3 Types of Cultural Communication Gets You More International Sales
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You can't learn to ride a bike without... well, a bike. Can you?
International business involves cross cultural communication. It is the inherent nature of the business.
To develop good cross cultural communication skills you need foreign communication exposure. With people. Live.
Cultural skills are fairly easy to develop. But you can't pick them up reading books. You need hands on practice. Most people only need the desire to communicate with other cultures and some practice to put them on the right track.
But good cross cultural communication skills are not easy to develop if you are an online business without much direct contact with your foreign clients.
If all the cross cultural communication you are getting is through emails
or order requests, this is how you are going to pick up the skills. There is simply not enough cultural interaction to actually learn with.
But what can you do if you want to get more international sales? Is there anything you can do to help your online business communicate better with your international prospects and clients.
Well you still need to learn from exposure. But you can laser focus your efforts and make progress.
First, you need to identify the three basic components of cultural communication:
International Communication can include all aspects of international communication.
But online, it all begins with adapting your own communication for international audiences. Make the effort to adapt your all of your communication to speak to all international visitors as well as your domestic market. Simply make a concentrated effort not to cut out your international visitors by ignoring them. International communication at this level is more about awareness and being universally polite in written communication. It is is the small details.
Multicultural Communication is when your communication speaks effectively across a wide scope of cultures. For example you can use International English to target the international English-speaking world. Multicultural Communication may not be the best solution for your domestic market. Your domestic market might have a very strong sales message that would be weakened by communication aimed at multicultural markets.
You may or may not decide on creating two specific communication strategies: one for your domestic market and one for a wide international market. This is often obvious to implement in non-English speaking countries. Their local communication in their native language, and their international communication in English for wide multicultural audiences.
It can be an interesting option for American companies, for example, to use International English for a wide international marketing campaign. This could be an initial option. But this needs to be evaluated carefully. Most international marketing is aimed at specific cultures and countries once the markets are identified.
Cross Cultural Communication
Cross Cultural Communication is about targeting your communication to one particular culture.
This step in international communication requires more specific market knowledge. Your message is totally adapted to one specific cultural environment.
It can be used for effective target marketing in a specific country or ethnic group for example.
The bad news for online businesses is that you really do need some cultural exposure to get it right.
The good news?
Online businesses have the advantage of being able to test, track and analyze statistics. This will help in tweaking cross cultural communication.
If you have identified a country with a large enough market, creating cross cultural communication and working extensively with the statistics will probably be worth the time and effort.
Build On International Exposure
By focusing on each of the three types of cultural communication, you will be able to identify what you are currently doing. You will see where you need to improve international communication
Use any contact with your international prospects and clients to see what you can do to improve the area you are weakest at.
The more exposure you get with your international markets, the more you will see how you need to adapt your communication. And practice is all it takes.
Your cultural communication skills will improve with time. And before you know it your skills will become as automatic as knowing how to ride a bike.
Are you committed to speeding up your international sales cycles?
Learn how to combine cross-cultural marketing tools and international sales strategies for faster sales.
Cross-Cultural Marketer & International Sales Specialist
Over 25 years field experience in aligning cultural offers for international sales.