The careers of some professionals are defined by having a few successful meetings. This can lead to signing big clients which can all but ensure your job security for years to come. Those people that are sent out on international business trips are the people the company trusts the most to get the job done while they are abroad. Business trips are not the time to get your partying in although this could be a part of entertaining a client. You can get an immense amount of work done while on your business trip along with nailing a pitch. Being the person the company sends to meet with huge potential clients can lead to promotions and large bonuses. The following are ways you can make your next international business trip a huge success so your company does not have any choice but to continue sending you.
Get Your Day To Day Work Done
Do not take the time that you have traveling to your destination for granted. These long commute times can be the perfect time to get ahead on work or at least not miss a step although you are traveling. The ability to do this will improve your chances of being sent on trips in the future as your manager cannot say anything about being or getting behind on work. There will be plenty of time to relax as well as you will have very few obligations personally as you might know anyone in your current city. Use the time that you spend in your hotel rehearsing your pitch or going over how your company can help the potential or current client.
Some Clients Just Want to be Wined and Dined
There are going to be clients that are going to sign the contract regardless of your pitch but simply want to be entertained. One of the best perks in business is going out to a free dinner and drinks with someone you know you will sign a contract with. Do not deny the client a free meal and drinks simply because you know they are going to sign. Go out with them and stay out longer than you want to in order to solidify a deal. Developing a personal relationship with a client can keep a client around long term. Clients can often forgive mistakes if the news is delivered by someone they consider a friend as long as the mistake is corrected.
Research Business Customs Thoroughly For That Destination
Business customs differ immensely depending on the location of your client. You need to understand that in certain cultures denying something as simple as a cup of tea can be seen as the ultimate disrespect when meeting someone. Other differences can be the way you greet each other or even being on time to a meeting. In Germany, being late can be a sign of disrespect while in other countries a meeting time is just a general guideline. Do your research about customs in a certain region as something simple can make or break a deal.
Not only should you be well-versed in the business customs of a location but you should also understand the immigration policies. Knowing a country’s passport expiration rule can save you a trip around the world only to get rejected at customs. Some countries will not allow you to enter if you passport does not have more than 6 months of validity before expiration. Countries differ on this rule so it is important to make sure your travel documents are as up to date as possible. Scheduling a meeting only to be denied entry to a country might not sit well with a company that is being pitched.
Create a List of Goals Before Departing For Your Trip
Creating a list of goals before your trip can allow you to plan or schedule in a more detailed way. A goal can be the amount that you want to sell to the client or getting a client to extend their contract long term. Have a few entertainment goals if there is a restaurant you want to try or attraction that is special to that destination. Also you should list out things that can be done better from your last business trip whether it is preparation for the meeting or getting an early start to the day. A successful business trip usually can be defined with selling something or at least learning a lesson that can be applied to the next trip.
Schedule Other Meetings in Your Free Time
Certain cities are hubs for particular industries so setting up other meetings could be an option. This can be with a current client just to build the relationship or add a personal touch to their customer service. Getting someone to meet with you gives you the best chance to sell them as it is easier to deny someone via the phone or email. This also gives you the ability to read their body language so you can see which product or service piqued their interest. Coming home with an unplanned sale can solidify yourself as the person picked first to pitch to huge clients.
Become the person that is sent on big business trips for pitches and relationship building. This can add a great deal of job security as well as can break up the monotony of having to go to the office on a daily basis.