As the world becomes a more global place, businesses are increasingly building relationships with international clients, which can often be difficult. I would like to share an article from mashable.com about six ways to manage international relationships online.
This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.
Sometimes the hardest part of having international clients is finding a way to connect with them. Small businesses often have to worry about different time zones, different languages, and even different customs and traditions.
While there’s no catch-all, golden resource that can solve every problem a small internationally-minded business could have, there are some easy ways to keep your business up-to-date and in the overseas loop.
Here, we’ll help you through the basic steps of interacting with overseas clients, from translating pleasantries to tracking shipments to making sure you don’t accidentally call them in the middle of the night.
1. Basic Information
Before you even get started, it’s important to know the basic information about your client’s country. Usually the most thorough and reliable way to bone up is through the country’s official webpage. England, for example, has a good site with lots of information. Unfortunately, most of these sites are geared towards tourism and less so the time-pressed businessperson.
Wikipedia can actually be a great, quick and comprehensive alternative. Wikipedia pages exist for most major countries and include a helpful info bar on the right side of the page (usually just below the country’s flag). This information includes official languages, government make up, population estimates, GDP, currency, time zone, and calling code.
Also check out The World Factbook, maintained by the CIA. It includes “information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities,” according to their website.
Dr. Patterson first began working with Jennings Social Media Marketing about six months ago and has utilized a range of Jennings’ services including viral videos, website design and development, search engine optimization, social networking site management, blog posts & graphic design. Overland Chiropractic has already seen measurable results which they continue to track, such as an increase in e-newsletter subscribers, increased website and blog traffic, increased Twitter followers and TV interviews. Jennings Social Media Marketing booked Dr. Robert Patterson for an interview on one of Kansas City’s local news channels, FOX 4.
According to Dr. Patterson, “Valerie (CEO of Jennings) is very high energy; she really keeps things moving. I need somebody to push me and to give me deadlines and she does that.” Dr. Patterson views Jennings Social Media Marketing as an extension of his staff and looks forward to a long term relationship.
Jennings Social Media Marketing is a full service company that utilizes the art of online storytelling with the science of measuring quantifiable results. Jennings creates comprehensive social media marketing and Web advertising strategies from website design and development to viral videos. The company represents publicly traded to medium-sized businesses across the U.S. and overseas including technology, sports, sustainability, entertainment, travel, financial, health care and real estate.
Here is a podcast from Valerie Jennings, entrepreneur and CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing, regarding social media integration with sales.
“Hi this is Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings social media marketing. I want to review some social media marketing strategies with you that include sales and social media marketing integration. One way we do this is by looking at a current companies sale system. We need to know where there needs are coming from rather that be ecommerce, direct mail, phone calls, it could be advertising. It could be promotions they are currently running. And we want to understand how those needs are being processed in order to best accommodate the sales team and the sales system.”
Click the play button above to listen to the rest of Jennings’ strategies for social media marketing integration.