Eight things you must do to help make your China Business a Winner
So, you’re meeting some business contacts from China. Whether it is an organised mission (inbound or outbound) or you are going it alone, with your great product or service it should be smooth sailing and will surely lead to a deal, right?
Wrong! If you are planning to do business with China, you better read on so you can capitalise on the opportunity which may only come around once. Engagement with China could be your ticket to a successful future. But you need to get it right.
Chin Communications has worked with both organised missions and for clients making their own way for nearly a quarter of a century providing translation and interpreting services. It takes time and preparation to get it right and maximise your chances – you must create the right impression with a Chinese audience. Chin’s focus is on language and culture – and that is the appropriate starting point for you too. Get it right and it will smooth the way for long and fruitful engagement.
- As one of a potentially large number of participating businesses or another “foreigner” trying to do a deal, don’t expect the host to know about your business and objectives – you must spell out your requirements early in order to capture their attention;
- Participate in briefings and join organisations like ACBC and share information – talk to others who’ve been to China before and get some pointers and maybe even introductions;
- Get your business card in top shape: we’ve seen a few doozies: cards designed for Hong Kong (wrong); cards with no Chinese name (what will people call you); cards with funny fonts; cards with weird translations of business names (sanitary pads springs to mind!), and titles (Office Manager not CEO), and so on. Make sure your Chinese Language card is your best selling tool AND take heaps of them – hundreds, not a handful;
- Research the organisations you may meet with; if you’re on a mission tell the organisers who you’d like to meet and do your homework;
- At events, hone your networking skills; don’t be shy – step up with a smile, approach Chinese attendees, exchange business cards, look engaged and share some small talk; maybe the communication won’t be easy at first (take your own interpreter if you can). Networking is vital;
- Get your materials translated into appropriate Chinese. You need to be confident in the message and not waste such an opportunity with either no translation or poor Chinese (can you judge?). We’d recommend an attractive brochure about your product or service; a presentation of its features and benefits; website pages (Chinese will want to check you out and will only bother if the information is in Chinese);
- Mission Accomplished? NO, you need to follow up on contacts made. Remember, no contact is wasted; you’ll start off with a number of leads – get to know them and develop a list of potential business partners – the ones you don’t match up with can still be a source of referrals. And don’t forget to keep in touch – relationships, relationships …
- Finally, lucky number 8 – it’s not all about ‘you’. Think about what any Chinese partners might want from you and spell out the benefits of your product or service to them and their network.
The value of participation in a tailored business mission should not be underestimated, so get onto one if you can. Missions led or received by senior figures put you into an elite space with Chinese. Not only that, higher level businesspeople – decision makers – will turn up to events, so raise your profile and place in the pecking order, but make sure you have the right tools and attitude to make it a mission accomplished.
From Chin Communications: www.chincommunications.com.au
[SPECIAL OFFER Chin Communications extends a special offer to regional businesses to make sure your promotional materials are top-notch. We can ensure consistency and quality in your Chinese message; we can help you to follow up with potential leads and influencers.
In conjunction with any translation work, receive a free Chinese business card conversion (worth $109.00) or enjoy a 10% reduction on any marketing material translations.]
About the author: Professor Charles Qin, established Chin Communications, a professional translation and interpreting company in 1992 and, together with his team, serves clients around Australia and China helping make sure the messages are appropriate. Charles was one of the presenters for the ACBC Growing Business Opportunities with China series of forums.