International businesses continue to expand and so does your workload. During your international travels, it is important to be respectful of the customs, manners, and traditions that are utilized to bring your business relationship to the next level. In fact, did you know there are proper ways to present your business card? To avoid misunderstanding, having knowledge about these proper greetings, body language and offerings is a good idea.
Proper etiquette can vary from one country to another. While some hand gestures are a form of respect in another country it can be offending. To aid you in your ventures here is some quick tips and guidance you can utilize for a successful business outcome.
Handing over your business card is an internationally used technique to present your contact information. Before you start dealing out your business card like a stack of playing cards, however, there are certain ways it should be offered to show respect. Listed are a few ways offering your business card can help portray yourself as best as you can.
China– Present your business card with both hands with the text facing the person receiving.
Japan– Business card offerings are considered part of a ceremony. Receive card with both hands but can be offered with only one, never present a card during a meal.
India– Only use right hand to give and receive business cards.
Korea– Present your card with both hands and nod your head when receiving a business card.
Sometimes personalities can be overbearing. Dependent on the culture certain ways you present information or make changes to an arrangement can affect your business relationship. In order to be viewed as a serious business person, you may want to consider the following.
Germany– The phone is usually preferred for conducting business and surprises are typically unwelcome.
Japan– Talking with your hands is uncommon, avoid using large hand gestures as it can be seen as distracting
France- Eye contact is frequent and try to keep the volume of your voice at a steady level to not offend others in a restaurant.
Did you know? In Japan, it is custom to place business card you have received in front of you on the table in the order in which people are seated. This is shown as a sign of respect and helps you remember their names.
Giving & Receiving
A central part of conducting new business leads to the exchange of gifts. But, be careful, while some countries expect gifts others may not able to receive gifts. Listed below is an overview of a few countries that traditionally expect gifts and what countries do not.
Expect: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, Costa Rica
Did you know? In the Chinese culture when a gift is presented it is usually refused three times before being accepted in order to not seem greedy.
Not Expected: Africa, Australia, England, United States, France, Italy
Did you know? Some countries don’t mind on the second visit if you present a gift (hint: Brazil, Norway, Singapore)
First impressions can be daunting. As the business landscape continues to grow and business meetings become more frequent keep these tips at the forefront of your mind to make interactions easier. Have questions about making your business card global friendly? Reach out to us directly or leave a comment below.