Selling and closing business requires connection, trust, and need. If you know you have met the need and solved the problem with your solution – then focusing on the relationship is the key to building trust. In cross-cultural business situations building trust is often a big obstacle.
In order to build trust it is important to remember that listening is always better than talking. By listening you will be able to learn the things that your contact values, desires, and needs. They will feel respected and in return begin to trust. In addition to being able to listen well it is also important to remember these four ideas:
Be Flexible. It is always better to be more flexible with your ideas, solutions, and concepts then strict when trying to build relationships
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. Learning to be open to new ideas increases the likelihood of cross-cultural relationships being developed.
Learn: Dive Deep into Cultural Differences to Learn. The surface does not paint the whole picture—language, clothing, food, —are far less important than the things that are behind the scenes, the meanings and implications can go much deeper. Navigating the differences requires an investment of interest, genuine care, and time. The more questions asked, the deeper the relationship will be.
Focus on Similarities. Stereotypes are often the first tool used when dealing with people we are not 100% familiar with. Stereotypes might be accurate to a degree, but they ignore the individuality of the person we are working to build a relationship with. Often it is more useful to look at what the two parties share in common. For every stereotype, there is a person underneath. The key is to keep learning, keep asking questions in order to find areas of common interest.
Meet Face-to-Face as Much as Possible. In today’s virtual world connecting is easier than ever before, but so is loosing that personal connection. Skype, phone calls, emails, texts. LinkedIn, Twitter – they all help us stay connected. Nothing can replace face-to-face conversation. Being able to feel the energy, understand the body language, and look someone in the eye are priceless moments that can build long lasting cross-cultural relationships.
Cross-cultural business is hard to manage. Emotionally intelligent and self-aware people with a passion for cross-cultural relationships, are better suited to avoid misunderstandings, win trust, and close business. True breakthroughs, innovation and collaboration comes from working with a diverse group of people. Our ability to understand that ‘people are different’ and then transform that understanding into ‘we know how to work together, and our different cultures help us create better solutions’ is crucial to creating successful collaboration across clients, teams, cultures, and companies.
How have you been able to succeed in cross-cultural business situations?
Please share your experience and comments below.
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