As an accounts or salesperson, getting a foreign client is one way to beef up your company’s portfolio. This means that people who hail from another culture are keen on working with a business that views their enterprise from another perspective. It could also mean that the products and services you offer are considered flexible and world-class. If you’re trying to secure a deal with a foreigner client for the first time, there may be some feelings of anxiety and stress. It’s just normal, but you have to overcome these feelings as soon as possible.
Luckily, there are ways you can survive a meeting with a foreign client. When done right, you can even create a good impression, something that will inspire them to consider working with your company. If you are looking for such ways, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind:
Study their culture
Prior to the meeting, it’s important to study the culture of your foreign clients. This is especially true if you’re meeting them in their country. Studying the customs and nuances in their land will not hurt; it will even keep you from committing certain faux pas, which may offend them.
There’s no excuse to not learning the culture of other countries, as there are already guides and manuals online available for free. If you’re lucky enough, you may know someone who comes from the same country. Do not hesitate to ask them questions.
Mind the language
Simply because English is the common language, it doesn’t mean that you’ll not study their language as well. Showing that you have made an effort to understand them is a sign of respect. You should at least study the most common phrases when it comes to courtesy and business conduct, especially if you’re visiting them in their home country. Showing that you have learned their language is somehow an anticipation that you’re ready to work with them should they choose your company.
Be observant of the details
Some cultures have nuances that other people might not have considered looking at, so it pays looking at these cultural touches. You may have a nicely printed Z fold business card, but writing on it before giving it to a Japanese client is considered rude. Likewise, it will be considered rude if you stick your chopsticks upright. Learn to adjust and not to offend if you want to create a good impression.
Do not always assume
It’s unwise to assume that what you know about their culture is always right. This is a dangerous assumption that creates misunderstandings and conflicts. It always pays you check your assumptions. If you’re not sure, you can ask your client about it, but be discreet.
Getting a foreign client is a great way to ensure that your business is getting an international audience. You may find it difficult at first, but if you’ve done your research, you may find it enjoyable to converse and interact with them. You somehow get to broaden your horizon, too.