One should never underestimate the depths of cultural context when it comes to a B2B buying decision. You might very well understand the importance of putting the prospect’s perspective first in your lead generation strategy.
However, that’s never complete unless you check the cultural context of their decisions. It forms part of the decision maker’s psychology as well as the business culture of their entire organization.
Take privacy for example. Europe’s recent decision to uphold the ‘right to be forgotten,’ debates have sparked regarding the freedom of information and what seems to be freedom from information.
Now imagine you have two prospects. One is in the U.S. and the other is based somewhere in Spain. In light of these developments, you already know that attitudes towards privacy. One values complete transparency and the other feels that transparency only serves to harm others. To treat one is clearly not the same as treating the other. That’s why discovering a cultural context is paramount.
That doesn’t mean this will be easy to implement in your current lead generation process. Here is a step-by-step outline to get you started:
- Historical background – Get yourself a brief historical background on the region your prospect is located. Knowing the time zone is just too basic. Understand their history, form of government, and even some of their recent events. It may not be relevant now but this seemingly random information can help stave off the culture shock.
- Understand past trauma – Trauma can affect not just the individual but it can spread to an entire organization. In terms of Europe’s RTBF, much of it may have to do with the horrors it suffered under Communism and WW2. In this case, context gives you a possible alternative to the usual reasons why a prospect may or may not give you your sale.
- Finding the middle ground – You don’t have to work in the U.N. just to value and practice a little diplomacy. If you’re trying to establish a middle ground with a prospect, you need to know where they’re coming from. Understanding their cultural context lets you know where they would usually draw the line.
There are so many things that a little cultural background check will already tell you. From negotiation styles to budget constraints, plenty of organizations are more influenced by their cultural environment than you might think.