Tips for International Entrepreneurs: Japanese Business Card Etiquette Tips
Expanding your business to serve international clients can be very exciting and can also be challenging at the same time. Doing businesses in Japan or with Japanese clients can often be complex due to the cultural differences. If you’re an international entrepreneur looking to pursue business opportunities with Japanese businesses, check out below for Japanese business card etiquette and how to improve your first impression with your potential Japanese client.
Japanese business card etiquette says that when exchanging business cards with a group of people, start with the senior or higher ranking people first. The Japanese society is hierarchy driven and this of course applies in the business world as well. As an international entrepreneur, knowing the little nuances and power dynamics in Japanese business settings can make and leave positive first impressions.
2. Receive card with two hands
When you receive cards, it is proper Japanese business card etiquette to make sure you are receiving with two hands. This is subtle and detailed, but this impression and your effort to adopt the culture demonstrates your greater respect towards them.
3. Give card with two hands and facing the receiver
Just like when you received it, Japanese business card etiquette requires you to give your card with two hands, letters facing the recipients. This makes it easier for the recipient to read your card, and shows respect to the other person.
4. Have small talk
If you’re an international entrepreneur, master the small talk. Successful networking is important. Small talk works regardless of cultural and language differences. It makes it easy to connect and build the relationship a little closer and more comfortable. If possible, strike a conversation from reading the business card of the person with whom you are speaking. This shows you are paying attention. You can talk about their name, address, or company and make a connection between those things. It’s not a must, so no need to sweat if there’s nothing you can relate to, but in that case, look for other things like weather or some current event with which you can all relate.