This week, we wanted to reflect on some of the obstacles we face as a company, and we concluded that many of them come from being a global company. In conducting business internationally, we have the responsibility to ensure that every one of our products meet the compliance standards of the country where they will be shipped. Each country has its own requirements, so products need to be tailored differently. In addition to logistics, there are other aspects of a negotiation you should research when venturing into a global business deal.
- Understand their value of relationships. Some countries won’t even start a business deal until they trust you. After that initial deal, nurture those relationships and not just contact them when you want to do a deal.
- Expect to dine with them and socialize for a few hours after. If they offer you a particular food that they like you should try it, and politely say you are full when you have had enough.
- Respect other’s space. Americans are use to having a lot of space between offices and when interacting with others, but they should not feel offended when others work close to them.
- Learn a few words in their local language. Even “Hello” or “Nice to meet you” goes a long way in showing that you respect them, as well as that part of their culture.
- Have flexibility in your schedule. Not everyone follows the fast-paced clock Americans do, and it’s not because they don’t think your time is important.
- Be aware that there are differences in how agreements are finalized. Some countries may think a deal is settled without a formal verbal acknowledgement or contract.
- Learn the proper etiquette for giving out and receiving a business card. For example, in China, it is appropriate to do so using both hands.
- Dress professionally at all times. You don’t need to incorporate their traditional dress, just wear a conservative suit.
Hopefully you find these tips helpful and conduct some research before your next foreign business deal!