Next week we are hosting our annual Germany to NYC event. For two days we will have a handful of successful German entrepreneurs join us in New York for an intensive workshop, networking and some good old New York adventure.
I love having the chance to talk to entrepreneurs from different countries and have always been fascinated with how the cultural differences can have an impact on doing business locally. I have had the opportunity to work with many different cultures and each one brings a certain flavor to the US market that, if played right, brings tremendous advantages. But as many of us have learned, the real key to success lies in a strong understanding and respect for the local culture.
Since we will be having these conversation in more depth next week, I thought I’d get a few of my ideas out there for discussion.
Americans Are a Positive Bunch
Every market has it’s share of optimists and pessimists, but the American culture is often centered around the positive first. In Management you are taught, start with a positive statement before you criticize; this is much more motivating to your team. This concept works in business too. Spending the time to speak positively gains the trust and respect required to overcome any of the challenges. This may not be the best way to “get to the point” but it certainly helps build the rapport required for a long term relationship.
The Art of the Possible
Daniel wrote a blog post awhile back before speaking to the German Chamber of Commerce about this very topic, and it is still so true. If you remember the last US presidential election, Obama’s campaign was centered around “Yes We Can” and that was very much aligned with the American dream. Sales is notorious for answering “Yes” to almost any challenge they are brought. This is not about lying thought, it’s about what’s possible. If you are asked if a product or solution can achieve something the “Yes” answer is not about misrepresenting but about the attitude that even if it doesn’t work that way today, we can and will make it happen!
It’s About Relationships
Networking is a big focus. Getting into the right conversation can often be achieved by “who you know”. You don’t need to be Donald Trump, but don’t be shy to network, network, network. People inherently like to help each other and getting out there and making contacts can be a very successful tool in driving business. Think about the popularity of LinkedIn: connecting to people is the best path to success.
All this said, the global business you find here in New York is what makes this city the greatest place on earth (ok, I am a bit biased). Great talent lives around the world and bringing those minds together is the true path to success. But let’s not forget that understanding the people behind the talent is the real key.
Let’s continue the dialogue. Join us next week at our Germany to NYC event and don’t miss our German Innovation Showcase on Thursday night.