Asia is the dream market for its sheer size. And a nightmare market for its differences in culture to Westerners. Michael’s experience in how to sell to Asian clients is extremely interesting for those who want to go global from their HQ office.
A common denominator for sales all over the world is trust. People buy from people they trust. Also in East Asia. And the English language is not as widely used as we may think her in Europe, so hiring someone local from your target country is a giant leap forward in the competition. A local office should be considered but it is extremely costly, so the inside sales model may be the feasible solution, at least in the short and mid-term.
Queue-it hired student interns with knowledge and experience in doing business in Asia. They helped Queue-it to sell to the Asian market. Michael presented a few key learnings, where the cultural differences came across very clear:
- A yes is not a yes. Never put someone in Asia in a position where they will have to say “No.” They’ll say “Yes” and you’ll never hear from them again. “Maybe” works.
- Titles matter. If your contact has spoken to someone in your company with a more senior title than you, he or she will not speak or email to you again. Live with it and work around it.
- A gift from you is important to show respect. A free trial or PoC can do the trick.