If you’re outside of the UK, it’s quite likely that at some point during your companies development that you’ll identify the UK as a growth target. With a population of 66 million, and a GDP worth 2,825.21 billion dollars (4.56% of the world’s economy), it’s not a market that many serious businesses can ignore. However, launching into the UK can be a challenge if you’re from an international market.
Timezones & Regionalisation
This might seem an obvious issue, but it’s often an overlooked one. The UK is 5 hours removed from the East Coast of the US, and 8 hours from PST. That difference can have a huge impact on contact times, service availability, and the ability for your team to be able to speak to your customers. Don’t underestimate the time difference when launching into the UK, but also don’t underestimate the local preference. A decision maker in the UK will always prefer to speak to a local, rather than be called from an International or out-of-area number. In a relatively small country, there are a lot of accents, colloquialisms, and local knowledge and shared experiences that make society tick – and it’s the knowledge and use of these that can make or break your UK launch.
Naturally the UK has different rules to other countries. Whilst still in the EU, the majority of these rules match those of the rest of the European Union. A key one, for instance, is GDPR (The EU General Data Protection Regulation) which it’s important to stay on the right side of in your business development efforts. GDPR breaches carry fines of up to 10 million euros, or up to 2% of your entire global turnover of the preceding fiscal year – whichever is higher. As such it’s really important to work with a local firm, hold your data for your growth efforts within the EU, and abide by the regulations with local knowledge.
The UK is a lot more critical of new offerings, which to outsiders can look like pessimism. Whilst an American company may jump at a new idea and be keen to try new things, a UK company is more likely to do a little research of their own before taking you up on your offer. What is similar to other markets is the need to build a personal relationship with a decision maker. By understanding their challenges, their position in the market, and having a cultural affinity with them – you’re able to put yourself in the best position to close a deal.
The sales process you’ll take with your prospects will vary by industry, however the UK as a whole generally takes a little more chasing and effort to close a deal. The same issue with gatekeepers and decision makers exist worldwide, but the actual process of closing a deal is perhaps more of an art in the UK due to the cautious nature of many decision makers. Being too pushy, or too personal in your chasing efforts can end your chances of a deal too, so it’s crucial to get the balance right.
Working With Local Experts
We recommend that you work with local experts, like us at Hey Prospect to help bolster your UK launch efforts. Our team of business development experts will help you establish a presence in the UK, and launch into the market successfully. All new market campaigns take a little time, but we’ll ensure you have the right strategy to succeed – and we’ll deliver on that strategy by approaching the right businesses on your behalf, backed by our data, our sales expertise, and our local market knowledge to help get you through the door.