The world is truly international in terms of business with remote workers for some companies spanning every livable continent. Being the point person to visit huge potential clients internationally is a sweet gig. Being able to experience a multitude of cultures can truly be rewarding in more than just a professional sense. International success also comes with immense financial opportunities and other job offers. Speaking another language can help with this significantly but is not required. The following will allow you to succeed in huge ways on an international business trip.
Do Research on Local Business Customs
Taking the time to research local business customs is important. Refusing a cup of tea before a meeting can be seen as the ultimate insult in some cultures. There are other cultures where a meeting time is a guideline rather than a deadline. South American countries have a looser view of the time when you compare it to some European countries like that of Germany. The last thing anyone wants to do is to insult the prospect or a current client due to a lack of knowledge/ignorance.
Even how you address someone in a position of power in places like China can be seen as an insult. Be as formal as possible until you are told to call someone by a surname. Argentina is a culture where familiarity is encouraged as personal space can be a thing of the past when visiting this country for a business meeting. The small details can allow a client/prospect to feel valued if you nail all of the business customs without reminders.
Entry into Certain Countries can be Easier
Being able to get to the front of the line in customs in certain countries can save you valuable time. A travel management company can make it easy for an international traveler for business. TSA precheck and global entry can allow for a much smoother traveling process. Arriving at a destination completely drained after long lines will be reduced. This is a huge benefit if you land then have a meeting almost immediately. For those that are traveling frequently being able to get through security in a few minutes can be a huge relief in airports like SFO or JFK.
An Extra Few Days Spent Learning Culture will be Invaluable
Being able to talk about what you love about a culture can be very valuable during a pitch or business meeting. All people want those that they work with to appreciate their culture when visiting their country. If you are supposed to go on a Monday leave on the Friday before to get a weekend in a city if you have never been there before. You might not realize the dining customs before taking a client out for dinner. Asking and researching these things is something that many professionals do not think about. For example, doing a cheers with a beer in Hungary is frowned upon while doing the same with a shot is acceptable.
Use an Airbnb for Extended Trips
Using extended rentals during international business trips can help you truly relax. At times, you just want to cook a meal and go to bed early. This can allow you to stay in top shape as well as ordering in or eating out constantly is rarely the best nutritional option. Being able to roll out of bed and cook an egg instead of going downstairs provides true downtime to the traveler. The ability to rent the same apartment or home will provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. Being able to create a routine in certain cities that you visit often can allow you to focus fully on a pitch or meeting you will have.
Map Out Your Days and Routes
There are cities around the world that can have hours of traffic during the busiest times of the day. Not all road systems are set up in the most logical ways due to a variety of reasons. Being a few miles away by car could make the trip more efficient by walking/biking due to large amounts of traffic. If meeting with multiple clients a central location needs to be selected for convenience. Take the time a few weeks before the trip to look up commute times from your accommodations to get an average time. If using public transport outline your trip or do it a day before a meeting if possible. Asking for directions internationally can be difficult as in some countries a limited number of people speak English.
Plan your international business trips in a detailed manner as leaving aspects of the trip up to chance should not be an option. Being able to travel the world while earning a healthy income is a dream of many. Take advantage of every opportunity when offered to go on a business trip as it could completely change your career trajectory.