Winning Over CxOs- 6 Nuances When Selling in Other Countries or Cultures
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Winning Over CxOs: 6 Nuances When Selling in Other Countries or Cultures

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

One intriguing topic that many of you have frequently inquired about is about the cultural nuances in CXO-level conversations.

First and foremost, it’s essential to remember that irrespective of culture, the person you’re meeting is a human being. 

In any conversation, there should always be a container of safety, a sense of empathy, and thorough preparation for a successful meeting.

These factors lay the foundation for structuring valuable conversations.

Here are 6 maximisers to help you go above & beyond to establish a connection in your CxO conversations across cultures

Let’s dive in…

  1. Cultural Awareness.

Understanding cultural contexts is crucial in CxO conversations. 

There are primarily two types of cultures: high context and low context. 

High context cultures rely heavily on unspoken cues, while low context cultures are more verbal and explicit. 

It’s not about high context vs. low context; it’s about understanding where you and the other party stand in relation to these polarities.

For instance, compared to the US, India may appear to be a high context culture, but when juxtaposed with Japan, it would seem more low context. 

It’s all about relative differences.

2. Behavioral Awareness

Once you’ve identified the cultural context, start observing the finer nuances of their behavioral styles. 

Are they asking you questions, or are they telling you something? 

Are they operating from reason or emotion?

I recall a meeting where the person started asking about my understanding of their organization’s new value proposition. 

Instead of jumping right in with my knowledge, I encouraged them to share their perspective. 

This approach gave me the opportunity to delve deeper into the conversation, building their confidence in me.

3. Communication Styles

How they communicate is also an important aspect to take note of. 

Is the person speaking directly or indirectly? 

“Hey, we are thinking about considering a move towards becoming more digitized.” 

Whatever this means, is a good example of indirect communication. 

Direct speech is straightforward, while indirect communication often requires interpretation. 

This distinction helps tailor your responses.

4. Decision Styles

A key factor to consider in the cultural context is their decision-making style. 

You have to understand how your CxO’s decide.

When they decide, is it more consensus driven or is it more top down?

I have seen leaders who say, hey, that’s a great idea, what do all of you think? 

They are primarily looking at more consensus rather than them taking the decision. 

You can appeal to their decision-making style by aligning the messaging and delivery model of your solutions. 

5. Conflict Styles

Let’s now talk about conflict orientation. 

How does your CxO’s handle conflict?

Do they walk toward conflict?

Are they walking away from conflict?

Understanding conflict styles can guide how you navigate the levels of tension you can build in the conversation.

6. Trust Orientation

Last but not the least is understanding their trust orientation. 

In most cultures, trust is seen as a key ingredient in any relationship, while in other cultures, trust is not as important.

Is it more relationship based where it’s founded on personal relationships and connections?

Or is it mostly task-based where the more important thing is the ability to get things done?

Trust orientation refers to the way in which people from different cultures view trust. 

By understanding the trust orientation of the people you are interacting with, you can build stronger relationships and achieve your business goals.

In these CXO conversations, awareness brings choice, and choice is power. 

Being prepared, resonating with the person, tailoring the conversation to their style, and adding value are key.

When working across cultures, remember that although people may appear different, they are still human. 

Build that human connection, look into their eyes, and feel that humanity.

Leverage this understanding to foster better connections, communications, collaborations, and success in your CxO conversations.

Join The Tribe

Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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