According to American Express, 74% of business travelers believe that knowledge of local customs is a key factor to achieve their goals. MagicStay offers you a little tour of the world of local habits to make your business trip successful without being disoriented.
I- Travel in Asia, respect first
The first concept to keep in mind when you are on a business trip to an Asian country is « to keep your face » and to « give face » to your interlocutor. The face is defined as the management of your image, you must know how to be respected and demonstrate that you are in social success. It is necessary to adopt the right attitude so that the person does not feel offended or uncomfortable in the conversation. This includes not contradicting her in public, respecting her culture and country, and being polite.
In a second time, invite your partners in luxurious places to show your respect and your investment. The goal is to cultivate the « Guanxi », more commonly called the network or the interpersonal relationship. By investing money in the relationship, you show your goodwill and desire to create a long-term partnership.
Finally, in China you deal with people. It is not a question of responding to a need as in the West. Translation: the relationship (Guanxi, good manners, politeness) goes before the transaction and business. Thus, the stronger the relationship is, the more likely you are to sell your product.
II- Traditions of Eastern Europe
When you are on a business trip in these countries, do not be surprised if your contact invites you to « Banya ». This is a typical Russian tradition of taking a steam bath after having sympathized with your partner. Moreover, this is where business people like to meet to discuss professional projects.
If you are invited to a partner home, remember to take off your shoes and not shake his hand on the doorstep because it brings bad luck. Russian hospitality is well known in the world, but beware of the vodka toasts that are customary for appetizer! Especially since it is rude not to taste all the dishes of your hosts.
III- Americas, a late life
In the United States, the handshake is energetic and sincere. You have to look at the person in the eyes while shaking his/her arm twice (do not just just shake hands like in France). In addition, you must keep your distance (about 70 centimeters) to mark a form of respect with your interlocutor, getting closer being a more intimate act. Of course, a decent dress code is required, so prefer sober outfits like a suit.
Be careful when traveling to Mexico! Indeed, Mexicans have three surnames that are indicated on their business card. It is better to call your contact by the name that refers to the father (the first), since it would be a mistake to do the opposite. Also plan your lunch schedule quite late (2 pm), a common habit when you are traveling in South America.
In addition, if you want to make your life easier when you are on a business trip, have a look at our selection of connected objects!