Cross Border Sales

Selling - differing translations from country to country

At one time or another, we have been hit with the "it just does translate well". Having a little experience with a foreign language or two, I can understand how some words just do not have the same meaning from one language to another.

One word that I am very familiar with that really does translate well grammatically but not so well strategically; sales & selling.

I have found it to be impossible to carry over a selling strategy cross border from one country to another. Possibly in the Euro Union there are some similarities, i.e. the use of trade fairs, but for the most part sales strategies must be tailored to the particular country. To many times I encounter Euro firms seeking entry in North America with not only out dated strategies but those that have been proven unsuccessful here for many years.

When considering selling to another country, do not try to "translate" your past success elsewhere to that country. Think clean slate, as if the word selling does not even have a proper grammatical translation.

Cross border selling is obviously a function of many factors not addressed here but one thing is for certain; if you do not re-create the meaning of selling to properly reflect the translation in your target country, failure is inevitable.