The American business culture is considered to be quite individualistic, as the most notable elements of it are the fact that it is efficiency-oriented and very highly money-driven.
Take a moment and explore their elements of business etiquette that will get you prepared for any professional encounter, in the USA:
- Primary contact: Whether it is a phone call or an email, Americans tend to be quite difficult with their time. Therefore, it is expected that any communication is clear, on-point and concise.
- Punctuality: This is one of the most important elements of their business culture. They value time an incredible lot, meaning that being late is considered a very high lack of respect towards your counterpart. Ensure that deadlines are met, meetings are done on time and payments are made within the timelines agreed.
- Greetings: When meeting your counterpart, you should shake hands firmly, but not get too close, while offering a smile and direct eye contact. Close contact is considered a lack of respect,
- Gifting: Because of their anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies, gifting is considered highly inappropriate. Even offering to pay for a business lunch could be considered disrespectful, so it is better that you restrain from any gifting activities, even though your intentions are truly positive.
- Dress-code: Dress codes usually depend on the sturdiness of the industry you are working in, however Americans tend to be more easy-going and relaxed when it comes to their dress codes. A smart-casual attire can get you a long way.
- Business Cards: Americans do not have such strict protocols implemented when it comes to handing business cards. Keep them on you at all times during business meetings – they can be handed at any point during these encounters.
- Business Meetings: Americans tend to get quite uncomfortable when silence prevails during a professional encounter and so, small talks are usually used in order to break the ice at the beginning of every meeting. The use of humour is highly encouraged and appreciated during business meetings. It can definitely help to facilitate openness and create a more relaxed business environment.
In conclusion, it is not imperative, according the USA business culture, to develop personal relationships with your business counterparts in order to establish long-lasting and efficient business relationships. Americans tend to be more interested in the quality of the product or service, rather than a friendly encounter. So get your products well prepared, assure an easy and clear communication and you will definitely succeed in growing your business on American land.