International B2B Telemarketing
As the No.1 Freelance B2B Telemarketing person in the UK, I suppose it was only a matter of time before clients from our around the World started calling me. Let me explain the pros and cons of International lead generation via telephone….
B2B Telemarketing to the USA
I started providing high-end telemarketing more than 8 x years ago. I guess the first International client was a customer in the States who I helped about 5 years ago. Whilst UK English and USA English are not identical, it’s pretty much the same language.
Of course the main issue here to begin with was regarding the time-zones. The USA is so large that I found myself having to call 3 time-zones from New York on the East Coast to California on the West Coast.
When one plans a call schedule to target companies in the UK, at least everyone is working to the same clock. In the USA, 10am for someone in New Jersey is not 10am in Dallas; so that certainly takes some getting used to when planning call-backs.
The second main issue with B2B Telemarketing to the USA is the ‘Culture of Voicemail’. Perhaps because of the vast distances between companies in the USA and the multiple time-zones, workers in the USA appear to prefer voicemail to having a conversation. Moreover, I found that the need for gaining cell-phone numbers was much more important in the USA than in the UK.
Whilst calling the USA from the UK certainly presented it’s own issues – there was one major upside. My “Queens English” approach certainly scored highly on USA campaigns. Whilst most US citizens enjoy the fact that they won their independence from the Brits, they still love the British accent.
B2B Telemarketing to Europe – “Parlez Vous Telemarketing”
Calling the USA and speaking English is one thing, but imagine calling prospective buyers in Europe? A number of months ago, a client asked if I could help him to target Europe. I heard those famous words, “Everyone in Europe speaks English”. Well that would have been nice if it was true?
To be fair, I would say that when one is targeting global corporations that many companies in Europe employ English-Speaking staff. This does vary greatly from country to country. The northern countries including Germany, Holland, Belgium and Denmark speak reasonable to excellent English. Yet when one starts calling southern and eastern Europe, it’s a different kettle of fish.
I would not claim to be fluent in any language other than English, so my language skills were pushed to the limit in some countries. If you don’t speak French, Spanish or Italian you can forget doing business by telephone in these countries. A small amount of German will work wonders in the northern countries, but the French will only talk to you if you talk in French.
Then there are the cultural differences to watch out for. Nordic countries including Austria will follow much the same work-cycle as the UK. By that, I mean that they arrive on time, take a short lunch then work through the afternoon. My experience of countries in southern Europe is that a lunch break can start at midday – but for senior personnel lunch can go on for the rest of the day!
Does B2B International Telemarketing work?
The simple answer to this is “Yes and No”. Yes it works if one can speak the native language fluently. Yes, it also works in many Nordic countries where English is viewed as the International language. From my experience I would advise to steer clear of the non-Nordic countries on the whole unless one has first-class skills in multi-lingual selling.
In terms of work that I’ve undertaken that target major organisations across Europe, I managed to arrange meetings within 60% of the target countries. Had my remit been to target only “Nordic” or “Germanic” countries, I would have hit 100% success.
If you need B2B Telemarketing to Europe, why not give me a call for some free advice – Stephen Law 0203 790 9307 firstname.lastname@example.org ?