In business, etiquette plays a very important role. Not only does good business etiquette help you make a good first impression, it also shows respect and appreciation. Knowing the etiquette of a different country is important for dealing with business partners in that country. Ignoring business etiquette can damage business relations and cause a bad first impression. Moreover, ignoring proper business etiquette could make you seem unprofessional and rude, which can affect your credibility in a foreign country.
In the business world, understanding international protocol is critical for successful negotiations, retaining foreign investments and strengthening global competitiveness. There are many reputable organizations offering training in international business etiquette. The International Etiquette & Protocol Academy has a reputation for being an industry leader in this area, having designed and delivered hundreds of programs to companies all over the world. Moreover, the IPSA’s director, Marie Betts-Johnson, has experience with the Royal Family of Jordan.
When meeting with business partners, make sure that you greet them politely. Business meetings in the US and UK are usually led by the senior members, while younger members converse less. However, a firm handshake should be extended when meeting with business partners from other countries. Canadians and Australians are more laid-back about their dress codes, but are still respectful of their superiors. When chatting with business partners, do not start conversations during a meal. You can start conversations afterwards.
When meeting someone from another country, you should remember that first impressions are important, both on the phone and in person. In Japan, shaking hands is considered impolite and demeaning, so it’s best to make eye contact. The French, on the other hand, will shake hands with a firm handshake, and this gesture conveys a dynamic and open personality. While the Dutch and French are more formal, Belgians, on the other hand, prefer to greet each other with a series of air kisses.
When negotiating in foreign countries, international business etiquette can become tricky. Cultural misunderstandings and language barriers can complicate the negotiating process. You need to be aware of the importance of rank, the type of business you’re in, the negotiating style of your prospect, and the meaning of gestures. Despite your best efforts, foreign business meetings might not progress as quickly as those in the United States, but you can still make good impressions by following the etiquette rules and making the right moves.
Regardless of the nature of the meeting, dress appropriately. Despite the fact that Europeans, Japanese, and Germans are notoriously punctual, many Latin countries are much more laid-back about time. In business settings, it is rude to be late, whereas in social situations, it’s acceptable to arrive a little late. When meeting with foreign counterparts, make sure to clarify any specific times before a meeting to avoid confusion.