Localization in new markets is necessary for global growth. But sometimes those in charge of the purse strings need persuasion.
Common Sense Advisory analyzed the data from twenty global companies to come up with the following list of tips for handling this conversation with your company’s executives, what works and what triggers resistance.
- When presenting the numbers, frame the request as a smart investment. Speak in terms of “value,” “investment,” “financing,” and avoid words like “cost,” “spend,” “pay for,” “fund,” and “higher budget.”
- Create a memorable name for your localization initiative. Something evocative and easy to remember and refer to, such as Go Global by 2025, rather than Increased Localization for Select Markets.
- Connect with your finance group insiders, who know the history of what upper managers have supported and rejected. Tap into the language that has worked before, the concepts that support management’s central priorities, and get clear on other proposals you might be competing with or affected by.
- Before you present to management, ensure that your peers are willing and able to fulfill their roles in the establishment of new markets. For example, the sales team may need to put a sales force in place in India before you offer your website and other marketing materials in Bengali or Kannada. Think through the full process required for new market success and get buy-in from all the players.
- Be clear about the impact of rejecting this opportunity. If the executives in charge say “no”, it is quite possible that your brand could attempt localization down the road, but also possible that you will have trouble pulling ahead of the competition at that point. Substantial revenue can be lost, and entering a market when your competitors have already established themselves creates added obstacles and problems.
- Practice your presentation. Get feedback, make improvements. Also, seek out someone in upper management who is undecided about your initiative to find out the concerns they have before you make your formal presentation. That way you can address objections right away and keep the conversation about the benefits of your plan.
There may be many other proposals under consideration by your managers, and ultimately your localization initiative is a business decision and not a personal or emotionally-driven one. So gather the facts and consider your presentation one aimed at education as well as persuasion. Skrivanek project specialists are available to help you outline the steps involved and resources required for successful localization.
J. V. McShulskis