Getting your message across

Dealing with international prospects can easily seem challenging for small business owners with little experience in intercultural communication. It is sometimes hard to work out exactly how your message has been received by your target audience. In some circumstances you may even be unsure as to what exactly it is that your international prospect needs to hear from you.

Just like with your local prospects, potential international clients may appear to be ready to order from you, be hesitant or just not appear to be interested at all. With clients from a different cultural or linguistic background, it can be difficult to interpret their reactions. How do you know if you should step up your communications, slow down, or perhaps even tackle things from a completely different angle that is more customary when doing business in the home country of your international prospect?

Quite often it is necessary to adjust your communication style to suit your potential client in another country. If you don’t, you may inadvertently appear less professional than you really are. As a result, your client is likely to turn away and find a competitor who understands his needs on a cultural and linguistic level, and can address him in his own language.

So how do you avoid this type of situation? To start with, analyse how business is done in your target country, e.g. Germany. Many language professionals also provide intercultural training for small business owners striving to expand their business internationally, or may even give you a few pointers as an additional bonus. Then take action and adjust your communications accordingly. Always check whether your target audience has understood the message you want to get across, and make every effort to optimise your communications. Otherwise it will be very difficult to grow your business in your desired target market.

As you are reading this article, you are most likely already aware of the importance of multilingual communication and have taken the first step towards getting your message across to an international audience.