As an entrepreneur, the chances are that you’re always looking for new ways to find clients.
Whether you invest in a marketing strategy, take on a sales executive or slash your prices to be more competitive, there are so many ways to stand out in today’s crowded market.
Another is to expand internationally, targeting clients outside of your home country to unlock a new revenue stream. Below, we’ve put together some techniques on doing exactly that…
Use your connections
First of all, start by looking at your current connections. Leverage your personal network and speak to clients who have arms in other countries, who can put in a good word for you. Ask for referrals and recommendations, using your existing clients as a case study; if you already have experience working with a client in a particular niche, other companies will sign up.
Head to events
Next up, attend events to meet people in the industry you’re targeting. It might be an event in your home country, or you might travel overseas to a specialist exhibition. The more of these events you identify and attend, the more likely you are to find international clients, but it pays to be strategic and find conferences where attendees match your target market to save time.
Show you’re committed
It takes a lot of effort to fly out to another country for a business meeting, but it demonstrates that you’re committed to working with an organization and that you’re not afraid of hard work.
Pull out all of the stops to show your international clients that you mean business, so hire a translator to ensure messages aren’t misinterpreted, establish a good relationship from day one, and use services like Skype to keep up-to-date with projects and deadlines.
And when you do meet the client in their home country for a face to face, it pays to research the area and work with a company that can help you make a brilliant first impression. Firms like Barcelonina, for example, help organizations host corporate events in Barcelona focused on team-building and having fun; consider something similar to show clients that you care.
Make your offer compelling
It’s all well and good offering the best services in your home country, but if you’ve not looked into the local competition, you’re going to struggle to succeed. If you want to win over foreign clients, you’ve got to offer something truly compelling – whether it’s lower prices, an improved service or a unique feature that your local and international competitors alike cannot offer.
Build your portfolio
Next up, focus on building a portfolio of international client work to demonstrate that you’re a global business and can handle complex demands. Many businesses are hesitant to work with international brands because they’re concerned messages will get lost in translation or that time differences and cultural barriers will hamper their efforts. In order to truly impress and win new international clientele, you must wow them with something they can’t ignore.
You might decide to showcase your work on your website, offer statistics and case studies from previous campaigns, or even pull back the curtain with hard facts; “X helped Y achieve a 34% increase in sales within six months thanks to Z”. When you can back up your efforts with numbers, your clients will be impressed and your company’s credibility will flourish.
Localize your content
Finally, make sure that you localize your content and your offering to keep clients around the world happy. In order to master the “global market”, you must be able to demonstrate your knowledge and adaptability when it comes to cultural backgrounds, transitions, and business practices, so consider hiring local experts in each country you want to target for more clarity.
And finally, remember that your clients will speak different languages. The Chinese market, for example, is one of the most lucrative in the world, but many entrepreneurs shy away because of social and cultural differences. Embrace those differences and demonstrate to your leads that you’re the expert in your niche and the number one choice for their project.
Whatever your business and background, we hope that these tips will offer you some food for thought and help you to target more clients abroad. We wish you the very best of luck!