to look at the techniques we use to connect with people by phone.

I often hear complaints about it being difficult to reach the right people by phone.  It’s always the fault of the system in place in the other country.  International networking by phone works.  But you need to apply cross-cultural and international skills to get results.  And this begins by taking a close look at the techniques you are using and adapting them to other cultures.

What tips can you share about international networking by phone?

Growing Your Business As A Team: 10 Ten Team Building Tips From The Real World Of Small Business

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Most of the tips Caron Beesley shares in this article are about team building within a company. And I have to say that the international companies I’ve worked in always had a superior team environment than the non-international companies.

But this got me thinking on a broader scale.  When trying to expand internationally, good teamwork with people outside of your company can also impact your success.  Good teamwork means information flows well and this is a good thing. You can spot potential cultural blunders and opportunities with what seems to be an insignificant piece of information.

Where do you see team building as being important in international business?

Digital Or Direct Mail? Weighing The Benefits Of Marketing Campaigns

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When you market to international audiences you need to always look for what works best.  As this article points out digital mail is an easy way to reach people across the globe.

But is it always the best one?  Should you look at other forms of communication?  For example in countries where “collective” communication is more important, when should you rely solely on one-on-one email? How should you integrate your email marketing into your overall international marketing tactics?

Are you happy with the time you spend researching the best communication methods for you to reach international audiences?

Is Your Customer Service A Thinly Veiled Sales Job?

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Sarah Mitchell in Australia shares a story of different expectations and how the wrong customer service tactics can destroy customer relationships.

If businesses get this wrong when marketing in their own cultures, how can they expect to develop their international sales?  And yet, I do encounter situations like this.

What do you do to make sure you understand your client’s expectations?



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

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