Why don’t you do more business overseas?

Strange as it may seem, people make most decisions based upon emotion rather than facts.

Sales training courses emphasize the need to engage with the customer emotionally, using the Know, Like and Trust principle.  Anyone who has bought a house will recognize it’s an emotional purchase. When you’re deciding whether to buy a property, there may and should be some filtering of the options based on facts – for example, distance to the station, school catchment areas etc. – but, at the end of the day, the decision will be emotional.

The same is true for other purchases. Cars are bought based on emotional decisions and car manufacturers spend fortunes promoting their brands rather than the mechanical features. 

Do you remember the Janis Joplin song ‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz’? That wasn’t an advertisement, but it shows the power of the brand.

In your business, however, emotional decisions can lead you astray. I’ve seen talented individuals leave businesses as a result of disagreements with their managers, when in fact these talented individuals were suggesting business improvements. These improvements were taken as criticism of the managers, who reacted emotionally instead of rationally.

It’s emotional reaction that can hold a business back. You don’t take the opportunity to engage that new supplier or explore that uncharted overseas market because you don’t know what might be involved.  When we don’t know what something might involve, the usual reaction is fear – fear of the unknown.

If you add into the mix a whole range of preconceptions and apocryphal stories that abound, especially when it comes to overseas markets, you have a recipe for poor decision-making! You’ll hear any number of horror stories likely to affect your perception of overseas trading opportunities – but you won’t hear very much about the millions of ventures successfully achieved in other markets.

There’s no rational reason to avoid these market opportunities, but you do have to do your research and plan for them. You should focus on gathering as much factual information as possible and proceed slowly, step by step. The success you enjoy in these new areas will be well worthwhile!

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