Selling To Japan – Just Give Them The Demo

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I have spent a few late nights this week doing WebEx presentations to some prospects in Japan.  Japan is a massive market for our services, but extremely tough to overcome the cultural and language barriers.  I had a translator for the presentation last night who has been in the FX industry for 8 years and has a proven track record of building and running businesses.  And her English was good.

But the awkwardness of translation is a horrible barrier to overcome.  And her language skills are good but not great.  And answering their questions was tough.  An hour into last night’s presentation, and not wanting to spend an additional 2 hours, I threw in the towel.  I explained that the best thing to do is to just give them the platform and let them use it themselves.  I figured that as proven entities in the industry, they would have a natural curiosity and just start to poke around and use the stuff.

At 10pm I grabbed one of our Support guys who spend an hour creating a demo environment.  VM’s UAR credentials, settings adjustments, whitelisting IP addresses.  He made the whole thing happen in 2 hours.  At midnight I sent over the usernames and passwords to the Japanese prospect and wondered if I had made a bad call.  Japan is big on customs and respect and I had essentially cut them off mid call a few hours earlier.  I was not even sure they understood that I was going to send them a demo; they may have thought I had hung up!

And then this morning at 6:30 am….there it was.  In my inbox from the prospect.  Broken English but ……. they LOVED it.  The word “wonderful” was used a few times and a few buyer’s questions were listed.  I checked the logs and they had spent almost the entire 6 hours they had it working on it and testing the software.  They worked through their Friday night!   Changing the settings, executing orders, working the risk management aspects.  They turned themselves into knowledgable, power-users of our software before becoming a client.

What a revelation.  If your software is intuitive enough, just give the client a demo.  3 hours on a WebEx awkwardly explaining the minutia?  Nope.  Give them the demo.  Let their natural curiosity lead them through the platform.  It is not even translated into their language!  But they were hooked last night.  It is a great lesson for me.  We have a great product that is intuitive to use.  JUST GIVE THEM THE DEMO!

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