Changing Corporate Behavior to Respond to Changing National Cultures Chapter

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Changing Corporate Behaviour to Respond to Changing National Cultures

Sales Training to engage the Mexican/German market

Newfoundland Capital Corporation's expansion into new and foreign territories is a bold endeavor due to the level of competition within these markets and the inherent difficulty in penetrating the customer base. Training a sales force to succeed in a foreign market is a strategic challenge. Some companies opt to engage the market with a sales man or sales team that is fluent in the native market's language.

Additionally, some companies seek to employ multilingual sales professionals to engage not only the local community but also the tourists that may visit and patron the area. Mexico is an interesting choice for Newfoundland to expand into. Here's why.

Similar to the Chinese and Japanese, the Mexicans generally will favor the opportunity to establish business with partners they know and trust (Kwintissential Ltd., 2011). The ability to generate a trusting relationship that is ostensibly not based on business is critical. The culture is such that a drink or a friendly interaction is preferred to the formality of business discussion.

Therefore, sales training should be focused on 'out of the box' strategies and tactics. The sales team should be expected to engage the businesses and befriend the business managers in a manner that is not a function of business but rather a function of friendship and camaraderie. Additionally, business meetings are established via a network rather than a cold call or impersonal invitation.

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Sales training should focus on the Mexican hierarchy and the chain of command. Mexico is labeled as a highly stratified nation (kwintessential Ltd., 2011) with appeal to authority as the rule. Therefore, the sales team is expected to not be 'aggressive' salesman or the stereotypical aggressive salesman that perhaps the Mexican market would initially perceive is the basis of the Newfoundland Capital Corporation.

TOPIC: Chapter on Changing Corporate Behavior to Respond to Changing National Cultures Assignment

Germany is perhaps a bit more accepting of the notion of a Canadian company establishing operations within her borders. Germans are historically a diligent and highly resourceful workforce. However, Germans are more comfortable with logic and certainty rather uncertainty or ambiguity (kwintessential Ltd., 2011).

The sales training must then focus on alleviating the uncertainty to the German business managers and the German customers. The training needs to focus on enabling the Germans to have full disclosure on the sales practices and the ability for the presence of Newfoundland Capital Management to be engaged in the German market.

Training must also address product knowledge to the point of knowing how the product is better than the other products on the market, why the product performs better, the technology involved in the parts that enable the product to perform better, etc. Additionally, the training should focus on the emerging knowledge and ideas in the field as an enabler to discussions with new business clients, indeed, in countries such as Mexico and Germany.

The sales training must also focus on value. The German market does not readily engage in business with the Canadians. Therefore, it is incumbent and essential for the sales team to establish a rapport with the Germans to prevent dissent upon investing into the market.

The Mexican and German markets are similar in that each is averse to uncertainty. Neither market likes ambiguity in their business dealings preferring an environment of full disclosure ostensibly based on trust and a level of friendship.

How might the company alter its negotiation practices for each market?

The company does need to alter its negotiation practice for each market based on the fundamental cultural analysis that should be conducted on the immediate target market. A blanket approach is not a suitable approach when commencing with the engagement of new business clientele in a foreign market.

The level of uncertainty that which the German market will retain is a direct reflection of the negotiating ability of the sales team and the training received to prepare them to engage the Germans. The key is to negotiate toward establishing trust. In fact, the sales team may want to arrange a retreat with the business development team (Germans) to build trust and establish a common interest.

The approach is to be more subtle, perhaps engage by partaking in the cultural activities and dining delicacies the Germans enjoy. The acclimation process for the Germans to accept Newfoundland Capital Corporation in the market is likely to be a timely procedure. Therefore, rushing the business relationship is likely to bring about a decisive yet negative response from the German market. Additionally, pressuring or rushing the Germans in any way may cause the client to rescind.

Negotiation practices for the Mexican market are likely to be more liberal and engaging than the conservative approach used to engage the Germans. Negotiating with the Mexicans should be done over a few drinks or over a luncheon or dinner. The relationship should first focus on facilitating trust and endearment which will then create the atmosphere to engage a business negotiation.

To negotiate effectively, it is best to be knowledgeable of your product and what its effect on the market. To use an analogy of the negotiated business entry into the Mexican market, consider one who brings a car to a Mexican auto repair shop near the Mexican border. The business services 100% of the Mexican market. To have the respect and full workmanship of the repair professionals, it is best to know what is wrong with the car and the parts that are likely attributing to the problem.

Therefore, negotiating in the Mexican market is a function of intelligence, spirit, trust, humility, and integrity. A scoundrel of a salesman, and there are many out there, will not break into this market. Fast talking and the use of fancy descriptors with no substance will also eliminate a company from entering the market. The culture is effectively a barrier to entry into the Mexican market and should be understood accordingly.

How would business communications practices need to change for each market?

Business communications in the German market will have to become more centered and address formal proposals with full disclosure and financial information provided. These communications need to be detailed and produced as if the sales professional harnessed some thought and judgment before creating and submitting a proposal.

The communication methodology is critical as it provides an initial yet formal presentation of how the Germans should perceive the new business client in the market. The less due diligence is involved with the creation of the proposal, the less trust will be ostensibly established by the sales professionals and therefore the greater the probability of the company's exit from the market. Similar to eBay in Japan the first time eBay engaged the Japanese market.

The business communications in the Mexican market may not need to focus as much on written proposals and formality as do the Germans. The trust is inherently established based on the camaraderie generated through a sort of friendship that is facilitated with the notion of establishing a business relationship. The business communications should therefore be somewhat light-hearted and open to debate and engagement between the parties.

Informal business communications is therefore favorable to the formal business engagement. However, one should be cautious when engaging with a female as the culture is reflective of Catholicism and therefore the light-hearted manner of engaging male Mexicans may not work with these females. Therefore, a cultural assessment must be performed before the sales professional opens his or her mouth. The business communication must reflect the type of individual being engaged without offending or insulting in any manner.

Therefore, business communication practices should be delivered from a standpoint of providing a benefit to the business executives in the dealing of information when attempting to establish trust. This is to say, if you can teach one to fish, a knowledge transfer occurs and one is better off. Now a level of trust is established to the point of enabling a market for the teacher.

The salesman is in a similar role in that a knowledge transfer takes place and enables the market to open as a function of business communication practices as a facilitator to the new business. Knowledge transfer often is not easy. The salesman must be intelligent and qualified to the point of improving upon the knowledge base of the engaged executive.

How will decision making and the use of hierarchy need to change for the company's offices in these two markets assuming that local staff be hired to run the offices?

The Mexican market is functionally vertical in arrangement and has a strong and rigid manager/employee relationship focused on maintaining the chain of command and respect to authority and to the elders. This form of relationship may not work well within the organization if the organization is unprepared to facilitate the workflow and the internal relationship development that is critical to succeeding in the Mexican market.

However, the rigid management is not outward but is a chain-of-command that is similar to executive orders given the knowledge and experience of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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