Building Business Relationships in Thailand
December 15, 2017
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The steady growth of Thailand’s economy has made the country a more desirable place to do business. If you’re looking into trading with the up-and-coming Asian country, there are a few things you should know when conducting business in Thailand.
Thai people have a reputation for being intelligent, well-mannered, and kind people with a vibrant culture. They’re known to appreciate someone who’s willing to put in the time and effort to form a great working relationship.
We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to nail your business deal from the get-go.
You’ll find that Thai people ask a lot of questions. What is your role in your company? How many employees do you have? What is your family life like? In Thailand, there is a form of a hierarchy that is based on age and seniority. They’re trying to find out where you stand in your country and business based on this societal standard.
In Thailand, there is a form of a hierarchy that is based on age and seniority
Similarly, people with the most seniority are addressed first in a business setting. As part of your introduction, shake the hand of the person with the most seniority, then continue down the ranks. In most other situations, like when you go out to eat or have a drink, that same person will get served first. It’s a sign of respect and worth practicing when in Thailand to make a good impression.
When starting a relationship with a Thai business, it’s a good idea to bring a gift from your home country. Make sure you bring things that are shareable like fruits or sweets or knick knacks. Everyone participating in a meeting should be able to receive part of your gift.
But it shouldn’t be an extravagant gift. A small trinket or something inexpensive is the way to go. You can make a Thai person uncomfortable with a pricey gift, as they will need to refuse it. Also look for things that come in threes, it is considered lucky and will show that you’ve done your research. It’s certainly not a must but it would be greatly appreciated.
A small trinket or something inexpensive is the way to go
If the gift is significant, like for a wedding or birthday, wrap it in specific colors. Gold, yellow, and red are good colors for celebrations. The gift should look elegant and cleanly wrapped, so no lazily-tied bows!
Gifts aren’t opened when they’re received but later in private.
After You Leave
Now that you’ve kindled a long-term relationship with your Thai business partners, you need to keep it alight. Try to keep track of things going on in their life, this includes major events or successes they’ve experienced. This gives you a reason to reach out and congratulate them or wish them well. If you’ve built a good relationship, they will congratulate you on your accomplishments as well.
Make that occasional Skype call, be involved and make time. Thai people will see that as a sign of respect.
Another thing your Thai connects would appreciate is quick and secure payments. When using traditional methods like banks, making a payment can be time consuming, and it’s impossible to track once it’s been made.
Veem not only verifies your business partner in Thailand, they also allow you to track your payment, and offer a better exchange rate than your bank. Sending a payment is as easy as sending an email. Show your Thai business partner the respect they deserve by paying them quickly and securely through Veem.
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