Author’s Corner: an interview with Janet Gregory
Co-authors Janet Gregory and Robert Pearlstein sign books at the launch of Built for Global.
Author & co-founder of KickStart Alliance
With more than 25 years of sales leadership experience, she brings a worldwide perspective in understanding how companies can achieve success in entering and expanding into new markets. Janet inspires company executives and their teams to think differently, as she helps them assess, adapt, and apply the innovative business practices and productivity tools most appropriate for their business.
Mike Gospe sat down with Janet Gregory, author of the new B2B business book, Built for Global, for a short Q&A.
Q: Why did you decide to write this book?
We live in a prosperous global economy, yet only 15% of U.S. companies do business internationally. We dug into this question and found fear of failure to be a major roadblock. Capturing customers in a new country is challenging, even successful global brands struggle outside the U.S.; Starbucks flopped in Australia, Walmart pulled out of South Korea, and eBay bombed in China. We wanted to share our ideas on how to navigate the challenges and ensure success.
Q: What makes this book different from all the other business books out there?
Other books on international business deal with the mechanics of exporting and importing. Built for Global tackles the critical imperative of connecting with customers in new countries. We wanted to share real stories about real business leaders. That’s why we decided to pair stories of real-world business experience with practical techniques to address them. These are business stories on the international front lines. Daniel Turner talks of near cross-cultural disaster in his story of doing business in Kuwait. Taking his company into Europe was like a child throwing a tantrum at the supermarket, not the calm sophistication that Andrew Cadwell was hoping for. This is not a book about ideal international business theory. Instead, this book reveals lessons from the front lines of a global marketplace.
Q: Why should this book be on the reading list of today’s CEOs?
Wake up to the new reality of business — every business has an opportunity to be global. If you want your business to grow, you have to build a successful business both in the U.S. and outside its borders. If your company is already doing business outside the U.S., is it as successful as you want it to be? In today’s fast-paced business world, CEOs can easily miss early indicators of a doomed international sales strategy just as easily as overlooking bluebird opportunities for global expansion. We wrote Built for Global to be a guidebook for CEOs who are curious and interested in harnessing the power of global thinking into their business strategy.