Businesses that are new to importing, exporting or relationships with international partners often find problems coping with the cultural differences. This can be as simple as understanding the accepted business etiquette of the country or as complex as adjusting your body language, your use of English or the way you work with an interpreter, and the way you carry out introductions and presentations for maximum effect. Expectations in different markets vary hugely around issues such as time, negotiations, motivation and ways of communicating and building relationships.

One client prepared for a marketing drive into a new export market by carrying out their cross-cultural ‘due diligence’ training. They found a way that they could still totally be themselves but managed to build better rapport and gain an advantage by flexing their communication style to put their clients at ease. The new clients appreciated the efforts that the UK company had made to understand their culture and etiquette, along with learning a few words of the language. The relationship continues to develop positively on a sound foundation with both sides understanding more of what makes each other tick.

Another client already had an established relationship with a business in another market but was experiencing difficulties with maintaining regular communication and meeting agreed deadlines. A brief intervention of cross-cultural consultation and troubleshooting enabled them to get to the heart of the problem and find a way forward which made sense to both parties. The relationship is now thriving.

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