When doing business in the United States, professionals often have short attention spans. They want to close the business deal not long after they’ve pitched their services. It can be a very fast-paced environment where if professionals don’t receive the outcome they want instantaneously, they will move on to the next target. Developing business in countries outside the United States is very different. If professionals are looking to increase their opportunities in a certain region, they must take the time to understand the customs of that country.
At the Los Angeles Business Journal Event “Doing Business in the UAE” that I attended, panelists who have a presence there and in the U.S. discussed what it takes to be successful. This was especially helpful as we have clients who want more visibility in the UAE.
The strong political and economic ties between the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are leading to an increase in business being conducted between professionals in each country. In the UAE, patience is a virtue in this relationship-driven culture. A business deal cannot be closed in a two-day trip, but rather over several weeks or months of developing relationships. You must be willing to make a substantial commitment to spending a great deal of time with those you are seeking business from. On the plus side, these relationships will pay off in the long term by continuing to produce business over several years, rather than a few months or just a one-time engagement.
For professionals looking to develop business outside the United States, the first step is to take a broader look at the country you are focusing on, research how to best reach your target markets there and spend the time to develop the foundation.