Besides that one time in Switzerland that I yodeled my lunch order, I’ve had a good stretch of luck with not running afoul of any major rules of etiquette when doing business in other countries.
Whether I’m at Breakfast with a banker in Brazil, at lunch with a lawyer in London or at dinner with a dealer in Denmark, I’m always uneasy about violating some unspoken rule of etiquette in the country that I’m visiting.
I’ve found that the best way to the right thing is to follow the local rules of etiquette is to simply follow the lead of my hosts. This has worked-out just fine for me.
While social media has become the dominant means to engage new business prospects around the world, nothing will ever beat the effectiveness of a face-to-face meeting to close an international business deal.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to learn the general cultural customs of the countries that you do business with. Doing so will help ensure that you’re polite and professional in all your international business travels.
I mention all this because Zendesk, a software company out of San Francisco, created an excellent infographic on how to act in international business settings.
The infographic, embedded below, includes 35 tips to help you avoid an embarrassing situation that could potentially kill that million-dollar deal that you have been working so hard to close.
What do you think?
Santiago A. Cueto is a board certified international law expert and editor of the International Business Law Advisor. His work has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, CNBC, Forbes, the National Law Journal, PC World, the Daily Business Review, the Los Angeles Business Journal and other media outlets. Email him at email@example.com.
You can follow him on Twitter at @CuetoLawGroup.