Big in Japan
By: LaurieLohner
Fri, November 16th 2012

Big in JapanHave you ever noticed how when you visit a different country, everything just seems so foreign?
Sometimes the little things that stand out and make a big difference. For example, in Japan, people walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk as they do in the states. Maybe it is because they drive on the other (wrong) side of the road or because samurai kept their swords on their right.

After centuries of pedestrians not wanting to find themselves on the wrong end of the sword, everyone keeps left to avoid collisions. Whatever the reason, the unwritten rule is reinforced on a daily basis by hordes of commuters.
Most Japanese people are incredibly polite. For example, asking permission before asking a question is common practice.  If someone fails to do so, they may be considered rude, depending on the circumstances, of course. Salespeople in the U.S. who ask permission before asking a question may find that the likelihood increases that there will be a meaningful flow of information between them and their customers.
This idea to ask permission to ask a question is not a universal rule; it is an example of a technique that may be applied in various contexts.
The Ninety Five 5 Sales Success System has been used successfully all across the globe. The foundational principles are true everywhere. There is not one country where some are true and others are not. It is the techniques for applying them that vary by culture.
For example, "Intent counts more than technique" is a truism. It applies anytime, anywhere.
While technique is also important, the best technique in the world cannot make up for bad intent.  People instinctively know when someone is trying to help them.  If they feel some one is out to profit at their expense, their defenses will be up.
You communicate your intent in everything you do -- not only by the words you say, but how you say them.
How you can best clarify your intent depends on a number of factors, such as your relationship with your customer and where you are in the sales cycle. Cultural sensitivity helps you understand how what may be perfectly acceptable in one situation may backfire in others and vice versa.
Experience can help you decide how to apply the lessons you learn. A guide can also help.

intent   intent counts more than technique