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Our advice for effective international prospecting

How to adapt your prospecting to cultural differences?

The main purpose of prospecting is to find new customers and partners for a brand. This year, your company’s objective is to conquer the international market. To successfully internationalise your offer, you need to conduct your prospecting in a way that is culturally appropriate for your target group.

Here’s how you’ll do it right:

  • Define your targets
  • Adapt your prospecting tools to the culture of the target countries
  • Identify the sales prospecting channels to use
  • Follow up on your prospects

International

Define your targets

What company has never faced a loss of customers since its foundation? If you want to avoid this, or at least limit the damage, it is essential to continuously prospect for your brand. While prospecting methods are often the same for a national market, the approach is different for targeting foreign prospects. This is why your company must draw up a prospecting plan.

In exporting, there is no place for improvisation, hence the importance of excellent preparation if you want to get started. As a first step, carry out a market study to find out how your product is positioned on the market and to determine your objectives in terms of the figures you want to achieve. At the end of this stage, you can draw up a list of potential contacts.

Adapt your prospecting tools to the culture of the target countries

You probably have a product presentation brochure that you can adapt to the cultures of your prospects. However, this does not only mean translating it into the language of your contacts. The way people understand a message differs from one country to another, which is why it is important to immerse yourself in their culture. Knowing the practices and behaviours of each potential customer makes it easier to translate your communication materials. Your prices and terms of sale also need to be adapted. While the French are more attracted to visuals, the Germans favour content. In addition, gathering information on their market and the local competition will only be beneficial in your commercial approach.

You will also have to identify prospectors who are capable of carrying out this mission on the website or remotely. Select bilingual or even trilingual sales profiles who will communicate easily with their contacts. Reactivity is also a quality that is highly appreciated and required in sales agents.

Identify the sales prospecting channels to use

Several means of prospecting will help you to expand your customer portfolio. In the context of exporting, the choice still depends on the habits of your target, the objective of your approach and, of course, your resources. If you have the means, give preference to travelling for physical contact. Take part in international trade fairs, for example, to establish contacts and obtain meetings, or propose your offer directly. For an excellent return on investment, meet foreign buyers who are travelling to your country.

Less expensive, don’t forget emailing and phoning. These channels have the advantage of allowing you to quickly approach a maximum number of prospects without having to travel. However, you should always take into account their cultural specificities. It is a good idea to delegate message writing and calls to your field staff who are familiar with the practices. Make sure you check the day and time you call and email your prospects. These checks are crucial, as your sales actions may go unnoticed or, in the worst case scenario, you will attract people’s displeasure. In addition, discover in this article the steps to follow to carry out a prospecting: The 5 steps of commercial prospecting.

Follow up on your prospects

The next step is to follow up on your prospects, because you will surely meet at least one person interested in your offer. This task is just as rigorous as the previous ones, because if you don’t do it, the competition will take over your contacts. You can use Hubspot to create tasks and not forget the prospects you need to contact again.

In an email, thank them for their time and take the opportunity to include any points not covered in your discussions. This cordial gesture may surprise the less enthusiastic and make them change their minds.

In conclusion

Geographical distance and cultural differences make prospecting methods difficult in some countries of the world. Moreover, expectations and practices require that all prospecting actions be redesigned so that they are correctly perceived from one continent to another. Phoning, emailing and relational travel for physical contact are among the effective levers for exporting your business. With intelligently designed prospecting, the doors of the international market will open to you.

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