Australian statement: Our widget is 22mm x 60mm x 134mm.
American response: What is that in American measurements (i.e. feet and inches)?
Australian statement: We were the first company in Australia with this technology.
American response: Who cares? We know that it is also available in other countries.
Australian statement: We have overcome the “Tyranny of Distance” to blah, blah, blah…
American response: Blank look. The term “Tyranny of Distance” means nothing.
There are many sayings that are unique to Australia and you shouldn’t worry about every single word you say to the Americans. One way to ensure that your potential customer understands your pitch is to get them to sum up your company and your products in their own words. That will help you to understand what they heard, rather than what you said.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have other lessons that can be shared with fellow Australians.
My next blog entry will discuss how Boral (an Australian brick manufacturer) carved out a profitable niche in the US market.