In an extremely competitive business environment, it is very important to understand the business culture of whatever target market you are aiming to enter. This becomes even more critical of a focus point when that new target market is in a foreign nation. Gaining an understanding of the business culture helps you to understand, anticipate, and properly respond to any behavior from your foreign counterparts. This understanding helps to ensure you avoid misunderstandings. The South Korean market is a favorite among foreign investors for various reasons. Though the country’s stable and growing economy, generally open marketplace, and widespread use of the English language in business dealings all make it a very appealing option to investors, there are a number of significant cultural differences that one should be aware of.
The following article looks at South Korean business culture and offers insight into operating in this unique market.
South Korean Culture
South Korea operates on a belief that people should respect authority, act with virtue, work hard, invest time and energy in learning, and avoid extremes.
With regard to business etiquette, relationship building is highly regarded in the South Korean culture. It is important to spend time forming a good work relationship and building trust with your South Korean counterparts. This may include discussions about sports, family, and hobbies. South Koreans may ask questions about your personal life as a way to build a relationship with you and learn more about you in general. These questions should be answered openly and honestly. One should always avoid being boastful.
While South Koreans are typically comfortable conversing in English, some people are not. For this reason, you may need to speak in clear, basic English or possibly make use of a translator. If anything is discussed verbally and there is any question regarding the understanding of language, it is best to confirm all matters discussed in writing. Considering these challenges with regard to language, it is best to do presentations with minimal words, and instead use graphs, charts, and other visuals that are more easily communicated across cultures and languages.
Business Meetings in South Korea
Meetings should be coordinated well in advance and one should arrive punctually, whether the meeting is in person, via telephone, or conducted virtually. It is important to show respect for authority, so a senior person on a team should enter the room first and greet the most senior South Korean counterpart first. The aim of the initial meeting is to get to know one another, so one should not lose focus of this.
A slight bow, followed by a soft handshake is the preferred way of greeting in South Korea. Body language is a very important way of showing respect, so keeping one’s legs straight and upper body in a slight stoop is noted as respectful posture.
Use both hands to hand business cards and to take business cards, as business cards are highly regarded in South Korean business culture.
As with any situation, when you are entering a foreign market for the first time, whether for business or pleasure, you should do your due diligence in researching cultural differences, so that you are better prepared in the ways one should act, dress, and conduct oneself. This could mean anything from the way one greets others to the way one presents themselves externally. These types of things are very important in many cultures.
South Korea Toll Free Numbers for Entering the South Korean Market
As one embarks on the path of entering the South Korean market, it will become necessary to have access to the market telephonically. Whether it is to contact locals about property, licenses to conduct business, hiring a translator, manufacturing options or a number of other business-related discussions that are necessary, having access to South Korea toll free numbers could be your most essential tool. With South Korea toll free numbers, you are able to reach out to those you need to speak with and offer a toll free number to them in case they need to get back to you with further information.
South Korea toll free numbers could also help in advertising your business in the new target market. South Korea toll free numbers can be added to your business card and/ or website as a means of announcing your new expansion and allowing for those interested in learning more about your business a way to reach you.
South Korea Toll Free Numbers from United World Telecom
United World Telecom offers toll free numbers worldwide and an array of features to accompany the phone service to make your business run more efficiently and successfully. Call United World Telecom today to discuss the purchase of South Korea toll free numbers.