Are you planning to establish your business in Australia? Well, here are tips on how you can prepare for it.
People love Australians because they are very straightforward when it comes to business affairs. Therefore, they don’t really need to take time to build a relationship before doing business with you. They are actually very receptive to new ideas. Also, they appreciate modesty so you should avoid overselling your company. Don’t use any aggressive sales techniques. You need to be friendly, factual and always to the point to avoid self-importance.
Remember, if you manage to impress them, they will not make things obvious to you. They appreciate modesty and always demonstrate it too. They are likely going to downplay their success so avoid jumping to conclusions. Don’t play along if you notice they are self-criticizing because they might not be as receptive as you assume. If they challenge you to a controversial discussion during the meeting, don’t take it personally.
Australians always find debates to be entertaining. As such, they will initiate debates through these provocative statements. When this happens, your best response is humor. The decision-making process is usually slower because their work environment is collaborative. Top management will always consult their subordinates before they arrive at a decision. Therefore, don’t try to rush the decision because they appreciate patience.
Australians don’t have a hard time saying no so they will always give you a clear and straightforward answer at all times. Their business hours run from 9 am to 5 pm every Monday to Friday. If you are planning to visit Australia for business purposes, you should do so between March and November. That’s because their tourist season runs from December to February.
Australians are often informal so they usually have casual and relaxed greetings. The most appropriate options for greetings are a smile and a handshake. Yes, they might say ‘G’day mate or G’day’ for a greeting but you should avoid it since it is patronizing coming from a foreigner. Therefore, you should stick to ‘hello, how are you’ or ‘hello’. When it comes to titles of courtesy, you should stick to first names, even during the first meeting.
The Art Of Conversation
English is the main language at any business meetings with Australian people. Always stick to standard terms rather than experimenting. Popular topics include sports (especially Australian Football and rugby), weather and anything else that mentions Australia in a positive way.
Some of the topics you need to avoid at these business meetings include sex, politics and religion unless they bring it up. Avoid mentioning aboriginal issues or immigration, regardless of how curious you might be. Don’t comment on their accents because they are used to distinguish social classes. Always remember that Australians often use colorful language that would not be acceptable in any other country.
Business Meetings And Meals
As for the dress code, men should wear a conservative and dark-colored business suit when meeting with Australian business people. On the other hand, women should wear a business suit or a smart dress. If the meeting is in Brisbane or any other tropical area, depending on the company culture or job function, men can wear Bermuda shorts, shirts and ties. It’s important to know the ins and outs of the Australian business culture.
Australians love punctuality so it’s always a good idea to arrive a few minutes early. At the introduction, you can provide your business card and keep the content of the meeting to facts and figures. Avoid feelings and emotions at these initial meetings. Gifts are not a huge part of Australian business etiquette but it’s always a good idea to bring a small gift from your country. The gifts should be opened when you give them out.
Table manners for these meetings are the same as those in Europe. Whoever makes the invitation should pay the bill in restaurants. In some cases, it is usual for friends to split the bill. If you have been invited for a drink, don’t mention the subject of the business unless the other person does it. If you are meeting in a pub, every person is expected to pay for a round of drinks. Don’t skip paying for your turn.
Always make strong eye contact when at business meetings with Australians. The acceptable distance at meetings is arm’s length.