International marketing can open up many new doors for your company but before you market your products to a foreign country, you must be aware of cultural sensitivity. If you fail to recognize the cultural differences, moral and religious beliefs of the clients you’re trying to do business with, there’s a good chance you’ll run into trouble.
If you offend your clients by doing something considered disrespectful in their country, the damage may be too great to fix and this happens more often than you might think. Some cultures even consider something as simple as having one hand in your pocket when shaking hands with a client offensive and it could cost you a major deal.
Not understanding that cultural sensitivity is a part of international marketing has been the demise of many companies hoping to expand their business but you can take steps to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.
Cultural Sensitivity Requires Knowledge of the Country
After determining which country you plan to extend your marketing efforts to, take time to research it. Learn about the history, culture and common practices. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to address your clients in a friendly and professional manner.
Learning some common phrases of the native language spoken is a great way to show your clients respect. It shows that you’re taking business seriously and that will help build a strong relationship between you and your clients. Doing research will also ensure that you know how to interact with your clients in a way that is respectful no matter what the situation is but that’s just the beginning.
Hire an Interpretation Service
While doing your research and learning a little of the language is a good start and a great way to make a good impression, it’s not enough to actually conduct business. You’ll also need to hire a language interpretation service. This will give you access to resources such as conference interpretation and translation services that you’ll need to conduct business efficiently.
You can’t market products to consumers that you can’t communicate with and you can’t learn every language well enough to speak it fluently. Using an interpretation service will take care of that problem. They’ll have the type of interpreter and translator needed to handle all communications in a professional and proficient manner. You’ll also have access to interpretation equipment as needed and the company will set up and monitor the equipment. They will even clean up everything after the meetings so you don’t have to worry about it.
When speaking directly to clients, remember to speak clearly and at a normal rate. If you slur your words or talk too fast, it will be difficult for them to understand what you’re saying even if they do speak a little of your language. Speaking to someone too slowly is insulting and the last thing you want to do is insult a potential client.
International marketing has many advantages but you need to be prepared and have the knowledge and resources available to communication efficiently if you want to succeed. Do your research and hire a good reputable interpretation service you can depend on and you’ll be on your way to success.