When it comes to internationalisation, different strategies need to be implemented for the different audiences that a business is targeting.
It makes sense, because different audiences living in different cultural contexts and countries won’t have the same needs. Hence, businesses will have to adapt their products and services if they want to target them.
McDonald’s is a good example of this. Over the last years, McDonald’s restaurants have been adapting their products and offers depending on the country they were established and the tastes of their audience.
That’s why we can see more Mediterranean options in McDonald’s restaurants established in Spain and across the Mediterranean region.
However, although products and services adaptation play a key role in internationalisation strategies, building trust among the new clients must also be a top priority to increase the new client portfolio and their loyalty towards your brand.
Once you have captivated your international audience with a well-tailored offer, you need to make these clients come back to your business.
- Why is it so important to build trust and establish long-term relationships with international clients?
- 3 techniques to build trust among international clients
Why is it so important to build trust and establish long-term relationships with international clients?
- Most businesses struggle with finding clients. They focus on winning more and more new clients, but they forget to promote loyalty among the clients that they already have. It’s proven that it’s easier to make your current clients buy again from you, than make new clients buy from you for the first time.
- To promote word-of-mouth. Happy clients are the best marketing for your business. And the best thing is that it’s free! People wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you if they are happy with your products and service. Loyalty is also what turns clients into brand ambassadors.
- To increase brand reputation abroad. Reputation is also a key factor to make new clients come to your business. As your reputation develops in your new targeted market, people will start getting to know you and your business. Selling to people who already know you increases a lot your chances to close more sales.
- To promote long-term relationships with clients. And this is very important to make your business more stable. Once you have a solid client portfolio and reduce the ups and downs of your business, you’ll have a better margin to take risks and decide what the future of your business will look like.
However, building trust takes time and effort. Trust can’t be built in a few days, and it’s not something you can pay for. But knowing what facts can promote trust and investing (time or money) in doing the right actions can save you a lot of time and money over time.
3 techniques to build trust among international clients
1// Think about why your client wouldn’t buy from you and tackle these obstacles
You need to know the new marketplace that you are targeting. You need to know how people do business in this new marketplace.
People like to be like home when they do business, and that’s why your business should be culturally adapted to the needs and the way your new audience do things.
That’s why, at this stage, it’s so important to do an in-depth market research. You need to consider:
- How your competitors do business.
- What is working for them and what can be improved.
- What your new audience expects for you.
- How you can differentiate from your competitors and deliver better services and products at the same time.
It does not sound so easy now, right? But if you get these answers right, you will have a clear advantage in the market.
You’ll have the foundation of your business model to position your business for the right audience.
2// Adapt cultural differences
When you target a new audience in a different cultural background, you’ll start noticing that things are done in a different way.
When I firstly came to the UK and started working with British companies, I realised that things were very different from Spain. From the way they communicate, to the way they do business here, everything was very different.
You need to pay attention to these cultural differences to make sure that your clients feel like home when they do business with you.
Everyone feels comfortable at home.
That is why it’s so important to get to know the culture that surrounds the marketplace that you’re targeting. The more you know about this market, the better you’ll be able to adapt any differences.
McDonald’s is a good example as I mentioned before. They knew how to assess the tastes of their audiences in different countries to adapt their offers accordingly.
Think carefully about these points:
- What does my new audience expect from my services or products?
- What do the like to do that relates to my business?
- How do they do business and what can I do to improve customer experience?
You’ll need to invest some time to do a market research to find out more about your audience. That’s why some business invest in a local agent specialised in their industry and the targeted marketplace.
3// Speak the language of your audience
It may seem obvious, but it’s not always the case.
Communicating in the same language than your audience is not just beneficial for an efficient and more fluent communication. It also shows that you’re investing in maintaining long-term relationships with your new potential clients.
You may be able to communicate in a different language. For example, I’ve seen many companies in Spain doing business in English.
However, if you really want to be perceived as someone committed to establish long-term relationships with your new audience, make sure to facilitate communication by investing in implementing their language in your business.
For example, last month I was working with a legal firm in Edinburgh. They were offering services in Spanish for Spanish speaking migrants in Scotland. I went to a meeting to interpret for a Spanish speaking client.
They were perceived as professionals as they were investing in a professional interpreter to facilitate communication and making sure that their clients were feeling comfortable speaking in their mother tongue.
However, they needed to give the client some information about the case, and all this information was in English. It was very important for the client to understand and process all the information in the leaflet, so it wasn’t enough with a sight translation of the document.
When it comes to effective communication, you need to think about all the type of information (both oral and written) that your client need to understand to work with you.
Have you ever experienced any of these problems? Have you ever implemented one of these techniques to do business with international clients? I’d love to hear from you!