When the internet became mainstream, the world of e-commerce exploded. This new technology allowed business owners and merchants from across the globe to connect and communicate for the purpose of business. Of course, with this connection came a clash of cultures, leading many business deal to go sour, purely because of a small misunderstanding.
For this reason it is important to exercise restraints when entertaining international clients, and consider their culture and interests. Below are some tips which can help.
- Meet your clients at the airport. Some business cultures will find it offensive if you simply send a car to bring your clients to you. For high profile clients, make the time and collect them at the airport along with the chauffeured car.
- Food restrictions are often the first issue which arises, with many visiting guests being left with a dish they can’t eat. Consider any religious based eating restrictions which your guest might abide by. If in doubt, vegetarian dining is usually a safe bet.
- Keep your food as local as possible. Within the boundaries of any food restrictions, try to show your guest real local food. This doesn’t mean a restaurant in the fanciest part of town, but a restaurant with a dish that connects with your city.
- Treat them to an upgraded lifestyle. When looking for things to do, consider your client’s current lifestyle and turn it up a notch. A suite in a luxury hotel or a night out at the casino are both great ways to impress clients by giving them a brief taste of a more exclusive lifestyle.
- Take your clients on a personal tour. All international visitors love to see the sights, however most of them are often just put on tour buses by their clients. Instead, take the day and walk your clients around the city or any landmarks and attractions. This is a great way to connect and increase your likeability.
If there was one rule to consider when entertaining international guests, it’s to exercise restraint. If you are unsure about a dish or an activity, look for a safer option. Apart from that, take these tips to mind and remember that, although they are here for business, your clients are real people too.