You will start doing business with a Chinese Company, when there is a trusted relationship such that they would be prepared to invite you to their daughter’s wedding. This takes time, commitment, trust and an ability to communicate and connect!
First business meetings are crucial . If you muck them up, you won’t get any further.
This is a lesson my friend Rohini Kapur understands, who is on the mission with Vanessa Xing’s colleague David Thomas and 600 other delegates, on Australia’s largest-ever trade mission to China this week.(good on you Vic Government – leading Innovation in Australia!!) They’re about to meet a whole lot of people in a very short period of time. and need to make a good impression!!
What should one look to get out of a first meeting?
Start to develop a relationship… You actually have to spend time developing trust . Show that you are genuinely interested in their country, their business and their family – do not simply see your business as a transaction?
Do not expect to do a deal after your first meeting!!!
here are four tips to get started
1. PREPARE YOUR PITCH PROPERLY
Your counterpart is likely to give you a beautifully presented bilingual document detailing their company, city or industry. Do the same!! . The worst you can do is offer shoddy documentation with no Chinese translation, says Sydney-based consultant David Thomas.
2. GIVE OUT YOUR BUSINESS CARDS PROPERLY. RECEIVE THEM EQUALLY SERIOUSLY
- The exchange of cards is taken very seriously in Asia.
- Double sided cards work well (one language each side).
- Make sure you have the right Chinese character set for your destination. Hand over cards with two hands.
- Receive them the same way.
- Hold onto the card while you speak, or put it down on the table in front of you.
Don’t stick it in a pocket.
3. TALK LITTLE AND LISTEN A LOT
Western business people often start pitching themselves or their products without knowing sufficiently what the other side wants.
“In China, this can come across as arrogant, discourteous and even rude and, whilst it may not be apparent at the time, its likely to cut things off before they’ve even got started!” Thomas says.
4. USE A PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATOR WHO UNDERSTANDS THE CONTEXT OF YOUR ROLE AND YOUR BUSINESS
When addressing audiences or customers, it is critical that you get the correct message across. The quality of your message depends on the interpreters you have entrusted to translate it.
A brilliant person to have on your team is my friend Vanessa Xing. She is superb, and comes highly recommended!!
None of these tips guarantee you the end goal of a wedding invitation – or business. But they’re important first steps. A long-term relationship ultimately requires people to invest part of themselves in it – something that not everyone can do.
Sustaining any relationship in business takes time and commitment. But if you don’t hold your business cards the right way, you’re unlikely to even make it a possibility!!