When in Rome, do as the Romans do … especially if you want the Romans to buy what you’re selling.
Almost three-quarters of the world’s spending power is outside the U.S., and exports total 13.8% of the U.S.'s national GDP. The year 2014 was resurgent for internatoinal business travel, with a 6% increase in number of trips taken and 8.9% increase in amount of money spent -- a whopping $35.6 billion gain.
If it turns out these trends are here to stay and your company decides to open an office beyond U.S. borders or liaise with international partners, you might just find yourself in an overseas business meeting.
Every country’s unique culture translates into different conventions for how business should be conducted. If you should find yourself across the pond (or in any other country), understanding different customs is essential to getting your relationship started off on the right foot. If you’re in Italy, for example, you should only give flowers in even numbers -- and never give any gift in a quantity of 17. And in Argentina, don't be surprised if business meetings run late into the night.
This infographic from WD Storage outlines dos and don’ts of business conduct in seven countries. Make sure to bookmark this page if you're traveling internationally on business any time in the near future. (And check out this blog post for a more in-depth guide to international business etiquette.)
Originally published May 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017