Going the extra mile, when you are miles away

Key factors to consider when doing business abroad.

We’re at the end of the love tunnel that was February, taking a look at our personal and professional relationships we work on daily, as we aim to grow positive and beneficial co-dependencies.

So among all the left over Valentine sweets, and puppy dog cards and e-cards, I think it’s good to recap on what makes one of the toughest kind of relationships – long distance – work with ease and efficiency.

It’s not what you have, but how you use it

Communication platforms: There’s a vast amount of popular social and business platforms such as Skype, WebEx, Chase Software, even WhatsApp, to name a few, which have proven that ‘online offices’ and conducting business abroad is possible, and for many preferable, as it cuts straight to business.

Online tools and networks for publishing, research, analytics, and insights are now, more than ever, widely available and many come with local assistance such as appointed account managers to ensure smooth operations.

Timezones: Do business in your client’s hours. When arranging for a meeting, or scheduling content, make sure to agree from the start that it follows their hour of the day. This avoids many back and forth of “do you mean my time or your time” conversations and posting content at the wrong time.

Love (and etiquette) letters: Emailing will typically be your main source of communication. So never ever underestimate the importance of email-etiquette. Here’s a great article that reminds professionals how to conduct themselves via email or other digital written communication.

Communication and honesty: Since you and your client are literally ‘miles away’ from each other, going the ‘extra mile’ is key to creating a healthy working relationship. Keep your client in the loop on all activities, no matter how big or small, as this will build trust and show mindfulness.

Call at least once a week. By setting up a recurring time, both you and the client can look forward to and prepare for a call that keeps the ice broken and objectives clear. Before online meetings or calls, set up clear agendas you share beforehand.

Neighbourly TLC: Research and keep up to date on current events and political landscapes in your client’s location. Have this as a topic of discussion on the agenda during your weekly calls.

And last but not least, treat your client with the same respect and attention, as one would with a client sitting in the room next to you. It’s worth it.

 

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Written By: Jeanne Lloyd

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