How Not To Enter European Markets

During my more than 20 years in building up companies in Europe I have come to this conclusion

  • Do not to sell the American way, but respect that people like to take their time and want to know you. So don’t be aggressive – be dynamic. Don’t plan more than two business meeting per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is of course some exceptions to this rule, like Germany where you have quite agressive in order to succeed, but that is a subject for another article. However, apart from that all other points are valid.
  • Don’t try to sell in the English language, learn the country language if you are serious about starting a business. You can learn that in 3 months if you are committed, and translate all sales material into proper Italian. You must show respect for your host country and its culture. Your new language skills do not have to be perfect just understandable.
  • Don’t brag about your products or services neither in writing or at selling in person. It will only turn potential customers off. Let the qualities of the product/services speak for themselves. Talk about advantages of your products/services based on real facts.
  • Don’t start selling before you have reliable market information (= up-to-date market research) about that particular market in your product area.
  • Don’t start market your products/services before you have a strategy with goals measured in time and money based on reliable market research.
  • Don’t forget the the three TTT: Things Take Time

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