Identifying and Screening of Candidates for Representation
The most important single challenge that you will face entering a foreign market is the person who will be representing you on the ground. It is truly a double-edged sword. On one side this person needs communicate well with you and your team but also must be able to represent you to all levels of individuals in the host country. In many cultures one size does not fit all and the foreign company must be crucially aware of these differences.
Sometimes you get a person who deals with you and your company extremely well but these skills have come at the expense of how that person is viewed in their own environment. If you are entering a tightly knit culture, a person who is, for example, fluent in English and comfortable in American culture may not have risen through traditional “rights of passage” in their native culture and therefore not have access to all of the necessary influence groups to which your company needs to connect.
On the opposite side, you may find a person who is tremendously skilled in the host country but lacking in ability to work with you and your colleagues. There are times that this can be supplemented on your company’s side through a designated employee who has language and cultural awareness in the target market and can be the link between the two sides. If this is the case it needs to be managed with great care.
Your Own Team
If the market potential dictates it you may want to transfer your own person to that market. This can be an unbelievably rewarding experience for the individual as well as a perfect way to develop management talent within your organization. Global Market Management can assist you in this process both from the selection process to coaching that individual along the way.