China is taking over the business world. It has become the third largest exporting country in the whole world. If you want to start a China import business you should always keep in mind that unlike your local suppliers, Chinese suppliers have different business approaches. It is important that your first encounter with your potential suppliers would leave a good impression. For this to be possible, here is some business etiquette that you must take note of:
-Chinese people judge a person based on the way they dress. This is because how you dress is a vital thing in China. If you are a man it is important that you dress formally when you are going to meetings. If you are a woman, avoid revealing clothing and wearing too high-heeled shoes. Chinese businessmen might get the wrong impression if you dress too loud.
-If you are thinking of giving gifts to your potential local suppliers, it is best to give something that will represent the city where you come from. Before thinking of buying gifts, it is important that you have knowledge of the culture and beliefs so as not to offend your Chinese host.
-Time is a very important element for Chinese people. It is important that you arrive in meetings on time. Chinese people believe that if you respect the people you are dealing with, you will do your best to be on time or at an earlier time.
-Avoid physical contact with the opposite sex. A non-committal elbow brush might register as something off to the Chinese suppliers that you are dealing with. Also regulate the use of your hands in gesturing something.
-If you are out on a lunch meeting or a breakfast meeting or in an event that involves food, make sure that you do not finish your meal. Doing this will give your Chinese suppliers that you are still hungry and that you want to eat more. Make sure that there is a small serving left on your plate at the end of the meeting.
-Although you are used to leaving tips after a meal, it is better if you do not when you are out with your Chinese suppliers. Chinese people do not practice this kind of courtesy and if you do this in front of them, they may be insulted and offended.
-Wait for your host to shake your hand. Although this is an ordinary gesture of courtesy, most Chinese people would prefer a nod.
-Upon receiving a business card from a supplier, take time to read the contents of the card first before keeping it, as a sign of respect.
-Don't get beat by your emotions. It is important to keep a relaxed aura when dealing with Chinese suppliers.
Respect is a very important value to Chinese people and if you succeed in showing them that you respect them and their culture then it will be a positive sign that you will be getting a positive response from them.