International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Business Etiquette Abroad

Conducting business abroad will almost always require traveling to a foreign country at some point. With technology advancing at an exponential rate, access to foreign markets is becoming easier than ever before and it may be easy to forget, or neglect consider at all the large role culture still plays in the business world and the vast differences between different cultures. For that reason, it is crucial to gain at least a general understanding of business culture and etiquette if you wish to have any success in a particular market. Business cards tend to be a staple in any business prospect in any part of the world. However, it is in the method of delivery and design of the card itself that varies greatly between cultures. Below are a few examples of business card etiquette from a few important markets around the world.

US and UK: the exchange of business cards is not a very formal procedure. There is not much ritual too it; they are simply handed out as a manner of exchanging contact information for use in the future.

China: you should be sure to do so with two hands or else you run the risk of displaying a lack of understanding the Chinese etiquette, which may greatly diminish your chances of landing a deal. Also, use red and/or gold colors on your card as they are considered lucky. When receiving a Chinese partner's card be sure to examine and comment on it rather than stuffing it in your pocket.

Middle East: always present your card with your right hand and never your left.

Japan: the exchange of business cards is very ritualistic. It is OK to give your card out with one hand, but be sure to accept one from someone else with both hands. Also, status is considered very important so be sure to display your title in a prominent way on the card. As with the Chinese, do not put a card you have received in our pocket right away, keep it out for the entire meeting as a sign of respect.

India: educational achievement is emphasized; include any university certifications or honors on the card with name and contact info. And be sure to always use your right hand when offering a business card.




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