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How do you maintain client relationships in the global marketplace?

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How do you maintain client relationships in the global marketplace?

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Travelling to attend meetings with international clients can be stressful, time consuming and extremely expensive.

Therefore, this modern digital age has clear cut advantages for conducting business globally in terms of efficiency, convenience and savings. For some businesses, it is the only feasible way they can operate, by using technology to connect themselves with thousands of clients and customers dispersed around the globe. However, for other businesses, forging lost lasting relationships with international clients cannot be done any other way than face to face communication.

In order to find out how businesses in the global marketplace face this challenge, we have conducted a series of interviews asking business owners to provide us with their experience and insights into the matter.

The first business owner we approached is Andreas Johansson, CEO of Berkovitz Development Group Ltd (Belize). The Berkovitz Development Group offers opportunities to acquire Real Estate and property in planned residential communities in Belize.

How do you currently conduct business in the global marketplace?

Being that we develop our real estate projects in the Caribbean while I'm living in Orange County, I already has to consider the international factor. Add to that that almost all our buyers are international - American, Canadian, European, Australian, and we truly need to consider many different factors. In an everyday business environment, this means being available to your clients during hours that works for them, which means calls sometimes happens at 2am my time, or late evenings, as well as being available to communicate using many different means - email, phone, text, social media, whatever works. Finally, it also helps to stay abreast of major developments in their countries for anything that can affect our business together - their domestic economy, strength of currency, political changes, anything that can impact the consumer confidence.

Do you think is it still important to conduct face-to-face meetings with international clients?

Yes absolutely, while almost all day to day issues can be handled remotely, there's no substitute for being able to sit down in person. I travel to our projects in Belize on a monthly basis to be able to see the progress with my own eyes, and for my spirits business, I travel overseas regularly to attend events and meet our distribution partners. The bonds you build when meeting in person can't be done any other way, and it's important to show your partners and customers that you care enough to get on that plane to go see them.

Next up is Greg Dewald, CEO of Bright!Tax. Bright!Tax is the go- to cloud based US income tax preparation firm that is becoming the most sought after by the almost 9 million Americans who are living abroad.

How do you currently conduct business in the global marketplace?

Bright!Tax is a leading provider of online tax preparation services for the almost 9 million Americans who are living abroad. We have thousands of clients in over 150 countries and our sole means of connecting with them is online via the Internet. We have pretty well perfected the marriage of people with technology and thus we are able to connect individuals (our clients) from disparate locations around the world to our own American CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) who are expert at US tax for Americans living overseas. We have built our online infrastructure from the ground up and have arrived at a very elegant solution that allows our clients to have an experience that is quite personable, responsive and exacting to their needs. We are constantly analyzing and perfecting the ‘experience’ that our clients have – from their initial connection with us all the way through to the successful completion of a project on their behalf.

Do you think is it still important to conduct face-to-face meetings with international clients?

In our circumstance, no. Absolutely not. While it may seem counter-intuitive that individuals from far flung places around the globe would engage a financial services firm like Bright!Tax sight-unseen, in the last 3 years there has been a pivotal and global shift in what we refer to as ‘social-trust’. Now, with the proliferation of so many social channels online it’s a pretty easy task to have a rather in-depth look at almost any entity (or individual?) with which one may wish to engage. The level of social-trust that the global community has arrived at in these last few years has reached a critical mass and the ‘pivot to trust’ has indeed occurred. By capitalizing on this new dynamic of social-trust, we have been able to leapfrog the staid, ‘shingle-out-front’ model of accountancy and from day one, we uploaded ourselves and our talent fully into the cloud. The result from our side has been impressive to say the least. And on the client-facing side, almost to a one, Bright!Tax clients are thrilled with their experience with our firm.

We hope these two opposing insights give you clarity in understanding what the best approach for you is

Author Bio: Andrei Vraci is the Online Digital Marketing Head at Autoclick.

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