Hosting The First Visit From Abroad

It's all about the relationship

David Iwinski Jr.

Managing Director



David Iwinski Jr.

Managing Director

Blue Water Growth

US Mobile: +1 412 352 7997

China Mobile: +86 183 2128 4064

Skype ID: david.iwinski.bluewatergrowth

Hosting The First Visit From Abroad

It's all about the relationship

By David Iwinski

In a prior article we talked about al the things you can do to make your first trip abroad successful. However, often before a deal can be struck your prospect will want to come and see you.   There are a few things that you can do to make that visit both memorable and productive.


Relationship and Trust  When you have guests from off-shore, they’ll no doubt want to visit your production facilities or distribution outlets but first and foremost, they are sizing you up to see what kind of role you’ll play in a long-term relationship. While Americans prefer to get right down to business, in this case take some time to focus on making a friend first.


Logistical Help When setting up the visit, you need to do more than suggest a hotel. Many people from Asia, for example, may not be comfortable driving in the US and there are many cities where a taxi is not easy to come by. If you don’t have the time or resources to provide transportation, perhaps arrange for a car service to be at their disposal. Finding a capable translator, perhaps from a nearby University, is also a good idea.


First Day Because of the rigor of a long flight, you may assume that the first day should be light, perhaps with time to sleep in and relax. This is not a good idea! The best way to help your guests get past jet lag is for Day One to be vigorous with as much physical activity as possible. A plant tour, a city tour or visiting local distributors are all a good way to keep people moving. The events of the first full day should include a night out, perhaps at a local popular spot. The idea is to keep your guest active and not let them head back to the hotel for a small nap that turns into being fast asleep at 5:00 in the afternoon, setting up a week of drowsy jet lagged days.


Local Sights Your foreign guests will doubtless enjoy learning about sights of interest, both those of culture, nature and historical interest. One note in particular for guests from China – be sure to make some trips to places with crowds and people. While people from the US might take many pictures of monuments and nature, people from Asia like to see other people having fun and engaging in group activity.


Food If the visit is an extended one perhaps food familiar to your guests would be appreciated at some point but if the trip is a week or less, most visitors prefer to sample local cuisine. After all, a person from China will have excellent Chinese food every day and might well prefer the adventure of regional cooking.


Gifts Your guests will mostly likely arrive bearing gifts that reflect the arts, crafts and products of their homeland. Be prepared to reciprocate with something small (since they’ll have to carry it home) and thoughtful that reflects your home and provides a personal remembrance of their visit.


The first trip abroad might be when you find opportunity but when you prospects and partners visit you, that’s the time to secure the relationship and the deal.

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