If you want to conduct international business, you are not alone. In some cases, multinational connections can help you increase sales in more ways than you imagined.

However, when doing business in another country, you must remember that different cultural norms apply. For example, if you would like to do business in China, being aware of certain traditions can help increase your chances of making lasting connections. But do you know how to develop business deals in China?

People first, then business

When you want to conduct business in China, you should understand that your American ways, habits and actions may be misunderstood – or worse, considered disrespectful – by those with whom you are trying to secure a deal.

Rather than risk offending people in a meeting, you can learn to:

  • Develop lasting relationships – rather than pushing to establish an agreement, dedicate yourself to getting to know those with whom you want to do business
  • Maintain your composure – while the Chinese appreciate politeness and kindness, extreme displays of emotion (whether excitement, disappointment or frustration) may not be well-received
  • Display conservativeness – your attire and presentation should be conservative displays of professionalism
  • Recognize hierarchy – whether sitting at a table or entering the room, the most important people involved typically are first
  • Minimize your body language – maintain formal posture and control your movements to reduce chances of appearing rude
  • Avoid gift-giving – although you might want to express your appreciation in the form of a gift, offering a present may be viewed as bribery, which is illegal in China

China’s culture is distinctly different than what is acceptable in America. However, if you want to do business in China, being aware of what is important to your potential business partners should be important to you, as you respectfully work to earn their trust and eventually, their approval.