Cultural Savvy is Smart Business










The key to a successful trip: preparation, flexibility, a positive attitude, and the desire to learn about different cultures, and the patience to build long-term relationships.

Tips for global business travel

Before You Go...

  • Learn about the culture of each country you are planning to visit.
  • Cross-cultural business travel briefings are an investment that will continue to pay dividends.
  • Learn a little of the language.  A simple greeting in someone's language can make a world of difference. 
  • Prepare travel documents.  Some countries require visas, others do not.  Take a supply of medications--it can be a challenge finding exactly what you need in a foreign country.
  • Learn about the dress code in each country you plan to visit. For example, people are much more casual in Southeast Asian than in Japan.
  • Learn something about the cuisine of the country.
  • Consult with someone before purchasing gifts for each country.  It is easy to commit embarrassing blunders and faux pas.  
  • Whenever possible, arrange for introductions to companies and potential customers in advance.
  • Be prepared for adapters for electronic equipment, and confirm, in advance, the services available at hotels and companies.  Your dynamic Power Point presentation may not be seen!
Do's and taboos for global business travel While You Are There!
  • Ease in to the experience, if possible.  In many cultures. it is important to take time to build relationships.  It is considered rude, to "just get down to business."
  • Try to schedule some time for some sightseeing--it is a great way to learn about the country and culture. People love to talk about their country and sights they treasure.
  • Be flexible and take extra time to get to appointments. Transportations systems can be extremely challenging for first-time visitors.  Be sure to check out the prices. For example, a taxi ride from Tokyo's Narita Airport can cause sticker shock!
  • People enjoy talking about their country--ask questions and show a sincere interest
Tips for after your return from a global business tripAfter You Return

  • Prepare thank you letters, proposals, summaries; send promised materials as soon as you return
  • Keep a log of gifts presented in order to avoid duplication on future visits.  
  • Frequent communication is appreciated.  Be sure to consider the language you use--eliminate slang, jargon, idiomatic expressions that might not be understood. 
  •  Train all staff members that will have contact with international prospects and customers.  Everyone needs to be culturally savvy!
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