March 2018, Volume 2, Issue 3

Your Global Brand – Marketing a Collectivist Mindset

Do you see marketing as promoting your products and services? If you answered yes, try reversing this concept to: Marketing is the act of creating need, whether it's the creation of new ideas and products, or identifying long-term products and ideas. (Take your products and services and create a need). Don't expect the marketplace to jump to you; you must create for the marketplace. This concept works domestically as well as globally. Let me explain:

Selling is the act of providing alternatives that fill the needs you've created. This concept works in your own country as well as in other countries, but in order to effectively market yourself globally, you must understand how your host country is different than your own.

Below I will highlight a few pointers to help you see how you can dramatically grow your business by refocusing how you present and sell yourself:

  • Think from the outside in — meaning from your audience in, match your client's needs to your products and service offerings. Don't tell them how great you are; instead tell them why they will be better off having engaged with you. Pitch your work from the standpoint of the customer's improved condition, not your own needs. No matter where in the world you work, this concept stands the test of time. Why? Because this concept is about building for others, it is a collectivist mindset and this way of thinking is recognized worldwide.
  • Collect referrals — The time to get referrals is while you are in the job process and active with your client, not after you've left and the relationship becomes tepid. Tell your buyer that referrals are the growth of your business and ask if they would be willing to introduce you to colleagues, acquaintances, their trade association leaders and know that in large organizations referrals need only be to other departments or divisions. This idea works best in the US. When working abroad, however, you must tailor this concept and wait until you have established relationships with your new business partners. This process may take longer to develop when you are overseas. In some cultures, you don't even ask, because if you have serviced your client well, they will automatically refer you.
  • Look at your website — make sure it provides value, not boring advertising. Post interesting articles, provide interesting links to other pages on your site, offer products that are custom tailored to your audience.

    This concept is widely accepted in foreign cultures where the mindset is "Do for the Group." "Do your best to serve others."

  • Publish — from your audience's prospective, combine their needs into your services and offerings. At the global level, this attitude appeals to almost any culture. Who wouldn't want value that is especially designed to help?
  • Leverage — Do not create anything that doesn't have an end purpose. For example, a paper you write can be posted on your website, pro bono work can lead to publicity photos. Explore all areas where you can apply what you develop with the "Let me serve my audience mindset," and you will become a magnet to people from all corners of the globe.
  • Ignore the competition — Do not allow the competition to determine your marketing strategy your job is to create your unique niche, in which you become number one, not to pursue your competitor as an attempt at becoming better than them. They are already great at what they do. Find your specific area and develop that space so you can become the leader in your field.

    This concept is never more important than in the global marketplace. Most collectivist societies seek professionals to do the things they can't, but you must be the expert in your field. Many world cultures view experts and degrees and education as the cornerstone of credibility. So ignore your competition and work at becoming the best you can be. That expertise will take you far in the global marketplace.

I end this piece with my famous quote: "Remember - you are a foreigner everywhere except in your own culture." © 2018, Candida Marques Global Arrival, LLC

How Globally Credible Are You?

During an initial global meeting you are not there to sell your products and services, you are there to have a conversation, explore your counterpart's issues, provide value and most importantly, develop a relationship. This process may take a few meetings before you will be ready to do a formal presentation or submit a proposal. But believe me the time invested will pay off in a huge way.

Tips for building global credibility:

  • Never discuss business — especially in a first meeting, as matter of fact, let them take the lead. In many cultures, your prospect wants to get to know you before ever discussing business with you.
  • Ask provocative questions – once you have been given the green light to discuss business, get your prospect talking and, listen, listen, listen!
  • Do your homework — learn all you can about the culture your prospect comes from, learn as much as you can about their company prior to the meeting. Show an interest in them, it is not about you, it is all about them.
  • Gently push back — and I mean gentle, gentle, or not all in some situations. If you are able to show areas where you disagree with some of their points you must then offer alternative points of view. Relationships are built on honesty and transparency. However, be careful not to push back too hard. In some cultures you can't push back in a meeting where others are present, it is a disgrace to shame others. If you are in such a society, then voice your points of view in private or through a third party. I know for some American's this concept seems dishonest or gossipy, but believe me it is better than causing an important potential client to lose face. This is why understanding your local culture is of utmost value to you as a leader in a foreign land. One mistake, NO SECOND Chance!
  • Offer immediate value — demonstrate approaches that may be applicable. Don't wallow in theory and don't focus on your excellent credentials, instead provide help. However, and again, I mention how important it is for you to understand your local climate. In some cultures you must mention your education, credentials and demonstrate your expertise, you must not, however do it in a bragging manner.
  • Embrace them — use "we" and "us." Focus the conversation on how you will collaborate with them, not what you will do for them.
  • Focus on outcomes — spend little time on alternatives like training, surveys, etc., instead focus of the results you've delivered for others in similar situations. Careful, here though, because in some cultures you must detail a process for them. The process details are what determine in their minds your expertise.
  • Be professional — dress well and look your best. People want to do business with those who they imagine are successful. This concept could not be truer when you are working globally. Most professionals from other countries think Americans dress sloppy. You don't want to create a sloppy image, because they won't respect you enough to want to work with you.
  • Take the initiative — ask about the meeting time frame and if there is an agenda. However, be aware that in some cultures there is no agenda and presenting one will be viewed as insulting. Meetings are for people, not things and time is not the issue, the quality of building a steady and strong relationship is what prevails.

    Lastly, summarize what you've heard, act like someone accustomed to working with higher level people. This concept is most important in a culture where authority and hierarchy matters. Even in the USA this concept works, it shows you are a good listener. Everyone wants to work with a good listener.

I end this piece with the following: "Pay attention to your surroundings, be mindful of where you are within your surroundings. This type of attitude will allow you to build relationships with foreigners in a way you could never have imagined." Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.

Growth and Your Expat Journey

"It is not enough to understand what we ought to be, unless we know what we are; and we do not understand what we are, unless we know what we ought to be."

— T.S. Eliot

During my time living and working overseas, I was constantly exploring who I was. This idea was not only essential to my survival in a foreign place, but it was the piece most needed in order to ensure my success as a leader in a foreign land. Below I share with you some of my secrets to success:

Ask yourself the following:

Who am I? How did I get here? This is the first step in your global journey, take an honest self-assessment. Do what consumer companies call a "brand audit."

Take a step backwards, conducting a thorough assessment of where you are will allow you to devise concrete steps in developing your personal "global leadership persona™".

You are today.... what you experienced yesterday.

You are a product of all your life experiences. These include, but are not limited to your accomplishments AND your setbacks. So take a trip backwards and chronicle the historical mile markers in your life and include the passages you have taken to define who you are today.

Rule of thumb: "Success in living the global life comes from knowing and understanding yourself. Learn as much as possible about yourself and watch your confidence grow, success comes from knowing who you are". Candida Marques – Global Arrival © 2018.

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