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The Art of Modern Sales Management

Chapter 05: Selling Across Cultures

Culture is a lens through which people make sense of the world. Wearing another’s lens or walking the proverbial mile in another’s shoes will cause some discomfort at first, but those who master the process stand to reap huge gains. 

Some businesses learn this the hard way. Like when Italian automaker Fiat entered the Indian market. Their promotions focused mainly on the superior engineering of their cars. Others, like Hyundai and Ford, embraced strong Indian values like family-based decision making. Their promotions adopted uniquely Indian slogans and were aimed at families rather than individuals. 

Ford and Hyundai were rewarded with a thriving business in India, whereas Fiat was relegated to the bottom of the pyramid—a sad state of affairs for one of the world’s finest car makers. As marketing and sales functions work together to understand values and cultures their country connection can be strengthened and improved.

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  • Renie McClay


    Renie McClay, CPLP, is passionate about travel and about developing people. Having visited more than 40 countries, she has facilitated training for corporate, academic, and nonprofit audiences in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and Latin America. Her past roles have included sales, sales management, and training management for multiple Fortune 500 companies.

  • Anup Soans

    Anup Soans is the editor of MedicinMan, India’s first magazine for field force excellence in pharmaceutical sales. He is the author of three books for pharma field force professionals and a facilitator of learning and development programs at India’s top pharma companies. He conducts skill development and field force engagement programs that bring an alignment between employee aspirations and organizational objectives.

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