Building Value Beyond Translation
Working for clients in a highly competitive market can create opportunities to stand out as a preferred vendor. One value we offer that my clients often site is publishing interesting facts about emerging markets. As with all of us, our clients are so busy trying to stay ahead of the competition, keeping current clients, and finding new clients. Helping them to find new markets that hold new opportunities will make you a valuable part of their team. You are viewed as a business partner rather than just another vendor. This increases existing customer retention and pricing concerns are reduced. Helping them get to market quickly by offering information, contacts, and understanding their goals creates a business relationship that enables them to grow and continue to need your service. For example: a client wanted to go to a trade show in India. He needed help with his VISA. All Clear was able to connect with the right State Department executive to get the VISA in time for the conference. Listening to my clients' needs and helping them has built a solid foundation for continued work for our company. Sending your clients information on export seminars or global market articles will enable them to see a new opportunity. For example, a key emerging market is Russia. Below are some tips and information that you can share with your clients to help while traveling and doing business in Russia. U.S. exports to Russia rose 40% in 2011, 25% in 2012 and over the past decade, have more than doubled. With such success in exporting, U.S. companies are taking advantage of Russia's recent accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The following are a few tips that I share with my clients. You can easily find resources on the internet or in many books about culture that you probably have on your bookshelf. Share them with your clients, they will appreciate it and value your excellence in service.
- Negotiations can be volatile and involve flared tempers.
- Wear business suits and dark colors.
- Women should wear skirts instead of pants.
- Standing with your hands in your pockets is considered rude.
- You are expected to be on-time for meetings.
- It is hard to do business in Russia without a connection. The U.S. Commerce Dept. can help find a Russian business associate.
- Bring a gift if you are attending a dinner at a family's home.
- Never show the soles of your shoes, like crossing your leg or putting one foot under the other. If the sole shows it can be considered rude.
- Laughing loudly in public is considered rude.
Sources: U.S. Commercial Service, "Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands"
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of GALA.