Do you sell products or services abroad?

Is your website in English?

Do your foreign customers really understand what you are offering them?


We can facilitate your meetings in English with visiting clients and suppliers and help you set up sales trips abroad.

We can ensure the English in your brochures and on your website is accurate, persuasive and culturally-attuned to existing and prospective English-speaking clients.

We can train you or your sales team to be more effective when selling or negotiating in English.

What we do


It’s simple:

We meet you for an exploratory discussion, in English or in French. Or we can talk on the phone or by Skype.

Brochures and web documents:
We find out what products or services you want to sell and to whom. You tell us the key messages you want to get across. We then examine your sales and marketing materials written in English. We tell you if we can make them clearer and more attractive. If your brochures are in French, we offer to provide new ones in English.

Sales meetings:
We find out if you want us to help prepare your sales campaign, accompany you on any sales trips or facilitate meetings with foreign visitors.

We will discuss which staff would benefit from preparation for their future business dealings in English. This might be for a specific event or in order to improve key skills.

We then send you a detailed quote.

There is no charge for our initial consultation. Our quote is also free, except on the rare occasion when it requires research, which would be agreed in advance along with the cost.

Case study:

Where is Latvia?

It depends how you look at it!

It was 2012. A Latvian logistics company was trying to break into the British market. They were already doing good business transporting goods across Russia, the Nordic region and eastern and central Europe. But they could not get any British company to consider them. They were sure their prices were lower than their German, Dutch and British competitors. So, why were they not getting on to any British company’s short list? The son of the owner asked Richard for his advice.

Richard had a look at the Latvian company’s website. He could see the problem straight away: it was the map which dominated the home page. It showed Latvia in the middle with the Baltic Sea to the west, Russia and Belarus to the east, Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. Richard had done a survey that year asking British businesspeople what their image was of Latvia. Among the most common responses were: “where is it?”, “up there”, “poor”, “cold” and “Russia” (or “Soviet Union”). Several had answered “Balkan”. The website map reinforced an outdated and negative image.

So, Richard advised his Latvian client to change the map. Latvia moved to the right-hand side, making it possible for Denmark and Sweden to appear on the left. Russia and Belarus disappeared. So now Latvia was part of Scandinavia, a region which connotes high quality, reliability and beautiful blonde women to the average British transport manager. The Latvians already had the third and could now add the first two to the image the British had of them. And they had one extra advantage over their new Scandinavian friends: the biggest negative image of Sweden and Denmark that the British have is that both countries are very expensive. So, the Latvian company’s message to the British was now: We are the company for you – Scandinavian-based and inexpensive.

They were on some British companies’ short lists within weeks and have since gained several British customers.

Good or Bad?

Right or Wrong?

Can you tell the difference?

Quite a few companies ask visitors to their websites to complete questionnaires so that they can assess what product or service each visitor might be interested in. If a company is French or British, the symbol ‘tick’ is usually used for a positive answer and ‘cross’ for a negative one.

And then there are websites which use the ‘tick’ symbol to indicate what is good about their product. The ‘cross’ symbol could be employed at the head of a list of toxic substances which the product does not have (but which competitors’ products do possess!).

It is believed that the ‘tick’ was once a ‘v’ for ‘vrai’ (French) or ‘veritas’ (Latin). But is the ‘tick’ symbol always considered positive? Not in Sweden and Finland: a ‘tick’ in a school examination means your answer is wrong. And it’s the same in schools in the USA. Meanwhile, in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the symbol for a correct answer is ‘O’. And in many countries, questionnaires ask you to put an ‘cross’ in a box when you agree with a statement.

Richard used to run an international management and language training company, based in London. Course participants were asked to complete an end-of-course feedback form. Various aspects of the course were to be graded from 1 to 5. The form explained that 1 = very bad and 5 = excellent. However, some non-British clients, used to thinking of 1 as being the best, would score a course as very bad whilst commenting that it was “the best I have attended”! Putting a smile next to the 5 and a sad face against the 1 ended the confusion.

When working abroad, you need to watch out for misunderstandings. Fortunately no-one mistakes a smile for a frown!