Taking your business to an international market is exciting and challenging all at the same time. You likely have questions about how your brand will be received, what kind of marketing approach you should take and what kind of customers you will be targeting. Of course, these are all important and necessary questions. Perhaps the most important consideration, though, is how to build trust amongst your international clientele. This question does not just concern your business. It also concerns the community you will be entering and the people you will be interacting with.
You cannot establish your business in a foreign market without first earning the trust of the market you plan to convert to customers. This process does not happen overnight, so you must carefully consider approaches to invest in the long-term reputation of your brand as well as the wellbeing of the market you are targeting.
Be Honest About Your Products
Honesty is always the foundation of trust. If you are not honest with your target demographic about the products are services you are selling, you cannot expect them to trust your company. This is true in a local setting, but it is especially true when you are entering a foreign market. Potential customers are liable to be leery of an international brand selling a new product. Because you must overcome these doubts, it is important to establish your company on the basis of honesty. Be transparent about what you are selling, what it can do and what it cannot do.
Understand the Cultural Context
In addition to being honest, it is important that you make the effort to familiarize yourself with the culture of the market you are targeting. Culture plays a major role in any business dealing, and when there are multiple cultures being negotiated, it can get complicated quickly. Customers will not trust a company that makes avoidable faux-pas due to this cultural disparity, so it is important to research the norms and customs that make up the context you will be doing business in. Clients are more likely to trust a company that is culturally sensitive and aware.
Take Time to Build Relationships
International business is not just a transaction—it is a relationship. It is the joint effort that is produced by a network of relationships, actually. Do not make the mistake of treating your business endeavor solely as a quest for profit. This is usually quite obvious and will undermine any trust you might have amongst your target customers. Instead, take the time to build up your relationships and ensure that you treat your customers as people. This goes a long way toward building trust, as successful international entrepreneurs such as Sjamsul Nursalim can attest.
Respect the Community of Your Market
Building individual relationships is important, and it should lead to a greater relationship with the community of your target demographic as a whole. When you are establishing your brand in an international market, you are doing more than just promoting a product or service. You are having an impact on your potential customers and the communities they live in. This is why it is so important to invest in the community that you are targeting. You can do this by donating a portion of profits, engaging in a service project and meeting with representatives to learn more.
Listen to Any and All Feedback
Anybody who has succeeded in international business will tell you that feedback is absolutely essential. You need to get feedback at every available opportunity and integrate it into your business plan. This is not just important to your company’s bottom line. It is also important to the relationship you have with customers. Seeking out and listening to feedback is one of the best ways to build trust between your company and prospective customers, too. Sjamsul Nursalim has applied this approach and found success abroad by soliciting feedback. Applying that feedback is the best way to establish the bond of trust.
Be Realistic With Your Goals
If you truly want to gain the lasting trust of the clients in your target demographic, being realistic is key. You cannot set unattainable goals and expect your customers to trust you when you inevitably fail to achieve them. Entering an international market takes time and patience. Set small goals and build the trust of your clientele by attaining them gradually. This is far more meaningful than aiming high, and it is less risky for your bottom line, too. Your customers will appreciate your approach and be more likely to trust your brand.
Needless to say, trust is vital when you are expanding your business internationally. You need to establish a relationship between your brand and your target clientele, and you have to establish a foundation of trust in order to do so. Follow these tips and watch your business succeed both locally and internationally.