T h e b a c k p a g e: border crossing

Lost in translation
LaureL deLaney recounts some cautionary tales
In one country the popular Frank Perdue Co. slogan, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” read in local language something akin to “It takes a sexually excited man to make a chicken affectionate.” Japan's Olfa Corp. sold knives in the United States with the warning “Caution: Blade extremely sharp. Keep out of children.” Or the hotel in notoriously polluted Mexico City that proclaimed: “The manager has personally passed all water served here.” Even this savvy global traveller had an embarrassing experience once when presenting a gift to a Japanese businessman. I had picked up a snack gift pack on the way to our meeting. The precise number of snacks in the sleeve was four. I thought this was an appropriate quantity to enjoy and share with his colleagues. I didn’t realise until later that anything boxed or presented in the quantity of four means death to the Japanese. Needless to say, I conveyed to him the “kiss of death” at the very beginning of our business relationship. I never heard from him again. Live and learn. Source: www.globetrade.com

how To go global

For large- and small-business owners alike, going global demands a new way of thinking and acting. here are 10 ways: 1. discover why going gLobaL is imporTanT The potential of overseas markets remains largely untapped. in the united states, for example, only 10% of all businesses export, and most export to only one country. Thus, current exporters could reap higher profits simply by selling to additional countries. 2. buiLd your FoundaTions you have to have a positive attitude and an open mind so you can develop and indulge in a powerful worldview – your prerequisite to taking on the world, and your foundation for starting and running a profitable global business. 3. map ouT your gLobaL journey

explore your territory, conduct market research, segment your product and market, keep yourself on track and create a thoughtfully crafted strategy that forces you to take action. 4. deveLop saLes and disTribuTion define your cross-border customer. your objective is to initiate, cultivate, and maintain productive customer relationships and, ultimately, build a global empire with customers for life. 5.make iT happen congratulations: you’ve got a customer! The next steps i have labeled the six p’s: price your product. prepare a quotation. pick a payment method. pack it up. put transportation to work. and plan to document everything. 6. buiLd your business The relationship between you and your overseas customer shouldn’t end with a sale. once you’ve completed the initial transaction, expect to provide a broad spectrum of “free” services to encourage repeat business. i call it the “care and feeding” of customers, which keeps them coming back. 7. keep Learning The greater your commitment to expanding your cultural consciousness, the more comfortably and effectively you will function within business and social environments beyond your country’s borders. 8. creaTe your FuTure as you take your business into the next decade, you’ll need to use the internet to boost your global reach. if you’re not already online, get connected. you’ll soon be on your way to a competitive edge in the marketplace. 9. maniFesT new FronTiers over the next five years, trade barriers will continue to fall, and fresh opportunities will open. stake a claim to your share of the action now. seek out alliances, partnerships, joint ventures and new markets in economies unlike your own. 10. reap The rewards oF gLobaL Trade global customers are the most demanding customers you will ever have. To service them, be smarter and produce faster than ever to keep up. will it be worth it? you bet. Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade.com (http://www.globetrade. com), a Chicago-based global marketing and consulting company. She can be reached at ldelaney@globetrade.com.

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Any communication or marketing professional needs cross-cultural research and communication skills to be able to succeed in the future eir Marye Tharp, marketing professor nd th pe ists sanies, tic ial spec r comp linguis tity iden ing othe h and a s not an te pora hristen l searc name i Cor rec he lega ime cting a re that t age t thor d au er an du o ensu langu ort , rep con h t elkin er sa B h c Li sear t in anot insul