Heaven is where:
Cook are French
Policemen are English
Mechanics are German
Lovers are Italian and
all is organised by Swiss
And hell is where:
Cook are English
Policeman are German
Mechanics are French
Lovers are Swiss and
All is organised by Italian.
(An illustration defined by a cartoonist explaining Perfect Europeans.)
It seems we live in a world where no one is jack of all trade. Why we know that….? Because if this wasn't true the term like “Globalisation”, “Foreign Trade”, “International Business” wouldn't exist. A clear sign that economic growth at both national and company levels are getting more and more dependent on international trade.
Every country around the globe is relying on each other for one or the other resources, be it commodities, finances, cheap labour, technology…… you name it. There isn't any country which is self-reliant enough to survive all by itself.
Now if today, you think of selling your product to ‘x’ country, the first few thinks that runs through your mind are the geographical map, people, economic development and cultural impression.
Every country is different and their culture defines the way a country performs its business on a daily basis. In order to efficiently deal with ‘x’ country, your knowledge of their cultural patterns will help your way into their business circle.
Elements of Culture:
Technology and material culture are related to the way a society is organises its economic activities. Human behaviour is greatly influenced by technology and material culture such as television, internet, mobile etc.
The core of all culture is the language. It affects people’s thought and mental representation. Importance of language is constantly increasing in the international market. Knowing ‘x’ country's language will aid information gathering, market communication. Ability (or even any effort) to speak a local language provides access to local society.
Beliefs and superstitions.
Education: literacy, role and level. Helps determine choice of media in market.
“Meishi” (Business card in Japanese)
“Exchange of business card is a simple process where one hands over a piece of paper bearing the name of the person and company. Sounds simple but it isn't as simple as accounted for in Japan etiquette. Meishi in Japan is a reflection of a person’s identity, ‘respect me respect my meishi’. Exchanging meishi will also determine a make or break deal. The proper process suggests using both hands to give and both hand to take meishi. If not familiar to this ritual, one can be judged as unprepared and he/she will be in the back foot even before start of the business deal.”
Like every sales and business development professional knows that it takes 93% of non-verbal and 7% is verbal communication to put up a strong first impression, cultural understanding like the one above plays a very fine line for a yes or no.
Stay tuned friends….. will be back with some more interesting facts…..