There are certain aspects of Thailand you need to be aware of in order to successfully carry out activities in the country. Culture shock affects everyone, including customers, but adequate preparation should give you an idea of what to expect. Doing business in Thailand can be very rewarding, but it could equally become annoying.
Learn the business culture
Most Thais will see their nation will be fully developed and are very interested in learning about Western technology and practices. However, in some aspects, Thais can be very stubborn, refusing to change the way they live and remind you that you are in their country. For example, most companies only work a half day on Saturdays, and it is generally not advisable to ask for a business meeting on Saturday.
Doing business in Thailand will require that you earn their respect as you will be interacting with. Thais generally do business with people they respect and it could take time to develop healthy business to your advantage. In Thailand, person’s status is important, and in some cases, this is based on age. In preparing for a business meeting, make sure you have a list of those who will be in attendance as well as their credentials. Moreover, when communication with the social group, it is important to fear that the oldest member of the group.
It is important to come for a meeting on time, even when you are not sure about the punctuality of those who will be in attendance. Although punctuality in Thai is a personal trait, it represents respect for those you meet and you will earn more respect if you’re on time regardless of the meaning of the category of punctuality. It is also important to send the agenda for the meeting in both English and Thai, and then allow sufficient time for preparation. Ideally, policy should be one month in advance.
At the meeting, remember to be patient and stand where you are asked to attend. The attire for both men and women should be conservative, especially because Thais judge you based clothing and accessories. If you have business cards to distribute, make sure you do this after the first greeting or handshake and start with the most senior person. House of cards is generally considered necessary opening ritual when doing business in Thailand and other Asian countries. It is also good to have one side of your business card in Thai.
Always remember to be polite and respectful, and note that no verbal and formal communication is generally considered more important than verbal communication. For example, where Thais hard to deny requests, it is important to pay attention to their non-verbal communication. If you sense hesitance, it is advisable to retract your request. You should also watch their body language to communicate with the Thais and this is more believable than words. When trading in Thailand, the willingness to learn and adapt to the new culture will ensure your success.