1. Earn their trust. Telling the other side that you respect their culture may secure you a contract. But to build a promising relationship, you’ll need to back up your words with respectful actions after the contract is signed.

2. Respect differences. When it comes to business partnerships, merging distinct cultures can be a confusing, lengthy process. A better approach may be to maintain your unique identities and borrow from the best of both.

3. Expect to be surprised. Because national culture is just one facet of our identities, try to view negotiating counterparts as unique individuals rather than cultural ambassadors.

4. Prepare to adapt. Don’t assume that the business strategies you’ve cultivated on your home turf will work in a new culture. Arrive ready to listen and adapt your style.

Jean-Baptiste DEAL

Founder, Avant Agents