Hello, my name is Thomas Riebs
Meet Thomas Riebs - An International Business Advisor Bridging the divide to the United States for Business Success.
At the heart of every business venture lies the potential for global impact. My passion is unlocking that potential between Europe and the U.S.
I believe in the power of cross-cultural understanding as the cornerstone of successful international business. My journey across two continents has not just been geographical, but a journey of discovering the nuances that define successful business strategies in diverse cultural landscapes
Early Influences: A Transatlantic Childhood
I was raised as an American in Denmark. My father is American and my mother is Danish. Already as a young child, I gained meaningful insights into the opportunities of doing business between Europe and the United States. My parents owned a company designing, making, and selling hand-knit sweaters in the U.S. The sweaters were the traditional Norwegian-style designs in bright colors and the Icelandic-style sweaters in more muted earth tones. My job was to pack the yarn to the hundreds of Danish women knitting hand-knitting sweaters at home, which would later be sold at high-end boutiques and department stores in the U.S.
Later Years: Immersion and Experience in the United States
Later, after relocating to the United States I became a Dane living and working in the U.S. Go figure! What became clear to me was that I have insights and perspectives gained over a lifetime of travel for work and leisure throughout Europe and the United States, as well as from both working as an employee and from starting and running businesses in both Denmark and in the U.S. I started this company because I enjoy solving problems in business and I enjoy sharing my insights with interesting European businesses who are pursuing success in the U.S.
My experiences have given me a different perspective. I often reflect on the experience of looking out the airplane window on may way between my two home countries. Everything looks different when you are seeing it from a different altitude, from a different angle, and in a much larger context. This really came into focus during an engagement with a European company in the water sector. The executives were planning on attending the WEFTEC trade show, where they told me everyone in the U.S water sector would be. I realized that, although they were probably correct, these seasoned executives were missing the details because they were only looking at the very big picture. They did not have a single meeting scheduled with a specific potential buyer, at a specific time and place, with the specific stated and agreed intent of persuading this prospect of purchasing a product or solution. This lead to me developing my Before/During/After approach to engagements with the U.S. market. I believe it is essential to prepare robustly and specifically, targeting the first customer rather than hoping to meet everyone, work very focused during the trade show or other business-focused event, and follow up consistently and persistently.
Merging Passions with Professionalism: My Journey in Championing Environmental Sustainability in Business.
Growing up in Denmark meant that I was steeped in the Nordic culture of Environmental Sustainability. Conserving water and energy are almost taken for granted. However, I learned at an early age that this was not the case everywhere, when two college-level exchange students staying with us when I was 7 asked me why our toilet used so little water to flush. This sparked my curiosity and I started to notice the differences in the approach between Europeans and Americans.
This interest has stayed with me and is now a focus of my professional life. I particularly enjoy working with European companies that offer solutions in Environmental Sustainability. This is a bit broad of course and I like to break it down into the following categories:
Infrastructure that ties all of it together
I Believe all of these things are connected in myriad ways and that we should look at solutions holistically. This is also my approach to how companies ought to approach the U.S. market.
A Different Perspective On Market Engagement: A Case Study Approach
My approach to Go-To-Market Strategy is a bit different than how I often hear it described. I believe it is essential to be immersed and fully engaged in the market, the people in it, and especially, among the clients your company wants to sell products, services, and solutions to. I think of Market Engagement strategy much like recommending a good restaurant. In my world it is always better to visit that recommended restaurant with the person who recommended it. I frequently use Ruth's Chris Steakhouse or In-N-Out for illustration because each of them has a bunch of things that are not on the menu, but which are loved by their regulars. Ruth's Chris has terrific onion rings, which you can only get if you call ahead a couple of days before your reservation and order at least 2 sides (they are worth it!). In-N-Out has Animal Style, 4x4, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and many other tasty items. This is exactly how the U.S. market is. Even after many visits there may still be items hidden from view, but insiders like me know they are available on the menu.
I have experience working in international banking, I am a licensed attorney, I am seasoned advisor to European companies in the U.S., and have experience solving a wide range of problems for clients.
Let's Explore The Opportunities Together: Let's discuss how my unique perspective and experience can be a catalyst for your success in the U.S. market.
Please reach out to me and ask me anything about getting your company bettwr equipped to do business in the U.S. successfully.
I look forward to connecting with you!