Article posted by Roger Frampton, for ExportAction
9 August 2012

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It says something about Americans that they count Olympic medals differently from the rest of the world. Not for the USA the simple tally of accumulated medals, their table is ranked by the number of gold medals. Silver and bronze is nice, but winning is what matters.

It is that competitive spirit that makes selling in the USA so rewarding. Show a business executive how they can enhance performance, or improve the bottom line and they will be interested in what you have to say. In my experience, you get a better return on your investment of sales effort in the USA than in any other market of the world.
Once you have made a case for your product, or service, in the USA, another kind of competitiveness kicks -in. We call it “I want it now” syndrome. Every day in the USA consumers can see television advertisements offering to re-carpet your home tomorrow – not in three to four weeks, tomorrow. A firm of plumbers brands themselves as “the punctual plumbers” and offers refunds if they are late.
“I want it now” does not just apply to consumer markets. In business-to-business sales, decision cycles are shorter. Every day they don’t have that software to increase sales or decrease costs put their business at a disadvantage with their competitors. We even see it in public sector procurement where the time available to respond to an opportunity is short, and the time to delivery or installation is much less than we expect in the UK.
We recently learned of a UK SME having identified an opportunity to respond to a state government’s “request for information and proposals.” Their submission was, by all accounts a thing of beauty, but by the time it was delivered a letter of intent to purchase had already been lodged with another vendor.
A UK SME without an intelligent presence (ie not a virtual office or box number address) puts itself at a huge disadvantage in the USA. “You’ve got to be in it to win it.”
For most of us, the Olympic Games claim our attention for a couple of weeks every four years. To succeed in the USA, winning companies need gold medal performance in every business discipline, every hour of every working day.

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Article posted by Roger Frampton, for ExportAction
9 August 2012

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