The success and progress of a business lies with relationships. Good prices, well made products and astonishing technology alone will not get you ahead. A sturdy, long-lasting relationship with your clients is the way forward for your business.
You may have mastered communication with your regional clients, but it may be a different situation overseas. The challenges that come with building an international business are much different. If you wish to improve your relationship with overseas clients, you can make use of the following tips.
Build Credibility with Clients
If you are transparent and truthful, then you will also be credible. This quality will also be associated with your products and services if your clients can see it in you. Your international clients will feel better working with you if all information is laid out on the table. This will involve you making research in their markets to be sure you have covered everything.
Set the Right Expectations
Expectations that are not met will bring about disappointments that no one likes. You have to make sure that all the products and services you are offering your international clients can be met to the smallest detail. Check your statements of commitment and ensure you can deliver as you promise.
Maximise Connections with the Client
Relating with your clients on a more intimate level will strengthen an already good relationship you have with them. This includes learning to speak the customer’s language, or at least learning some important words. You can demonstrate this by translating documents that are in their language with a professional translation service. Your client will appreciate you going to these lengths and their respect for you will grow.
Listen to Your Client and Adapt Accordingly
Depending on where your client is based, things may work different for them. The style of work that is fluent across your home clients may be different to your foreign clients. Listen to how they expect things to operate, and tailor your process around them.
Share Information That Can Help Your Client
Knowledge is still power, but some people seem to have forgotten that. Information that is valuable to the customer should be shared with them. When you keep your overseas clients duly informed, you will drive their desire to work with you, as they know they can learn from you and will respect your willingness to teach.
Build Long-Term Relationships with Trust
Trust is built through the points mentioned above. When you have credible behaviour and have set the right expectation for your clients, they will know they can trust you. Trust can be harder to build with overseas clients, as you can’t schedule face to face meetings with them and there may be language barriers. Put the extra work in and over time, you’ll have built a solid relationship.
Don’t Expect the Client to Take a Risk That You Wouldn’t
Sometimes, businesses expect their international clients to take some risks. What you should do is evaluate the situation and ask yourself if you would take those risks, or make that sacrifice if you were in their shoes. If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t expect them to. Your clients are your responsibility not the other way around. Treat them as such for improved relations.
Be Transparent and Loyal
The relationships you will build is ultimately between people and not just companies. This means that loyalty will go a long way. You can destroy a relationship by misunderstanding their needs, inadequately communicating or being greedy. Some businesses will deliberately deceive their overseas clients as they think they’ll be able to get away with it, but this is disloyal and will break the relationship. Learn to give full disclosure always and deal with all problems openly.
It has been said that the cost of getting a new client is seven times more than the cost of maintaining an existing client. When trust is built between your client and yourself, you are increasing your chances of maintaining their business and they may recommend you to their network, bringing in more sales.
If you think your relations with overseas clients are poor, take the necessary measures to improve them.