Planning Your Extended Work Trip Abroad
Thanks to modern technology, the requirement to travel overseas for work is less regular than before. Video conferencing and online collabs can help you complete many tasks without meeting in person. Still, there are many scenarios where you will be required to meet in person,
Whether meeting a major client or completing an acquisition doesn’t matter. Your time will probably be limited to days or weeks, so you must look to unlock the full potential of this opportunity. Here’s how.
Know your goals
The first thing you must do before taking any business trip is to set your objectives. Whether it’s completing the deal or preparing a new office to open will depend on the situation. Either way, clarity will encourage you to adjust your tactics.
Entering this environment with mixed messages and ambiguity will come back to haunt you. Returning home with an unfinished project or without the desired response from a client would be a major problem. If you have set milestones along the way, be sure to set appropriate deadlines for each target along the way.
Organise the travel aspects
If you are ever going to focus fully on the trip itself, you’ll need to prevent distractions. Whether gaining your ESTA for America or visa for the EU, permits to enter and work in the country are key. Without this, your entire trip is rendered redundant.
As well as legal documentation, you must consider the onward journey from the airport. Hiring a car, taking public transport, or using a private chauffeur service are some of the options. Whichever route you take, it’s important to put the features in place before you depart. Only then can you focus your mind on the work.
Research the company
When meeting with a possible business partner, stockist, or B2B client, you must tailor your approach to them. The key is to prove that you can offer the best solution for them. Knowing their company background and pain points is essential.
Careful research can be conducted before you leave. This will help you identify the relevant USPs of your services. However, you must also learn to listen to what they are telling you during those meetings. Still, your research shouldn’t be limited to the brand. Find out as much info as you can about key personnel to strike a rapport. It can make all the difference.
Maintain a work-life balance
When taking a vacation, it’s very common to abandon your normal habits and let your hair down. When you’re away on business, you must avoid this at all costs. Otherwise, your performance levels throughout this period can suffer.
It has been shown that exercise can unlock creative thinking. Likewise, you’ll find that regular hydration keeps your mind alert. When supported by a good night’s rest and healthy eating, you will be ready to present the best version of yourself. It can boost your self-confidence and subsequently influence the responses gained from others.
Invest in your presentations
The biggest USP when meeting prospective clients and partners is you. Having already invested heavily in finding your style, you should support yourself with tools like QR business cards. If it helps you deliver the wow factor at the first interaction, success will follow.
It is equally important to think about the tools used during your presentations. Having visual and audio content ready to show is advised. This is because people retain more of the info in this way. If you are a specialist actively working on an overseas project, setting out your strengths will underline your value. Once people are on your side, productivity can soar.
Know the cultural expectations
First and foremost, you don’t wish to offend anybody. However, it should also be noted that cultural differences could influence the way of work. For example, the working hours could be hugely different if it’s commonplace to take a siesta or break during the day.
Aside from appreciating how this can impact your workflow, you’ll need to think about language barriers. Likewise, putting contingencies in place for situations like an enforced lockdown will serve you well. Remove the sense of unfamiliarity and the whole project becomes easier. Not least because you can work with assurance.
Maintain links with your head office
Whether you’re a project manager working overseas or a salesperson trying to seal the deal, it’s not all about you. It may be necessary to gain updates from your head office or get them to support you with additional info. Maintain strong communication links at all times.
You’ve got this.