Handling Clients Overseas – Tips for the International Information Marketer

I was working in Asia a few years back, in a private school on
a small peninsula, far outside of one of this country’s largest
cities. For a time, I was the only native English speaker for
quite a distance and the only Caucasian for an even greater
distance beyond that. But I really enjoyed the solitude of being
by myself and learning the life of this new country by
interacting with my students and colleagues. But humans are
social creatures, especially with their own brood, so every day,
I would check my e-mail to see who from North America had
written.

E-mail was, and still is, pretty quick. I would shoot my mom or
dad a message the night before, and wake up to the replied
message in my inbox. Years before, when I lived with my
father in South Korea where he worked as a chemist, it used to
take well over three weeks to get a letter or package by mail.
Obviously correspondence has gotten quicker now and, as an
info marketer, you are going to be dealing with people across
oceans and miles away from your home. This is a good thing —
when you talk about expanding business, you can really do it
now.

With this added marketing advantage, you should know some
rules of the road first:

— Simple Written Language: Unless you are multilingual and
can do translations of your information products, you are likely
going to be dealing with exclusively native English speakers.
That is, residents of North America, the British Isles,
Australasia, parts of the Caribbean and, if possible, South
Africa. Each one of these area’s English is different and often
informed with slang or indigenous language influences, e.g.
Gaelic. There’s no way to be hip to them all, so just keep the
writing simple. It really will broaden your market and make it
easy for anyone who speaks English.

— Currency Changes: If you decide to market your product to
other countries outside of your own, great. Just don’t forget that
the coins in your pocket are not necessarily of the same value
as the ones in someone’s from Waterford, Auckland, or
Kingston. Keep abreast of the market value of your client’s
currency and be ready to do a conversion, so they know what
they will be paying for your product with their own money.

— Delivery Costs: We’ve all seen those infomercials on
television. You see the price of an appealing product, and it
looks good, but you have to take into account shipping and
handling on top of that. Be ready to give this information to
your customers as well. Call your postal or courier service and
get an estimate of what the product would cost to ship abroad.

— Government Regulations: This is very important. Before you send
anything, check with your postal service or government web
sites to see if there are any legalities as to what you can or
cannot ship to another country. It will save you a hassle later
on. A friend once wanted to mail a bottle of wine to a family
member working in a country where alcohol was banned. You
have no idea what kind of trouble it put the two of them in.

A lot of people say “the world is getting smaller” as a figure of
speech. In terms of modern communicationFind Article, it is. But you
should utilize this as an info marketer. A client base in Cape
Town is as good as one down the street.