7 tips for doing business with buyers of European spices and herbs?
1. Respect cultural differences but do not think of your customers
What is acceptable in your culture can create conflict in another culture, and vice versa. To build strength through cultural diversity in international cooperation, you need to manage expectations. The most relevant cultural aspects are listed below. However, please note that this is an exaggeration and may not be true of any business organization in Europe. Each company has its own culture, and everyone is different and cannot be made universal. It is safe to say that well-known retailers in the field of spices and herbs are generally professional, pragmatic, and sophisticated. Established retailers know the market well and have a good knowledge of product ranges and various quality features. They will enjoy contacting you and prioritizing technology. One of the best ways to increase your business communication skills and culture in general is to invest in training and coaching. A common trap in communication workshops is that they often miss out on individual approaches and are unaware of participants' progress. The way we communicate is part of our personality and cannot be changed by simple training sessions, no matter how interesting. So, use social psychology, and combine training with psychological training to get the best results. Language and values Your sales staff should have excellent English language instruction. This will be enough to contact many European purchasing managers. However, buyers from other countries appreciate it if you can speak to them in their native language. This is the case with Spanish-, French-, Italian-, Portuguese- and German-speaking countries. For example, France is showing significant growth in the importation of vanilla from Madagascar (a French-speaking country with a common heritage). Another example is Spain: they import more than 90% of European shares of dried peppers from Peru (a Spanish-speaking country with a common heritage). Structure and order At various levels, potential buyers in western and northern Europe are highly organized and like to plan everything in detail to avoid unexpected changes and delays. However, there is little difference between targeted markets. For example, in the Netherlands and France, business meetings are usually organized but not overly formal, starting and ending with a little talk. On the other hand, potential customers from southern European countries such as Spain and Italy will be more flexible and time-saving. Structure and order are also less effective during crowded trade events such as ANUGA or SIAL, when meeting times are very limited. Communication style When approaching European buyers of spices and herbs for the first time, it is important to be brief and to present quickly but clearly with your promise. This is especially important when you meet them during trade fairs. The communication style of some communities is seen as ‘circular’: people tend to provide detailed information on a key topic, which is often only mentioned at the end of a conversation. This is in contrast to the 'direct' communication style of Germany, Austria or the Netherlands and many other European countries, where people often start with the story and come to the details later. Another important aspect of communication style is emotional expression. For example, people in Britain, Germany, or the Dutch often monitor and control the amount of emotion they display at business meetings. On the other hand, in markets such as Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy, and France, emotional reactions are often the result of laughter, smiles, anger, or even spitting. Personal space is seen differently in southern Europe. People tend to be closer together than in western Europe, but this depends on the closeness between them. According to a recent study, Brits prefer to keep a meter between them and a stranger, 80cm from an acquaintance and just over 50cm from a close or close friend. Sovereignty in the workplace The power level between a manager (team leader, company owner) and a subordinate (team member, employee) are the characteristics of more companies than countries. At most spice and herbal remedies, the purchasing manager will not make a final decision regarding your gift before consulting with their manager. One of the reasons for this is to respect the relationship between the current providers and the owner of the company. It is quite common, especially for small companies, for sales activities to be carried out by sales managers, while import and purchase services are used by the owners or senior management. There are still other royal preferences related to company and country level. For example, their respective positions and powers are better defined in France and Germany than in the Netherlands. Also, the French and Germans use more decent manners in business situations. In some asset companies, subordinates tend to give higher status to their superiors. Potential Dutch customers may see this as a lack of performance, as they expect everyone to contribute to the meeting.
. Tips: Get used to shaking hands. Physical contact, such as a handshake, is not uncommon in many Asian countries. This may make businessmen from other countries feel uncomfortable shaking hands. A strong handshake shows confidence and is preferred over a soft handshake, which may indicate indifference or disloyalty. However, as the Covid-19 epidemic, instead of shaking hands, many people switch to elbows or avoid contact altogether, using for example wai bow or heart donations. Speak clearly and clearly, but not too much. Words should be kept in a comfortable and pleasant volume. German, Dutch, and British customers may be uncomfortable with a loud voice, which may seem intimidating. Don't
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