Global Business Myths – 3 More International Business Myths

Our in-house foreign nationals can sell to overseas markets.

In one example, a U.S.-based CEO told me his Chinese wife could negotiate with the Chinese government for market entry. My questions were: Is she a skilled negotiator? Does she understand the sales process? Does she have the motivation and energy to break into this difficult market?

Does she have the correct contacts and support needed to gain entry? Does she understand how to navigate the Chinese system? Language and cultural skills alone don’t suffice.

1. Our local partners will handle all of the marketing.

This idea of relinquishing market control while enjoying great success is rare. Most of the time, overseas partners will look toward the parent to help stimulate demand, deal with problems as they occur, get to know the distribution channels, offer subject matter expertise and show that the parent company has indeed invested in the market.

2. The customer expressed all of the buying signs, and even said “yes” to our proposal.

Many firms overseas conduct their market research by posing as buyers. They conduct competitive intelligence the same way. Your banker will tell you that the sale is complete only when the money has been deposited into the bank.

“Yes” when uttered in business meetings may simply mean “I understand you,” not acceptance of your proposal.

3. We don’t need to invest a lot; our Web site gives us a presence.

Actually, your Web site gives you a brochure, but no real place where businesses and consumers can get support, touch and feel your product, get to know your company and its staff, deal with returns, make product modifications and enable co-marketing agreements.

It’s necessary to have a localized Web site for market presence, but it needs to accompany many other things to make your efforts a success.

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