Business Practices in the United States

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The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
Punctuality is the key point for business meetings. The North American culture drives individual initiative and achievements. In the States, money is a key priority: the concept "time is money" is taken seriously in this business culture.
First Contact
Americans are direct in business but they like to laugh and enjoy talking with people with a sense of humor. They will listen to you and meet you if they think that your idea or company is of interest to their business.
Americans refrain from greetings that involve hugging and close physical contact unless you have known them for a long time. The standard space between you and your counterpart should be about two feet.
How to Present Yourself
Since time is money, go directly to the point. Be clear and simple when you need to present yourself and the company you are working for. Be nice and cool.
Business Relations
American executives are willing to take chances. Risk taking often results in Americans going for the biggest slice of the business, 100% if possible.
Presenting a gift is a nice gesture, but it is not expected. Business gifts are usually presented after the deal is closed. When you visit a home, you don't need to bring a gift. Gifts for women like perfumes or clothing are not polite. They are considered too personal.
Dress Code
For the first meeting, you won't go wrong if you dress conservatively. Afterwards, you may follow the example of your American counterparts. It always varies with the industry you are working in. For example, in a bank, you will always dress conservatively even after several meetings.
Visiting Cards
Bring some business cards with you to exchange with the different people you meet. Americans give you their business cards at the very beginning of the meeting.
For Further Information
Doing Business
Doing Business In the USA

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