In order to build a global business, a CEO must embrace the philosophy of ‘some’ and not ‘all’. There is a niche audience each business must seek out when capturing a global market share. All global clients are not beneficial to your business model. The procurement process may be too long. The deal size may be too small. The trust factor, on both sides, maybe established too little and too late.
Despite these obstacles, a growing number of entrepreneurs and CEOs are navigating their way past the obstacles and through barriers obtaining huge financial rewards.
I am going to share key insights on how to go from local to global based on the Get USA Clients programme my company initiated this year for Indian CEOs.
EXTENDING OR STARTING BUSINESS IN THE US
There are three ways to extend or start a business in the USA: Go there, be there, or get there.
The ‘Go There’ strategy entails visiting the US and attending events such as trade shows. This requires identifying the right trade shows where the list of attendees is shared ahead of time to prospective vendors. After receiving the list, a targeted approach of email or direct calls results in scheduled appointment times at the event. This process is expensive and requires prior experience locally in order to have any hope of significant success globally during trade show events.
The ‘Be There’ strategy entails either building an office in the US or leveraging existing relationships with US-based contacts (NRIs usually). For this to be successful a sales engine must be developed that identifies the ideal target companies to prospect, meet and close. Like the ‘Go There’ strategy, prior success at building a sales engine locally is required if there is any legitimate chance of success. If a family member is deployed then locality within the US is not enough to give you a strategic advantage. Selling skills and positioning must be superb in order to grab market share in US’s competitive environment where sales people are well trained on selling within corporate environments. Some CEOs have mistakenly established a Delaware company address in hopes it will open up doors to the corporate bank vault. An office address does little to establish credibility in a market of sophisticated buyers. The sales engine is the key to successfully deploying this strategy. It can be done provided you have enough money and talent. Both are required for significant success.
The ‘Get There’ strategy entails leveraging the power of social media by grabbing the attention of the right people in the right way. Within the US, almost everyone of professional significance is on LinkedIn. This social media platform is the number one business networking site on the planet. It is the most cost-efficient way to connect and build rapport with top executives within your chosen market. You can identify your niche audience and send direct messages to generate interest in your service or product. Within a few months, I grew my LinkedIn network from 7K to over 20K ideal target clients. The sales engine is easier to create on LinkedIn. You can ‘get there’ to the decision-maker in a way where your message hits them at a time most convenient to them.
HOW TO GET CLIENTS FROM THE US
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