Presentation on theme: "“Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” Terri Morrison and Wayne Conaway."— Presentation transcript:
“Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” Terri Morrison and Wayne Conaway
No one needs to know you, trust you, or even see you in the U.S. to consider doing business with you. Many purchases are made remotely. Americans value speed. Purchasing decisions are often made in the first visit. The United States is a youth oriented culture.
English is the official language At the time of this book publishing(2006), there were 231 different languages spoken in the United States! The United States is very multi-cultural.
Punctuality is highly emphasized. If you are delayed, you should let your appointment know. If you are invited for a business meal, you should arrive promptly. If you are invited to a cocktail party, you can arrive up to ½ hour late without calling.
Business is done at lightning speed in comparison to other cultures. Electronic communication is very common and you will see many executives communicating via handheld device (phone or Blackberry) Business cards are exchanged when there will be later communication.
Business meetings are often held over lunch. The standard lunch break in the United States is one hour, but business lunches may last up to two hours. If you are invited out for a business meal, the host will be the one who pays. It is highly discouraged to drink alcohol at a business lunch.
In business situations a handshake is used. It should be very firm and only last for a few seconds. Both men and women shake hands. The greeting “How are you?” is not an inquiry about your health. The best response is a short one such as “Fine, thanks.” Americans often wave, smile, and nod in greeting in casual situations.
When you meet someone for the first time, use their title and their last name until you are told to do otherwise. Always stand when you are introduced to someone unless you are physically unable to do so. Americans are a casual society and you may be asked almost immediately to call someone by a first name.
Proper etiquette says that you should wait to be introduced by a third party. However, it is very common and not at all impolite in the United States to introduce yourself. Americans perceive direct eye contact when speaking to someone to be a sign of attention and sincerity.
Business gifts are often discouraged by the law and many companies have policies against accepting gifts above a certain dollar amount. Corporate gifts are exchanged around Christmas. If you are invited to a business dinner in a home, a gift or wine or flowers should be brought.
Business attire can span from conservative to business casual. In rural areas and small towns, expect that the business attire may be more casual than in a big city. When visiting an office where you do not know the dress code, it is better to dress more formally rather than more casually.
Never address a woman in a business setting with “honey” or “dear”, although these terms are common in the South. It is not impolite in the United States to begin a conversation with “What do you do?” People in the United States define themselves by their professions. Do not inquire about a person’s race, religion, political views, or marital status.