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The Personal Touch in China

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 13, 2005

When you’re trying to do business in China, forget the Western approach of “Here’s my PowerPoint presentation, here’s the contract, sign here.” You need to start with a personal touch. Make it clear to the Chinese that you come without guile and that you’re not there to pillage but rather to establish a relationship that goes beyond business. For starters, find out if the person you’re meeting with has a son or a daughter, ask to see pictures, and bring a gift from the U.S. for the child. That is more important than any advice you’ll read in any business journal.

Jeff Ruffolo
Senior Adviser
China Southern Airlines
Ruffalo Communications
Orange, Calif.

Reader Comments

Abasse Asgaraly

December 14, 2005 3:30 PM

Throughout Asia, personal contacts and direct relationships are key to long-term and successful business development. I lived in Japan for 7 years and after numerous meetings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was able to conclude an important contract for our emergency medical assistance services for all the Japanese diplomats around the world. I was told that the Ministry agreed to go ahead with me and my foreign-based company because I had demonstrated a genuine and constant interest to do business with them.
This does NOT preclude to have professional presentations, documents and information.

Gao Yi

December 26, 2005 9:31 PM

The opinion of the author is absolutely right.
I am a Chinese. When embarking on my business, firstly, I try to build a good relation with the customers on the basis of mutual benefit and sincere good will.

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