Understanding US Business Culture
While the American’s & the British may appear similar in language & culture, the two nations are actually quite different. Understanding the idiosyncrasies between the two will ensure you’re better equipped to enter the market, negotiate deals & develop long-term business relationships.
Building Relationships – Americans often build relationships through business, not business through relationships. Work out the details of the deal first, the relationships will come later
Active Selling – Expected, often to a degree that maybe considered excessive in the UK & definitely in mainland EU
Time is Money – Be well prepared with samples, packaging & sales sheets. Know your ROI, sales forecasts, pricing & the logistics.
Deadlines – Are Real & Short! Respond quickly or risk losing the business
Know Your Competition – Know your competitive advantage over specific US suppliers, as well as your domestic & international track record.
Say What You Mean – Being direct is a virtue; Ask for what you want, say what you mean & do what you say. Being shy & unassertive may be seen as weakness in the US. Americans won’t take offence to well-phrased, direct questions because the ALWAYS reserve the right to say no.
Be Positive – The British tendency to be self-effacing or downplay achievements can CLASH with Americans’ Can-Do Attitude & tendency to take information at face value.