Do cultural differences affect the way you do business?

I’m a Brit OK?  We British have a reputation for being reserved in our dealings with other people.  Maybe that’s wrong and maybe it’s right but I feel that in my business and in my personal life, there are lines not to cross and places I should not go when talking to other people.

Recently that led to coming smack up against a business colleague who evidently thinks that I am being negative and something of a wimp and because of that I’m losing out on potential business. I have to disagree and this blog post is about the two sides of that argument.

Very often when you are promoting an online business, and discussing your offer with a potential new customer, you will come up against the argument ‘I can’t afford to do that’. So, how do you deal with it?

My tactic is to try to work around it. I might ask whether the person really wants to go into an online business and whether they think they can do that for free. There isn’t much in this world where you get something for nothing, but there are some things that they CAN do, legitimately and even profitably but they may not know it.

There are some business options for being a free affiliate and one of them is Karatbars, that I talked about in my previous post. Another is promoting digital products via Clickbank and other sites.

With Leads Leap you can give away their own digital product, which is automatically branded to you, and you don’t need a separate autoresponder, not to begin with anyway – then you can use those leads to promote Contact List Builder, or anything else you choose.

I may also ask how much really could they invest per month, in an online business without impacting their personal or family finances. I will suggest work arounds to build a small income to re-invest.

In either case, what I am trying to find out is if that person is using lack of money as an alternative to saying flat out ‘I don’t want what you are offering’. It can also be a signal saying that they are not quite sure about my business and want some time to think about it or some more information. In that situation I will try to close the conversation on an open note, making sure that you give them the opportunity to ask more questions another time.

If I feel that someone perhaps genuinely doesn’t have the money, this is where my British reserve tends to take over. I will probe a little but then I’ll stop. What I absolutely will NOT do is start to rail against that person, tell them they are being negative and if they cared about developing the business they would find the money somehow.

That, to me is a bridge too far, in my book it isn’t polite, and I don’t think it would do my reputation any good to be that pushy. I certainly would not take that approach in a group situation where I might well be embarrassing them about their lack of funds. Money is a very sensitive issue and in my opinion it does not help to take someone out of their comfort zone. If their budget can’t support it, you’ll risk losing them a few months down the line, just when they are on the point of becoming successful.

My softer approach, I hope will give out the signal that I really DO want that person in my business, I really DO think I can improve their financial situation but they do have to think hard how they could find just a few extra dollars a month out of their budget to get started. And, sometimes they DO come back and we talk about what to do first. That’s hardly being negative.

In the case of Contact List Builder, the very first thing to do is to find the $10 a month necessary to join the GVO autoresponder. If your prospect can understand that and be willing to join CLB and duplicate what you do, then you have a customer whereas if you had pushed too hard, that person may well have walked away.

$10 isn’t a lot to ask, but with so many people already working two jobs and still on food stamps, even that little may be too much. I’ve been there, and not so long ago that I’ve forgotten how it feels to be that poor. I never will again.

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