Most people have heard of the obvious cultural differences involved in international business.
- Different “weekends” in some Middle Eastern countries
- Extended price negotiations
In addition to these cultural differences that effect international business, there are also a multitude of differences that can go under the radar. If you are in international business, you will probably not have the time to become thoroughly adjusted to all of the different cultures you do business with. Instead of focusing on what you do not know, why not focus on something closer to home.
Your Own Cultural Assumptions
Cultural differences are one thing. How you react to them is another thing. There is one common reaction that kills international sales.
- We make too many assumptions based on our own cultural background
This can lead to multiple communication barriers.
Assumptions Lead To Misunderstandings
The most common barrier created by wrong cultural assumptions is misunderstandings. This can be a simple error or a totally disconnected communication.
Assumptions Make You Lose Credibility
When you do not show the other person that you are interested in them, this does not leave a good impression. It leads you to the slippery slope of losing credibility. Once you arrive here it is very hard to get back on more solid ground.
Assumptions Destroy Trust
And once you lose the slightest bit of credibility you almost always lose trust. In cross-cultural selling you must constantly build and maintain trust. Mistrust of people you do not know and who are obviously different from you is a very common human trait.
Here’s more on Cross-Cultural Selling Basics.
What do you think? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.
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Filed under: cross-cultural selling
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