Whether you’re headed to another country to do business or setting up a meeting with a new client, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure you get off on the right foot. Read on to find out how to master international business etiquette.
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Why Business Etiquette is So Important
The business world can be a tough place and if you don’t show the right respect for learning international business etiquette, you can miss out on a great deal or a potential client. Every country has its own way of dealing with business, and if you do not follow the correct rules for this, you could be seen as rude. This could be extremely damaging to business relationships.
On the flip side, taking the time to learn simple business etiquette tips can improve a business relationship dramatically. It shows you have taken the time to learn the custom and this can be the difference between a client choosing you over a competitor. Showing you value custom is key to mastering international business etiquette.
Doing Your Research
Researching the country that you are going to can help with understanding their culture. You can find plenty of tips online for understanding business etiquette for any country, from China to France. For instance, names and titles are important. In some cultures, it is important to only use the surname and title, unless otherwise stated. If someone is high ranking, you may use their job role. This is the case in Germany. When doing business in Thailand, they tend to be more informal and speak on a first-name basis.
Greetings are another thing to master, and quickly. A first impression means everything, so find out how to greet your international clients. Some cultures use handshakes, others bow at one another, and in some cultures, you will be expected to greet with a kiss on the cheek. You should find out about punctuality too, as some cultures are more lenient on this than others. In France, you should be early for a meeting, otherwise, you’re considered late.
Using a Translation Agency
Whilst many people assume English is spoken worldwide, it’s actually only spoken by around 20% of the world’s population. This means that your clients may not speak English, or when they do, it may not go smoothly. A translation agency can help you when speaking with international business clients and making long-lasting impressions. Global Voices offer phone and video translation services so that you can rest easy knowing that your business etiquette is on point. A translation agency can offer a streamlined service for yourself and your client, meaning no awkward silences or misinterpretations.
Using a translation company can help you to stand out from the crowd too. Showing that you will make the effort to speak to a customer in their own language shows a lot of respect, especially if the client’s first language is not English.
Business etiquette is important no matter where in the world you are from, so understanding business etiquette for different countries will ensure that you create a respectful business relationship with potential clients or investors.