How to overcome language, culture issues when working with Agents and Distributors


Can you offer and advice on how to overcome language, culture issues working with Agents and Distributors

This question was asked at our recent webinar – Finding the right agent or distributor to grow your business overseas


Hi Marc,
We are very fortunate in that most of the worlds business people speak English to a greater or lesser extent. I’ve found communiaction rarely to be a problem. I had some business in France a few years ago and got some help from UKTI on translation for e mails but this was exceptional. If speaking on the phone is difficult for both parties then an e mail is better as there are so many easy methods to get it translated like google. Although these translations are usually sketchy, it is easy to get the basis of what the other party is saying. I would advise you to press on and write in English

Did you mean just language or also Culture?
Unless you have advice from the UK government about not doing business with a country ( North Korea?) , then I would dive in if you feel that market has a need for your product or services. I’ve been to some incredible places and have been welcomed in all.


We have a series of posts on working in India, China and the USA at

There is also a chapter on cultural issues for specific countries within the book Exporting Made Easy.

Export Action Plan