Landing the Sale in any Region

Selling into new regions, either nationally or internationally, takes a certain level of discernment. Sales professionals must frequently tailor their conversations to include personalized talking points and culturally appropriate references for buyers across the globe. So how can you separate yourself among regional sales executives who are trying to become national players? By following these guidelines, you can lead and challenge your entire team to move to the next level.

Research your audience. According to QVidian, nearly 58% of the sales pipeline ends with stalled deals or a “no-decision” from prospects because the sales team hasn’t presented value to the customer effectively. This should encourage you to apply a fundamental best practice: vet your audience before engaging with them.

This requires determining your potential buyers’ demographics, ages and other background information. Do they prefer being contacted through email, memo, proposal or through other methods of communication? Does your market have a particular sentiment toward a topic? If so, how do their attitudes and values align with those of your company? Gather the necessary information to meet expectations and relate to the individual needs of your prospects. Ultimately, it’s essential to grasp their interactions, or lack thereof, with your service or product so you can bring new value to the sales conversation.

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Speak the customer’s language. Have you ever met someone from a different part of the country and thought, “I can’t really relate to their anecdotes?”  It happens commonly — and on a global scale. But you can reduce your chances of creating this hiccup, which I’ve witnessed first-hand.

Not too long ago, I accompanied a colleague from the United States to an international meeting in Amsterdam on how to engage clients globally. My colleague was a seasoned professional whom I’ve seen present many times. I was always impressed with his demeanor, professionalism and ability to align with the audience.

In the room were people from the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and so on. He was there for one reason: to talk about how to engage a US-based client on the global scale. He started off by describing who the customer was and what they buy in each region. He had the room totally engaged. However, as he reached the topic of customer expectations, he pivoted to sports analogies. While some spectators might have understood his baseball reference, most attendees from Germany, Belgium and New Zealand did not.

Take note that analogies will only work in personal meetings if the person on the other end has a vested interest. So as a rule, be aware of your audience and adjust accordingly. Only use cultural references when you’re completely confident your audience will be able to understand and relate.

Work alongside digital disruptors. Recently BigCommerce reported that 96% of Americans shop online. Additionally, eMarketer reported that e-commerce transactions will account for a tenth of total retail sales worldwide. This significant shift to online shopping reflects the importance of a user-friendly sales experience and the general buying habits of purchasers. Companies should use this information to modify their business models to meet consumers’ digital presence and their desire for convenient purchases. Those who embrace automation’s assistance with transactions will see greater impacts on revenue and their bottom line.

Adapt, but remain authentic. Engaging with potential buyers can seem like a calculated process. However, despite painstaking efforts to capture your potential clients’ interests, remember this — be genuine. Be yourself, and be a person who the customer can relate to. Find the common ground, and build on it.

Consumers often believe the customer service they receive shows how the company values them as a customer. They’re not buying a product or a service, they’re buying into the narrative of the brand.

As Forbes put it: “The most successful consumer businesses today differentiate themselves in signature moments that are directly aligned to their brand.”

Therefore, if there is a differentiator in the process, make sure it’s you.

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Chris Martin

Chris Martin
Chris Martin is senior VP of sales strategy and design for Randstad Technologies. He can be reached at chris.martin (at) randstadusa (dot) com.

Chris Martin

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