Be Aware of Unique Cultural Needs in Sales

If you do business with people from cultural groups different than your own, you would be wise to invest some time understanding their cultures as well as their needs in terms of your products and services. You may not necessarily be doing business with people in another country, but with those from other countries who have relocated near your place of business. If you want their business, you have to understand their needs on many levels.

Also, if you are building a web site for your business, you need to consider who the viewer might be and their cultural situations. Some words and phrases just don’t translate to have the same meaning that you may wish to impart, thus, confusing the visitor.  Or, worse, the translation may unintentionally be offensive when made.

Here are a few things you need to be aware of when dealing with clients from different cultures than your own.

* Be patient when building trust and establishing relationships. People from countries other than the U.S. generally need more time to build trust. It is important to observe a greater degree of formality when becoming acquainted than you would use with a client who was born and raised locally.

* Speak more slowly than you normally do, but don’t raise your voice because you think the other person can’t understand you. Volume doesn’t usually increase comprehension. Also, don’t speak down to them as if they are children.

* Avoid slang, buzzwords, idioms, jargon, and lingo. These can all be easily misunderstood by those who may not speak your language as their primary language. Just use simple language until you can get an idea of what level of your language they understand.

* If you’re using an interpreter, make sure the interpreter meets with the people for whom they are interpreting before you actually begin to sell them your product or service. This will allow the interpreter to learn the language patterns, special terminology, and numbers used by the people they’re translating for. If you’re business sells to other businesses, you need to be certain you are both using the same product identifiers or other codes specific to that company or industry to ensure that you both understand the needs and terms of any transaction.

* Pay attention to nonverbal interaction cues. The word yes or an affirmative nod often means, “Yes, I hear you,” in Asian cultures, not, “Yes, I agree.” If you see a nod and move on to closing the sale, you may frighten them off with what appears to them as over-zealousness.

Culture is as much an influence on people as their personal experiences, so knowing about your clients’ customs and traditions only makes sense. That way, neither you nor your client will be made to feel uncomfortable and selling can be done.

If you need or want to find out about another culture, some wonderful resources are available to steer you in the right direction and tell you everything you need to know. Spend some time browsing through your local library or bookstore to see what’s out there. Or go online and look under the topics of “protocol,” “diversity,” or “cultural awareness.”

Depending on your product and how much business you might be doing with clients from cultures unfamiliar to you, a good source we found is: http://www.usaprotocol.com/. This where you’ll find the 25th Anniversary Edition handbook for U.S. diplomats on proper etiquette and protocol for engagements with people from diverse cultures around the world.

Remember: Knowledge is power when properly applied to the right situation.

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This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

 

 

How to Handle an Angry Client

Too many people, when faced with clients who range from dissatisfied to downright angry, choose the loser’s path by postponing handling the situation. Worse yet, they handle it inappropriately. Postponement doesn’t make the problem go away. It results in one of two things happening. Either the angry client decides the problem isn’t worth the aggravation and cools down. Or, the client gets so angry that the next time you hear from him or her is through some sort of official (and possibly legal) letter. Worse yet, you’ll see your company named on the local news channel in one of those consumer protection segments. [Read more…]

The Top 10 Killers of Sales

Any veteran in business can tell you a story about the one that got away. Veterans who are successful in business today learned valuable lessons from those situations and, hopefully, never repeated them. As challenging as the business of selling might be for some, losing sales is unbelievably easy. Learn from the mistakes of others so you won’t have many of the sad stories to tell.

Sales Killer #1 – Lack of professional appearance. If you want people to listen to you and heed your advice regarding your product or service, you have to come across both in appearance and demeanor as a professional expert. This means that you are appropriately groomed. You walk with confidence. People will buy from you based more on your conviction and enthusiasm for your product than they will your product knowledge. [Read more…]

Attitude Makes a Difference in Closing Sales

Studies have proven that attitude is one of the traits that separate average sales people from their highly-successful colleagues. I have to believe that it’s true in life in general, not just sales. Think about the happiest, most successful people you know. How do you usually find them? Are they depressed, negative, or even apathetic? I doubt it. They’re probably upbeat, smiling, and positive about life. [Read more…]

The Destroyer of Listings: FEAR

Fear in Real EstateThe greatest destroyer of real estate listings is fear. Fear is the greatest enemy you’ll ever encounter as a real estate professional. Hopefully, you’ll learn to recognize and conquer your own inner fears.

Helping others with their fears

The toughest job is when you have to help others admit to and overcome their fears so you can earn the opportunity to list and sell their homes for them. Fear is what builds that wall of resistance we so often run into. You must master the skills to either climb over or break through that wall. [Read more…]

7 Steps to Establishing Rapport

Before beginning your presentation, spend some time establishing rapport. This is a vital “warm up” to any sale. You have to make your potential clients comfortable with you before they’ll want to listen to you or answer your questions.

First, always use the client’s name the way they give it. If your client introduces himself as Anthony, don’t call him Tony. Don’t ever change a name. Just remember it correctly and be prepared to use it a few times during the presentation.

Next, make good eye contact. There is an old adage that if you can’t look me in the eye, I can’t trust you. I don’t know if that is necessarily true, but if they believe it, it is! [Read more…]

Arouse Emotions, Don’t Sell Logic

No skill that you can acquire in sales will enhance your earning power more than learning how to arouse emotions in your buyers in ways that are positive to the sale. The exact words you use will depend on your offering, your personality, your buyers, and market conditions. Positive emotions trigger sales; negative emotions destroy sales. As you work at developing the skills to evoke emotions in your potential clients, always keep that concept in mind. You can destroy sales as rapidly as you can create them through the clumsy use of, or the lack of control over, the emotional setting. Also remember that your actions, manners, words (and how you say them), your grooming, and your clothes are all things that trigger emotions in your future clients — whether you want them to or not.

The mere fact that you’re a salesperson may arouse negative emotions and people could start fighting you consciously or not. Your future clients are either emotionally for you or against you right at the get-go — and you can divide your chances of selling them by a hundred if they’re against you.

To understand the emotions that sell, sit down with your children and study the television commercials they watch. You’ll see advertising that goes for the emotions. Logic in sales is a gun without a trigger. You can twirl it all you care to, but you can’t fire it. Emotion has a trigger. You can hit a target with it. Every time you generate a positive emotion, you’re pulling the trigger on another accurate shot at closing the sale.

What is the emotional process that leads to a purchase? It begins with a new development in the buyer’s self-image. That is, the buyers see themselves in a new way — enjoying the benefits of your product or service.

If the projected purchase is small in relation to the buyer’s income, the self-image change need only be small. But if the purchase is a large one, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large. Such changes can occur very quickly. They can take place within a few minutes, or even in a matter of seconds.

Champion salespeople are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales presentations. They are quick to reinforce the buyers’ realization that they can have, enjoy, deserve, need, and are worthy of the marvelous new goodie they like. Do that, and they won’t just like your product; they’ll want it, need it, and realize they can’t get along without it — then they’ll buy it.

Excerpted from “How to Master the Art of Selling.”

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).