Information about what companies should be aware of when selling internationally. This article is part of "A Basic Guide to Exporting", provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, to assist companies in exporting.
Last Published: 10/20/2016

Companies should be aware of basic business practices that are essential to successful international selling. Because cultures vary, there is no single international business code. The following basic practices, which transcend cultural barriers, will help your company conduct business overseas.
The biggest complaint about U.S. suppliers by foreign buyers? “Failure to ship as promised.”

Keep Promises

The biggest complaint foreign importers voice about U.S. suppliers is failure to ship as promised. A first order is particularly important because it shapes the customer’s image of a company as a dependable or an undependable supplier.

Be Polite, Courteous, and Friendly

It is important to avoid undue familiarity or slang, which may be misinterpreted. Managers and employees of some overseas companies feel that the usual brief U.S. business letter is lacking in courtesy.

Personally Sign All Letters

Form letters are not satisfactory.

Business Management