This post is also available in: Türkçe (Turkish)
To make an impact in a foreign market-place it is often essential to visit that country. This may be for a trade show or exhibition, a business expo, a visit organised by your Chamber of Commerce to introduce you to specific foreign markets or a visit to call on existing clients (and maybe find a couple of new ones). So you need your passport and suitable business wear – but what else?
If a foreign visitor handed you their business card in a language you can’t read what would you do with that card?
So wouldn’t it be good to have a dual-language business card with your native language on one side and the same information in the language of the country you’re visiting on the other? That’s just the start.
If you want to leave information with potential ‘warm leads’ at a big event, having marketing flyers in more than one language is much more likely to turn those leads into customers.
If you’re visiting new clients your business pack in their language will make a much better impression than offering a version in your native language only. Even if your clients speak your language well, there’s a subliminal message that says ‘can’t be bothered’ or ‘expect you to do all the leg-work’ if you don’t make your information easily accessible in their own language.
Business cards travel independently
The most powerful method of getting business is word-of-mouth. People who are recommended by someone else come with an expectation of buying that ‘cold’ contacts don’t have.
When you’re travelling you meet people, whether it’s that man at the airport, the person in the seat next to you on a flight or a woman who is staying at the same hotel. Polite conversation inevitably gets to the ‘What do you do?’ question quickly – or perhaps, ‘Why are you travelling to … ‘ If you can present a business card that they keep, you never know where it might end up.
There have been instances of:
- Discovering you’re sitting next to the partner of the company you’ve been trying to get into for years on a flight
- Chatting over dinner in a hotel to find that your dinner companion works in a company that is desperate for the kind of help you can offer
- Sharing an airport taxi with the MD of the company where you’ve been in conversation with a more junior manager and making slow process.
You want to be remembered – and your business card ensures you are! If they’ve been impressed having your contact details in their language will impress them even further.
Even if your meetings are with people who have no connection with your target market, you never know who they know. If the next person they talk to complains about a business problem that you can solve, it makes perfect sense for them to pass your contact details on.
Getting your business cards and other business material translated is very affordable, even for the smallest business. And when you win that juicy contract, it will pay for itself many times over!