Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands : Sales and Marketing, The Essential Cultural Guide--From Presidents and Promotions to Communications and Closing by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conway is the latest in the Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands series.
This book is extremely useful if you travel on business to other countries. The book provides social, cultural and demographic information for 20 countries, including the United States.
Each country contains a background page and contains specific cultural, advertising and marketing notes.
- Icebreakers - questions or topics to get the conversation going and to fill those awkward silences.
- Boorish - how to put your foot in your mouth and offend your host.
- What Time Should I Arrive? - different time frames for different folks. Learn their time or be ready to spend yours, waiting.
- Work Week - holidays, vacation, correct times for appointments.
- How Close Should I Stand? - this book will keep you from invading the private space of people you meet.
- Do I Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands? - in Saudi Arabia, your left hand is considered "unclean," so you shake hands and eat with your right hand. The Japanese are big on bowing and the depth of the bow is very specific to status. In India, you will perform a Namaste or shake hands, so be ready.
- Business Cards - all cards should have your information in English on one side and the same information translated on the other side. The cards should be in a holder that is placed in your inner jacket pocket (not pants pocket). With the Japanese, there is a ritual you must follow or you might as well tear your card up in front of them.
- Three Tips for Selling - great insights into how to impress and sell to your potential clients, specific to their country. Some potential clients want to get down to it, while others will spend days developing a relationship.
- Language - Americans speak English, so it should be easy to understand and to be understood in Great Britain, right? Wrong. Learn the basic terms that will show you are polite and learning the language.
- Wow Factor! - in some countries, email and direct mail are not used; door-to-door sales personnel are used. Most countries export something and you should know what it is and be prepared to try it (wine, delicacies, beef, coffee, etc.).
Yes. Who can forget George W. Bush massaging the German Chancellor's neck in 2006? Germans like a like large personal space. Just recently, President Obama went to Saudi Arabia. He sat down, crossed his legs and exposed the soles of his shoes to everyone, thus insulting them all. While in Great Britain Mrs. Obama hugged the Queen. This is just not done.
This book is in an easy to use format and is full of useful information. Take the book or copy the relevant pages and keep them in your pocket or purse. You may always duck to the rest room to refresh your memory.
I once worked for the State Tourism Bureau. I used to put together Culture On a Page, using The World Fact Book, a website run by the Central Intelligence Agency, and talking with consulate personnel. I could have used this entire series back then.
You can use this series today, so do it. Any edge you can develop to put you ahead of the competition is worth it.