How to achieve win-win collaboration with your Asian Clients

Doing Business the Asian Way

 In Asia, the way things are done in other parts of the world may not automatically apply. The “extra” secret sauce of success when dealing with Asia is getting a great understanding of their local culture, followed by their localised social and business etiquette as “That’s The Way Business is Done in Asia”. Let me reiterate here – “Culture and Etiquette” are your secret sauces of success in Asia. This cultural intelligence set of skills form the “Heart of Your Competitive Intelligence” in Asia.

 Unlike Westerners, Asians emphasize the importance of the group rather than the individual. In general, they conduct business, make decisions and socialize as a group that is mainly based on hierarchy, respect, trust, relationships and long term views.

Asian business etiquette is more than just about knowing how to present a business card, what gifts to give and not give, how to eat with chopsticks or spoon and fork, or how to address people. So what is the real driving force of success with your Asian counterparts?

 In the Asian societies, etiquette reflects beliefs and cultural habits. It is the way a Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese show respect to each other. It is the way they blend in and interact, showing pride in their cultures and beliefs. It is so critical to understand and embrace these cultural beliefs and respect them as part of business dealings when doing business in Asia.

 Anyone wanting to establish an essential business relationship in Asia must learn and apply 6P’s of winning strategies i.e.

 1. Perspective

Look at things from your Asian client’s point of view, who is from another background, different social and religious culture and business.

 2. Patience

Create credibility and trust in Asia over a number of years.  It is a mid to long term journey of lucrative and long term relationship with your Asian counterparts, customers and colleagues. Oh no! You may think that is too long to wait for closing those lucrative deals in Asia. Fortunately, the ways to do business in Asia can be effectively learned via impactful Cultural Business Skills Coaching and Training programs.

3. Presentation

Be ready to customize your behavior, communication and personal branding to your Asian audience.

What you are used to in presenting your case and product/service benefits to your Western clients may not automatically work with Asian clients. The key here is to localise your business and presentation strategies when dealing with your Asian prospects and clients.

4. Presence

Always be contactable and be there in your Asian clients/business partner’s location/office on a regular basis to establish a positive “face” and presence of your organization.

5. Persistence

Do take your business negotiations step-by-step. It may initially take longer to close a business deal with your Asian clients, but once it is achieved, it is a long term lucrative win-win deal.  Your Asian clients and business partners believe in long term business instead of ad hoc and mid-term deals.

6. Partnership

View your business relationship with your clients, counterparts as a “win-win” partnership although in your initial meetings and collaborations, the Asian audience may firstly ask what you can do for them first. Subsequently, they would return your good business favor as part of the “Quanxi”/relationship, as their culture and business is based on the “law of reciprocity”.

 So if you want to be accepted as a trustworthy, credible person and good friend, you’d better forget about how you do things at home, and put in your homework on culture and business etiquette.

 The assumptions, values and beliefs that Asians use on a day-to-day basis are what make them tick. If you want to do business in Asia, you have to follow those unconscious, subtle and often indirect rules of business.

I help organisations in the commercial and public sector and SMEs to build profitable partnerships and target their brands and products in Asia markets so that they can avoid costly mistakes, boost business and team performance and generate significant profits.

If you want valuable advice on how to build effective and lucrative relationships in your business with Asia, contact me for a 30-minutes ‘How to Achieve Winning Collaboration with Asian Clients’ complimentary consultation. (Value AUD$300, spots limited).

To Your Success With Asia

Rachael Mah

CEO, Principal Trainer & Mentor

AusAsia Institute