Client Communication on a Global Scale

Client Communication on a Global Scale

The rise of virtual communication has made the act of conducting business globally more accessible for many entrepreneurs. However, there are many businesses owners that still consider face to face to communication an integral part of conducting business globally. Travelling to meet with international clients is considered essential in forging long lasting relationships and trust. In order to find out how businesses in the global marketplace are facing this challenge in communication, we have conducted a series of interviews asking business owners to provide us with their experience and insights on the matter.

TUp first is Jonathan Chester, Founder and President of BitWage. BitWage provide invoicing and international for contractors and employees.

How do you currently conduct business in the global marketplace?

Bitwage is an international wage payment company that leverages blockchain technology to make payments faster and cheaper.  More specifically, we work like an account receivable agent for contractors and freelancers abroad, who can invoice employers in the US and Europe without requiring the employer to sign up.  We have users in over 90 different countries all over the world, from Latin America to East Asia.  Just last week, in a single day, I spoke over the line with companies and workers in Germany, Luxembourg, the US, China, Japan, Philippines and Brazil.  There is not a single day that our business is not in contact with an international client or partner.

Do you think is it still important to conduct face-to-face meetings with international clients?

The keys to successful business, especially in financial technology, are relationships and trust.  Face to face meetings are a great way to build both of these at once, but are not always required in every situation.  For our low volume customers, a press release, user reviews and the ability to use google translate on our website is good enough.  As we begin to process wages for higher volume customers in certain corridors, we will actually hire local customer support.  This is because, with higher volume comes more sophisticated questions, which the answers may not translate well over an email in a non-native language to our customer.  As the customers become even more sophisticated, we will have calls and video conferences via VOIP services, such as Skype.  However, even with the invention of VOIP services, face to face are still very important when it comes to enterprise clients and partnerships.  As a startup in fintech, only with a face to face meeting are you able to build the trust necessary to move forward with an enterprise deal.

Next we asked Max Stewart, Regional Director at International Trade Development Enterprise Florida. Enterprise Florida helps businesses locate to florida and operate in a favourable tax climate and large market.

How do you currently conduct business in the global marketplace?

We currently help Florida companies conduct business in two areas; 1. Trade Shows 2. Trade Missions.  Trade shows are a vital piece of the business arena and a way for companies to bring their international reps to one location for both training and showcasing new products.  Trade shows are also a way for companies to find new international representation in markets they do not currently cover. By taking those leads and using the states (Florida) services we can assist a company to vet those possible partners and make the process of selecting an in-country rep much easier.  Trade missions are a great way to find a market rep where you do not have one. By using matchmaking services we can help a company meet up to 6 possible reps in a days time and give the companies a large pool of possible partners to choose from.   We would estimate about 50% of our time in spend on traveling to the markets. 50% of the time is spent on the phone or by email with clients. Almost all of the companies are setting up internationalized websites to cover multiple languages and dialects.

Do you think is it still important to conduct face-to-face meetings with international clients?

Still to this day 70% of the sale is getting to know your distributors or buyers in foreign markets, so it is vitally important to meet face to face. So getting on a plane and visiting your sales channels helps. We discuss all the time with companies who come back from trade shows where companies arrange sales meeting with their regional reps, see an immediate jump of 20-40% in orders after a trade show. In this competitive market visiting your markets is the only way to stay ahead and keep your brand out front. We have had stories of companies signing up a representative unseen in a market and come to find out that they don’t even have a warehouse or the distribution capabilities that they claimed to have. Visiting a potential reps office is the only way to get a feel for their actual capabilities.

With these insights from the experienced professionals we hope it has influenced your decisions and opinions when it come to dealing with client communication on a global scale.

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Written by: Andrei Vraci is the Online Digital Marketing Head at Autoclick.

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