Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier for businesses to work alongside international clients. From real time communication tools to high-speed internet services; expanding your business internationally is both simple and surprisingly affordable.
However, whilst it’s certainly become easier to break through the geographical walls, there’s still many challenges you face when working with international clients.
If you’re struggling to open a branch in Germany, or any other country, or you’re thinking of expanding and want to get it right first time, here you’ll discover everything you need to know in order to succeed.
Adjusting the way you communicate
Above all else, you need to understand everything you can about your international clients. This goes far more than simply knowing when they have national holidays! If you want to ensure you’re offering the best possible service, you’re going to need to learn all about their local culture, language, time zones and how they generally communicate.
It’s not enough to just learn about these differences, you have to work to accommodate them. That could mean learning the local language, being respectful of time zones and adjusting your tone of voice to fit their preferences. For example, some cultures are more reserved so if you’re naturally loud and outgoing that could be perceived as intimidating or off-putting to clients.
It’s not easy adjusting the way you communicate to match international clients; particularly if you work with clients from a broad range of countries. However, taking the time to do your research and making the effort to accommodate each client’s preferences, will go a long way to ensuring communication is effective and successful.
Make physical meetings convenient and efficient with international clients
While technology helps to limit the amount of face-to-face meetings required, it certainly hasn’t eliminated the need to meet clients in person. There are some things that are better discussed face-to-face and it also helps to establish a more effective, closer relationship between you.
In order to make these in-person meetings more convenient, you need to choose a good location. Rather than meeting in your office, consider using well-equipped meeting rooms.
The company has meeting rooms situated at Schiphol Airport, making it incredibly easy of your international clients to find you. They offer a more fun, unique meeting space to ensure your meetings are never boring. There’s also the fact each room comes fully equipped with the latest technology and everything you could possibly need to host an efficient, successful meeting.
Avoid humour and break down your talk for international clients
One of the key tips given to businesses looking to host a successful meeting is to keep it fun and add plenty of humour. Whilst this might work when you’re hosting meetings for local clients, the types of humour used by global clients can vary significantly. They may not get the joke, or at worst they may be offended. So, if you do plan on using humour in your communications with international clients, do so with caution.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that your communications are going to be slightly longer. You’re going to need to break things down a lot more than you typically would with clients from your home country. This is to ensure they fully understand the points you are making and what needs to be done. Prepare to explain yourself more and know that your planned talk is likely going to be double the length of what you originally planned.
Overall, communication is the main barrier of working with international clients. The tips above will help you to overcome the obstacles that differences in communication can bring. If you truly want to make international expansion work for you, you’re going to need to ensure your communication with them is as effective and straightforward as possible.