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Managing International Clients in 2021

This morning we ran an online event on the topic of managing international clients in 2021. Lots of people registered interest who weren’t able to come, so we’ve decided to share the top takeaways with you here.


You can read this here on the website, or download it in a pdf format on Linkedin following this link: Download in PDF



This information pack covers 3 key areas:


  • Knowing how to communicate with and persuade international clients

  • Understanding cultural differences that may be creating barriers to progression with negotiation and sales

  • Creating lasting relationships with international clients to ensure long term business partnerships


Read on for Onno’s top takeaways to get you on the right path for 2021.




Knowing how to communicate with and persuade international clients


Communication is key.


Knowing how to communicate with people is the first step to getting them to engage with you. We need to consider:

  • Who we can talk to

  • How to greet them

  • How much to share or talk

  • The best order to present information

  • How many pauses and how much silence to use

  • What is acceptable in terms of building rapport and use of personal questions


Can you confidently say you have the answer to these 6 questions?


If not, now is the time to start working on them.

  1. Get together as a team,

  2. think this through,

  3. and challenge your assumptions.

What works with one client or market won’t necessarily work with another.


When looking at persuasion, we need to remember the importance of trust and how we can establish that with the client. We also need to consider how to support our arguments and the information we present, particularly focusing on how much detail and how many references we may need (or not) to support what we present.



Understanding cultural differences that may be creating barriers to progression with negotiation and sales


When we look at cultural differences, I like to focus on 6 key areas that we can all understand quickly and which play an important role in relationship development, and consequently impact our ability to effectively negotiate with clients.

These 6 contrast points are

  • Language (direct to indirect)

  • Relationships (easy to build or built over time)

  • Emotions (expressed publicly or reserved for private)

  • Personal space (how much we need)

  • Time (fixed or flexible)

  • Individualism (how well we work individually or as a collective)


Each of these 6 points lies on a scale and how we behave or react to each of these will differ greatly from one person to the next.


Knowing where we lie on these scales and where our clients lie can give us an enormous insight into:

  • how they will likely react to certain things, and

  • how we can best connect with them by possibly adapting our perspectives,

  • how well we understand them and their behaviour, and

  • how they might read our behaviours and reactions.


Take stock of your starting position because everything we do and the relationships we build are all relative to that.


So, where do you fall on a scale of direct to indirect communication? How much of a stickler are you for time keeping? Think through these six points and again, challenge your assumptions. Ask your colleagues opinions of you, do they have the same view?


There are of course many other things we can look into, and I would recommend downloading Onno’s free International Busines checklist on the website as a starting point. Download that here.



Creating lasting relationships with international clients to ensure long term business partnerships


Maintaining the relationships we have with our clients is obviously key to continued revenue from that partnership.


Some clients will need more sustained contact and information than others. Knowing how much to keep in touch with a client and what type of information to share (as well as how much detail) can help you to maintain the relationship and ensure it is lasting.


Having deeper connections with a client will make them more likely to want to work with you – after all, it’s not what you know, but who you know.



Thanks for reading.

I trust this will help you in your preparation for continuing to thrive well into 2021. For further help or insights, talk to Kellie directly for advice or support.

I can help with:


International Insights:

Personalised, confidential advice on dealing with clients or partners in specific areas of the globe. These consultancy sessions can be organised ad-hoc.


New Year, New Market:

A personalised service to evaluate your readiness for taking on a new market in 2021, including a bespoke report and all the information you need to confidently, effectively & successfully engage with the new market clients.


A Global Effectiveness Audit:

An in-depth analysis of the current situation within your organisation regarding a key client or market, or an evaluation of your preparedness for entering a new market. This signature service is a comprehensive support package complete with a full, personalised report and advice to move ahead with your international markets.


Ongoing support in the form of monthly access to direct support from me as and when you need it.

This is an affordable and sensible option for organisations who work internationally on a daily or weekly basis. This benefits you with international insights, support, and crisis management on hand at all times.



Contact us for more information, or book directly through the website.




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International Business Support and Corporate Training.

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