International Business Culture and Business Etiquette
How much does knowledge of the destination country affect the success or failure of a venture? Much more than most entrepreneurs take for granted.
Business is done between people and it is crucial to know basic aspects in order not to disrespect or act rudely in front of potential business partners.
Here are some of the main traditions of business etiquette that should guide or help you in your international business development:
– British punctuality. Never be late for a business meeting, you show a lack of respect but also a lack of responsibility and commitment.
– Learn the language. Being able to communicate with the minimum fluency will allow you problems in the future. If you feel that your language level is insufficient, do not hesitate to hire an assistant translator to give you extra support during the meeting.
– Host Country. It is important to be aware of the differences between your host country and yours in order to adapt to the local business culture.
– Never forget to say “thank you,” whether in a job interview or meeting with a client. In some countries it may be rude not to do so.
– Politeness is everything, but the problem lies in what is considered polite in your country and not in another. – You have to be polite when you leave the meeting as well. Don’t talk too much, and don’t talk informally as soon as you finish the meeting.
– Meetings. Cell phones on silent and do not answer them unless it is really serious.
– Listen and respond calmly if you disagree with something. If you disagree with something, instead of criticizing, try to understand the other person’s point of view and never lose your temper or disrespect.
– Don’t make the numbers bigger, always be sincere with what you say because later you will do business with those people and you could spoil everything.
– Avoid conflicts. Find out how they perceive controversial issues and avoid talking about it.
– Respect. Never make rude comments about local traditions.