The way business is done differs significantly from location to location, and this can be extremely jarring for individuals of a global business interacting with others that have a different background.
Some nations have their own form of etiquette, while others have a completely different ethos that needs to be noted if your business is going to be successful there. Here are some of the most essential businesses practices from around the world that you need to know.
Turks Like to Bargain
Most aspects of Turkish business are similar to that of the western world, as much like most places, they value trust, confidence, and loyalty. However, bargaining is a usual and predominate feature of Turkish business, so expect that when trying to strike a deal with a Turkish company, and be prepared to make a few concessions, or at least give the impression that you are making concessions when negotiating.
Turkey also likes hiring Turkish citizens for jobs, with the authorities being adverse to any foreign national being employed in a position that they feel can be done by a Turkish citizen, so be mindful of this if you plan on moving a whole team to the nation. Other considerations for doing business in Turkey includes to be mindful that meetings will usually go over and that Turkish individuals want to build a connection with their partners, so make sure to be friendly and not too clinical.
Speak French in France
French businesspeople like it when they see that their clients and potential partners have made an effort to help make communication better. They don’t expect foreigners to be fluent in the language but learning a few phrases can go a long way into enduring a potential partner.
If you haven’t learnt any French at all, that’s okay. Still, it is expected that you apologize for it before engaging in further conversation, as they feel the lack of effort can come across as rude and uninterested.
Another thing to note about France is to not expect a quick business meal as lunch can last a couple of hours frequently, so keep your schedule clear.
Be Straight to The Point in Germany
German businesses often respect direct communication and can be interpreted as somewhat blunt in their business dealings. This is just to enhance their efficiency and clarity when dealing with negotiations and meetings.
The straighter forward things are, the better in Germany. They also don’t appreciate jokes in a business context, so make sure to remain serious at all times and be devoid of humor, and save it all for their festivities afterwards.
Expect to Wait In Russia
For Russians, it’s extremely important to be on time, if you’re not Russian that is. Foreigners are expected to be ready the second a meeting is scheduled to begin; however, the locals may show up as late as they want, and they won’t even apologize about it.
However, they’re not intentionally rude for rudeness sake, as this is, in fact, one of many negotiation tactics used to test the patience of their foreign counterparts to see how serious they are and committed they are about the negotiations and the deal. When they do arrive, don’t try to make up for lost time and rush to the negotiations, let the Russian dictate the conversation and pace of the meeting.
Respect the Business Card in Japan
Although businesses cards are falling out of favor in the west, that is certainly not the case in Japan. In this country, a business card is revered and treated as an extension of the person. It’s just one part of Japanese business etiquette, but it is one of the most significant, so whenever one is handed to you – and they will be handed to you – it needs to be treated with respect. When receiving one, take it with both hands, and show appreciation for it.
It’s also essential to have your own business cards to be taken seriously and print them in both English and Japanese. Present them with both hands too, and make sure the Japanese is facing them. Business card exchange is almost ceremonial in Japan.
Additionally, you mustn’t get tempted to draw on a given business card or fiddle with one, as this is the ultimate sign of disrespect and could make your deal fall through because of that one action.