"Knowing the customs is as important as knowing the laws"
Some time ago, a client of my Office - Daniel - participated in an experience that could cost him the involuntary frustration of a negotiation.
An important supplier of Belgian nationality had contacted him to tell him that he would be alone for one night in Buenos Aires. Although he did not have a cell phone, he suggested to Daniel that they could meet at "dinner time" in a restaurant located one block from the hotel where he would stay, to negotiate the conditions of an important contract.
When Daniel arrived, he looked at the tables one by one and did not see his Belgian provider in any of them and although he waited almost an hour, his provider never arrived.
Daniel interpreted this as a sign of bad manners and called me the next day to tell me about it. For my part, I imagined what could have happened and suggested that Daniel contact his provider to clarify what happened.
Daniel's supplier had shown up at the restaurant at 7.30 pm, faithful to the usual "dinner time" in Belgium and, for his part, Daniel, had arrived at the restaurant around 9.30 pm, that is to say in the schedule in which we Argentines usually dine!
When people come from different countries and, therefore, different cultures are related, in that link they interact different customs, beliefs, languages, etc. That's what we call "Cross culture."
In the universe of International Companies, that must face negotiations with actors of multiple nationalities, Cross Culture is the daily scenario.
Operators that interact with companies that must cross cross-cultural scenarios, either internal between their different subsidiaries based in different countries, or external, with clients and actors distributed throughout the world, have a duty to know in depth the language (verbal and non-verbal), protocol gestures, customs, communication strategies, negotiation techniques, etc.
The world, and in particular that of business, is increasingly affected by globalization!
Knowing the cultural impacts that our clients must face in this globalized world undoubtedly provides a competitive advantage for any company that wishes to insert itself in an intercultural situation that comes their way.