Using Culture to Guide Sales Scripts

Ethnocentrism, the tendency to see one’s own culture as superior to all others, is a key reason sales efforts fail. Ethnocentric sales reps lack cultural flexibility and are particularly unprepared to meet the sales challenges posed by selling across cultures. By interpreting the behavior of customers solely on the basis of their own frame of reference, instead of creating new opportunities for understanding, ethnocentric sales reps create openings for misunderstandings.

Culture is the lens through which sales reps and clients need to view the world. Among the lessons culture teaches are how to begin and terminate a sales call, when to speak or remain silent, how to act when pleased or disappointed, where ...

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