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Developing an International Sales Strategy

Whether you’re currently working internationally or wanting to break into an international market this year, in this post we’ll be looking at some of the key areas you need to consider when preparing for a new international client.

Prepping for an international lead or client

One key area that we need to understand when we are targeting a new international client is the the hierarchy of the company and regional culture.

The hierarchy

Cultures are either egalitarian or hierarchical, but why is this important for your business?

In an egalitarian culture, you can:

  • talk to anyone within the organisation regardless of your (or their) position within the company’s organisational structure,

  • directly connect with anyone within the company without needing permission from their superiors,

  • expect that the distribution of power is more equal, and that people at different levels of management are able to make decisions themselves without higher approval.

Examples of countries with an egalitarian workplace culture are

  • Denmark

  • The Netherlands

  • Australia

  • Canada

In a more hierarchical culture, you can:

  • expect that you may need approval from a manager or boss before speaking with a more senior member in the organisation – jumping the hierarchy can cause problems,

  • expect that many people within the organisation will be reluctant to take initiative as things will need to be passed to senior management for approval,

  • expect that there will be a stricter order within the organisation in terms of who can speak and when, and you will need to respect this. This can influence the order in which you communicate with people, and how much or for how long people can talk.

Examples of countries with a hierarchical workplace culture are

  • France

  • Poland

  • Russia

  • China

Additionally, this hierarchy will impact how you greet people.

As a rule of thumb, for those organisations within a more hierarchical culture you should use the full name and title until invited to use first names.

In a more egalitarian culture, you can generally call people by their first names, and the order in which you talk to people in more flexible.

What about the UK?

Well, as with most areas, we fall somewhere in the middle and we’re (somewhat) aligned to the USA and Germany.

3 key areas of an international sales strategy

In an event I ran this week for Bruntwood, we covered 3 areas of developing an international sales strategy:

  1. prepping for international clients and sales,

  2. managing your clients once you have them, &

  3. how to carefully and quickly adapt your marketing content for an international audience.

If you want to see the recording of the event for more information and tips, you can watch the recording here.


If you want to come along to my event on March 9, The Power of International Intelligence, we’ll be looking at how to:

  • make your marketing content easier to understand

  • make your marketing content more effective at engaging with your target audiences

  • protect your brand while growing your audience

To get your free ticket for the event, click here to register.


For a free international business checklist, you can click here to download it straight to your computer right now.

Want to talk to me about your international business growth or clients?

Contact me directly via email to set up a chat:

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