Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Keeping It Real Whilst Knowing Your Audience

When it comes to your business style, whether you work for yourself or for a big organisation, I’m a real fan of keeping it real, of being your true self in business relationships. Doing it any other way is just not effective, what’s the point of not being yourself?

But you must remember who your audience is. I’ve had days when I’ve been at The House Of Lords meeting a 'Lord' in the morning and with a nightclub brand in Hoxton in the afternoon. Such is the glorious eclecticism of my client base. But that creates some considerations in how you approach relationships. Your offering and your brand personality may stay the same, but you might have to tailor your language. Not literally, but in how you manage the relationship. You’ll bespoke your message and translate your approach to work in their world. Because what might be everyday language for you might be jargon for them.

Of course this is not news for anyone who does business with people in different territories. In Monday’s FT Zhang Qing offered advice on how westerners should set up business meetings in China. He observed that Chinese businesspeople have a much lower lead-time in planning meetings and schedules; if you were to attempt to schedule an appointment a month or so in advance, it might be suggested that you fix a time once you arrive. Such has been their pace of economic change that one month could be regarded as a long time in the future, so they are much more impromptu.

So whether you are juggling different client sectors, different cultures or just need to respect different client personalities, remember that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.

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