Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dear Mr. Chinese Businessman

You need a lesson in entertaining and manners. I have lived here for over a year now and I have a few observations:
  1. Just because you like to eat snakes, pigeons and waterbugs does not mean that your customers enjoy the same delicacies. Most of them would prefer eating beef, pork or chicken rather than turtles, frogs, snakes and sparrows. Worst case scenario they would prefer KFC or McDonald's to some of the items that you expect them to eat when they come here. They are not impressed that the plate of conchs or the whole pigeons cost 150RMB. They are disgusting to look at and disgusting to eat. Save yourself and your company some money and take your customers to a Hunan or Sichuan restaurant where they can at least enjoy some decent beef or pork instead of the other critters that you want them to try.

  2. Turn off that damn cell phone! They are here to spend money with you, not listen to you rant for 20 minutes on a cell phone in another language. If you must, absolutely must talk on the phone, then excuse yourself, leave the room and have your discussion. Apologize when you return, then turn it off! That is much more impressive than continuing to take calls. Everyone knows you are busy, everyone knows you are an IMPORTANT person but make your customer feel important. After many of them have been on a plane for more than 20 hours to meet with you.

  3. Quit the hocking and spitting. It is gross as hell and nobody likes to hear or see this. Would it hurt to occasionally discretely SWALLOW that junk instead of making such a production of this?

  4. Stop trying to get them drunk. It's not funny and most foreigners do not 'slam' alcohol the way you think that they do. We do not do 'shots' in business settings. Most customers would prefer a good glass of beer or wine to cognac or baijiu. Most of them would rather sit back and ENJOY that glass of beer or wine rather than try and compete with your Chinese drinking prowess.

  5. Let them rest. Many customers that come to China have been on planes for more than 10 hours. The customers from the US, South America, and Canada have been traveling for more than 20 hours. Give them a break and let them rest. Make an early night of it for them and they will thank you tomorrow. Trying to keep them up by eating until 9:00 PM and then taking them to sing karaoke until midnight does not do you or them any favors.
Just remember, the people that come to visit you and your factory are your CUSTOMERS. They do not come here to entertain you but rather to spend money so you can afford to live in that nice house and drive that Mercedes or BMW. Calling them fat and stupid is not cute, some of them do know how to speak the language.


aden said...

cool blog !!!

Rage said...

Hey, even though I live in HK (since 1 year) and don't really do business in China, I've experienced quite a lot of that on my weekend trips over to the mainland.
I absolutely hate it if I can't enjoy a quiet beer, instead having to chuck down as many bottles as possible.

See ya at TTC, Rage!