When dealing with international clients it is more than just about foreign language and culture a business has to deal with. If your business requires you to deal with international clients, you should definitely read this.
If you’re in the business of import / export or even just deal with people across the globe as a part of your business. Then, you would understand how hard it is dealing with people from foreign countries. Post globalization, many businesses have crossed borders in search of new business opportunities. The percentage of business dealing with international clients is on the rise, worldwide.
Respect the Difference
Not all people are alike. Respect the difference in people, language, culture and more. In a business relationship, it is mutual to show respect towards each other. Beware of any myths, stereotypes or judgments. Assumption is the root of all problems. So always ask if you have a doubt. Question and Read more about the client and try to understand the difference before you start communicating.
It is even better if you could learn from experience of someone you know who has lived, traveled or familiar with the culture you are dealing with. They will help you understand the differences better and who knows you could even end up appreciating and embracing the difference. Understanding and respecting these difference will help you deal with International Clients and businesses better.
Mind the Time
In international business, time plays a pivotal role. Opening hours for you may be lunch break for others. It is not just about the time difference between the countries but also the difference in working days and holidays. For example, most countries in the middle east like Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia have Friday and Saturday as weekends. Make sure to get permissions before your communicating with them on their holidays. So, always mind the time to comfortably deal with international clients.
Using Culture to Your Advantage
During deal making and other business aspects you should use the cultural difference to your advantage. Consider the middle east, here the last man through the door is the winner. The host or the most significant or powerful person enters the room last. Allowing the guest and others in before they enter showing they are in power and control. While in most part of the world, it is simply seen as a polite gesture to let the guests in first.
For example, when dealing with Japanese people always present and accept business cards with two hands. This shows that you respect yourself and them. It is just one of the customs among many other they have. Understanding these cultural difference will help you establish a successful relationship with your international clients.
Follow Rules and Regulations
International trade is a complicated business in terms of rules and regulations. Every country has their own laws by which you and your business should comply with. Research about the rules and procedure followed by the client’s nationality and yours. Take permissions and verify licenses that you are allowed to trade and transact between the countries. Do background checks on client and products to verify the legitimacy of the business or a person.
Dealing with Language
There is a growing trend in International clients communicating in English, either through a translator or by themselves. The foreign language is not a barrier; it is just another challenge to overcome for you and your business. Use the equivalents of “Welcome”, “Please”, “Sorry” and “Thank You” even in the foreign language it would help them understand that you are trying to understand them better and being respectful.
Learn the language if you can or hire someone who could communicate better for you. It helps you understand the value of their culture more. Making sure messages during the communication does not get distorted or changed saves a lot of trouble. Keep the communication simple, direct and clear to overcome any challenges.
Read More: 4 Key factors to succeed at exports
Agree Trade Details Before
The root cause of problem in international trade are in payment and settlements. Agree beforehand on which currency will be used for payment. Taxes, time, shipment and payment details should be discussed during the early stage of the business cycle and the final deal should be agreed upon and signed by both sides of the businesses.
The agreement should be up held at all costs and it should be made clear to everyone involved. In case if any dispute arises, the rules to be followed and the location and laws to be followed should also be included in the deal agreement.
It is necessary that a business should legally and financially protect itself before getting involved in any international trade. Following these golden rules for dealing with international clients will make your trade deal a smooth and successful venture.
If you have any other rules or tips in dealing with international clients? Share them with Trdinoo in the comments.