How do you move from Contact to Contract? Find the missing ‘R’, of course.
Picture the scene: Late 20th-Century. London, England. New chap in the office: “Manager, International Banking”.
Q: How should I “work” with my new current and potential customers, given that I had never been a “Manager” in a London branch before?
Meeting and greeting them: OK, that could be “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands”? (as the book suggests). And then what? How would I get from Contact to Contract and build up a successful business?
A: As ever, I went back to basics and focused on the behaviors of my customers – their culture. A very mixed bag of cultural clusters was represented: from the East End clothing “rag” trade to high-end jewelers and luxury-goods sellers, with plenty of high street retailers, garages, restaurants, accountants, doctors and not to mention a dozen or more nationalities to add to the mix.
The common denominator? Most of them came from “Cooperative” and “Collectivist” cultures, which is jargon for “Build trust before you try to do business with them.” (After all, we all know that “People buy from people like them/they like” and “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”)
So my first three months was spent wearing out my shoe leather, going out and visiting my newly-acquired customer-base. Meeting them, greeting them, drinking tea or coffee or sparkling water, having two-way conversations and getting to know them in their comfort zones (in their own business premises).
And each time I would work out the ratio of how much “personal, friendly approach” to blend with “task-oriented, transactional business” for each individual and organization.
It worked for me. It can work for you too.
If you have challenges doing business with people from other cultures and nationalities and countries and organizations, please get in touch and let’s talk about it.
I know plenty of questions to ask – and I’m a great listener!
“I am committed to guiding and supporting you to build better connections with your clients from different national and business cultures by expanding your Multi-Cultural Intelligence”
Global Knowledge - Available Locally
I had one burning ambition when I graduated from university: to see the world and get someone to pay me to do it. Result: SUCCESS! After a first career working for a global British bank throughout UK, Europe, USA, Middle East, Asia/Pacific and Africa, switched horses mid-stream and began a second career several years ago by starting up my own small business – and I’m still going strong! I design and deliver highly interactive workshops and presentations, with the focus on people absorbing their learning through practical activities and enjoying themselves – I am definitely a real-world pragmatist and not an academic theorist! Clients have ranged from multinational corporations (incl. Dell, Monster.com, British Telecoms Global Services, Lloyds Bank International, UK Post Office) to numerous SMEs (Small and Medium-size Enterprises) as well as many individual coaching clients, especially business start-ups and managers & team-leaders, located all around Europe, UK, USA and the Middle East . I am quite a “rare bird”, as a specialty of mine is talking “Global English” with people for whom English is not their first language. I know how they feel, because I have learned some other languages myself on my travels! Among my transferable skills and qualifications, I am an award-winning actor and director in amateur theatre (at regional events in England as well as a “Best Actor” award at a European Drama Festival) and I’m also a Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London. I now live and work in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
Cross-Cultural Training and Coaching :
Multi-Cultural Awareness, International Business Etiquette, Negotiating in a Culturally-Connected World, Customer Service Across Cultures, Business Cultural Dilemmas around the World, Communicating Across Cultures
Sales and Negotiations, Key Account Management, Building Relationships & Rapport, Questioning & Influencing Skills, Business Acumen (incl. financial awareness & business strategy)
Team-building & Team-working:
Leading and Managing Your Team, Presentation skills, Train-The-Trainer
DELIVERY: workshops, seminars, presentations, 1-to-1 coaching
CLIENTS: SMEs and/or national and multinational corporations
If you have challenges or problems dealing with people and businesses from other cultures, or your business communications in general, please get in touch: I’m available at your office, a coffee-shop or a PC-screen near you!