Trying to make contact with mainland Chinese by telephone is difficult unless
you already have a networking source of some kind in Mainland China, such as
an EB-5 Agency. Even then, many Chinese businessmen may prefer not to
conduct serious business over the phone. They prefer to deal face-to-face.xxxiii
Potential Chinese EB-5 clients are in their 40s or 50s. Many of them don't speak
English and don't like strangers contacting them by phone. Many of them have
children who attend US Universities, speak English, and are much more open to
new contacts. In most cases, parents rely on their children's opinion, and
delegate their children to obtain information and negotiate the terms.
Do not underestimate the power of contacting Chinese students by telephone.
Allow me to speak in traditional terms before I suggest that you are probably
underestimating the power of the device.
The Traditional Approach
If you are using the telephone, you have only a couple of seconds to
differentiate yourself from telemarketers. That can be a daunting task in itself.
You should not always expect a warm response to your call. It will be very
important that you are able to document your expertise and your experience
for them, with examples of how you have helped others. Only when they
realize that a relationship with you can help them, and that you are truly
qualified to help them, are they likely to want to discuss your EB-5 project.
Chinese students are typically difficult to approach and engage. In fact, the
most common complaints about Chinese students in American universities
are that they do not interact with other students and that they rarely
contribute in class discussions. One must understand that, although cultural
differences are to be expected with any foreign student, the cultural
differences, especially social mores, of the Chinese are so vastly different
that it can almost seem like they have never met another human being
before.xxxiv It has been observed that “Americans tend to put their trust in
numbers and logic, while Chinese tend to put their trust in human
When you do connect, demonstrate that you respect their time. Be specific
about your project’s benefits in order to gain their attention, then follow up
with a concise, but detailed, description of your specific project.
At the same time, you must ensure that you are ready to share exactly the
same details with them as you will with their parents, because, if they talk
about the project and detect any discrepancy in the nature or accuracy of
information relayed to them, they may think you cannot be trusted.
Seriousness and consistency will help to win their confidence.
Answer all their questions carefully, courteously, and precisely. Include the
Expansion and growth opportunities available
Availability of resources like skilled labor
Competition posed from large established businesses
The general performance of businesses in that industry
How federal, state, and local laws affect the business
The ability to create more and more employment opportunities
Risk versus returns
“Chinese thinking sometimes goes that opportunities are rare and they must
be pursued aggressively when they occur. Whole families will sometimes
invest great sums of money on the chances of one member to get ahead.
And, there is often an emphasis on getting rich while you can. Chinese
businesses have been criticized for going after quick profits rather than
looking out for the long term interest of their companies.”xxxvi
Understand that you are not just showing them a business plan or prospectus;
you are offering them an opportunity to immigrate to America and obtain a
reasonable return on their investment while doing so. They should be able to
easily see that the project will create the minimum required employment
opportunities that guarantee access to an EB-5 visa.
The Technological Approach
We are so accustomed to telephones that we still call these high-tech mobile
devices telephones, even though we really know that they are much more
than that. The reality is that most people use their mobile devices less as
telephones than for the other services they provide.
The most often missed benefit of mobile phone technology – because it is
not considered a user convenience – is advertising. During the first half of
2013 Facebook increased its mobile advertising revenue by 41%, helping to
boost it total core advertising revenue by 61%.xxxvii This information ought to
open your eyes to the untapped possibilities of keeping your project in front
of eligible Chinese students and their parents via their mobile device, even
if you still think of it as a telephone.
Explore the opportunities to advertise on apps that are already common on
mobile phones. If Facebook can do it, so can you. You don’t have to create
your own app (although you might consider it); all you have to do is advertise
on an app.
Assuming that you have developed a website for your project, Regional
Center, or other EB-5 related business, provide them a link enabling them to
easily find and browse through your site. Your website should be easily
adaptable to iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices that are increasingly
common amongst university students.
Having this kind of multiplatform connectivity helps to demonstrate that
your company is tech-savvy and provides the convenience of viewing and
investigating the project at virtually any time or any place. Consider having
an option on your site to read in Chinese as well as English.
While I am not offering expertise on how to best utilize the increasing power
of mobile technology, I am trying to point you in the right direction. And I am
telling you that if you want to see a mobile device as nothing more than a
portable telephone, you can expect to miss out on the opportunity to reach
out and touch the crowd in ways we never dreamed of when our phones
were attached to the wall.
Once you properly understand mobile marketing, you can use it to tap into
an enormous and valuable base of potential customers.
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