|Are you shaking hands firmly?
China is the biggestmarketin the world, and many countries such as Germany, the USA, the UK and Russia do a lot of business there. Let’s have a look at some important tips to help you be successful with these nationalities.
Firstly, you must bepunctualwith Germans. Even 5 minutes latemakes a bad impression. Being punctual is also very important in the USA. In the UK, it’s important to be punctual for business meetings, but nobody expects you to be on time for a social event. Half past seven really means quarter to eight, or even eight o’clock! With Russians, always be on time, but don’t be surprised if your Russiancontactis very late! It is not unusual for them to be one or even two hours late!
In all four countries, it is best to dressformallyand use dark colours. In Russia,designer clothesare very common. Don’t be surprised if you go to an office in the UK on a Friday and find everyone wearing jeans. Many companies have ‘dress down Friday’, when people wearcasualclothes.
In Germany, first names are only used with family members and close friends, so be prepared to use titles and last names. In the USA you will usually be invited to use first names almost immediately. The British are quiteinformaland using first names in business is more and more common, especially among younger people. In Russia, however, nobody uses first names, so usetitlesand last names.
In conversation, the British and the Americans valuehumour, and both like to talk about sport. The weather is also a good topic of conversation with the British, but avoid talking about politics. In Russia, say positive things about their country, butavoidmakingcomplaints. The Germans, however, prefer toget straight down to business!
Finally, when doing business in all countries make sure you have a lot ofbusiness cards. Remember that in Germany, once adealhas been agreed, you can’t change it! In the USA, money is more important than relationships, whereas in Russia it’s important to get to know your contact well. Finally, don’t be surprised if a British meeting seems likechaos, with everybody participating and giving opinions!
So, use these tips, and you will be on your way to a successful international businesscareer!