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Thursday, 22 January 2009

Great posts, with my two caveats! How to Make Business Connections in China - Conversation Starter - HarvardBusiness.org

How to Make Business Connections in China - Conversation Starter - HarvardBusiness.org


I would totally agree, with a couple of Caveats:  

1.) Realistic time frame will also be needed, many successes & failures (where firms pulled out of china too early when they did not see enough 'returns' early enough). for example, of the great technology success (whilst I was still in Telecoms) was Ericsson, not a lot of people know this, but they established there in 1890s!!! http://bit.ly/Kyuy  

2.) Great to build relationships (hopefully trusted) with a key partner, but due to politics, and constant change of those in power (within company and in the political arena). The focus on building the relationship should be one of 'portfolio' approach, even within one organisation. Namely, great relationships with key head guy(s), but all potential secondary guys, without the top guys noticing.. in short, great politics  

It does help if you get invited & hosts a few drinks & banquets with them to build up the relationships. and then trust is built and potentially orders (if there are no one there first to have better trusted relationships than you, so, listening skills becomes even more important!)  

Trying to Answer Leau

In the west, relationships is also important, but depending on the 'size of project' and with what organisations (public sector, media/agency, technology) all have their own quirks.. if it was big contracts (multi-millions), it will in general have to go through Request for Proposals (RFPs) which then competing firms will have to bid, then go through a beauty parades, meeting with management, presenting. this takes some time (in some, months if not over 1-2years).. 

but relationships previously built would enable certain firms to be more competitive, e.g. some could in fact influence the formation of the RFPs (or even help draft them)..  

in short, yes, relationships are key but play different roles.. of course in media sector is all very different, most people know each other, and the budget is usually held by small group of guys.. in variably they hire people they know & some cynics may say, they owed favour to sometime before..  

Keen to see what other thinks..  

All very interesting indeed... ;-)  

BR @GarethWong

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