Trading Post
How to shorten the distance with customers?

In fact, in the long process of communication and maintenance with customers, chatting seemingly unrelated to orders is also important, but it is often the most headache for many foreign traders. Because I don't know how to find the incision or what the other party is interested in, I'm afraid I will lose if I make a mistake. As for the starting point of the topic, the following three principles should be followed.


01Choose topics that foreigners like to hear


People from any country are mostly interested in topics such as sports competitions, literary and artistic performances, movies and television, scenic spots, tourism, holidays, cooking snacks, etc. Talking about this kind of topic makes people relaxed and happy, so it is generally welcomed.


Chinese people get along with people they don't know well. They like to talk about the weather or ask foreigners about their impressions of local customs. For example, "How long have you been here?" "Are you used to living here?" Another old way is to start by asking the other person's native place, and then guide the other person to talk about the scenery and specialties of his hometown according to his knowledge. It is feasible to choose these topics when talking with foreigners.


Understanding and respecting each other is a prerequisite for a smooth and effective conversation. As we all know, President Samaranch of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is busy and comes and goes in a hurry. However, some Chinese journalists can often have a conversation with "Lao Sa". What are you talking about? What he talked about was his favorite stamp collecting. After some magic talk, the reporter's exclusive interview was completed at the same time. Their success, to a large extent, is due to the right topic.


02Choose topics familiar to both Chinese and foreign sides


To contact and communicate with foreign customers, if we can find topics familiar to both sides, we will find a common language, which will greatly help us understand and communicate with each other. People can make use of their strengths to avoid their weaknesses, and play normally. At least, it will not make people feel embarrassed because one party doesn't answer the questions.


If foreigners take the initiative to talk about topics that we are not familiar with, we should listen attentively and ask for advice carefully. Never pretend to understand something, let alone take the initiative to talk about topics that we know only a little about. Otherwise, instead of bringing any benefits to yourself, it will damage your image.


03Avoid the taboo topics of foreigners


Generally, the following topics are not suitable for talking with foreigners:

First, excessive concern and exhortation. The Chinese advocate caring for others rather than caring for themselves, while foreigners emphasize independence of personality. Therefore, we should not apply Chinese friendly care and advice to foreigners, or we will do nothing to please them. You asked a foreign friend, "Have you eaten yet?" You say hello to him, "Are you going to the street?" You are obviously out of kindness, but in his opinion, you have been rudely interfered with personal freedom, and he will say in his heart: "What do you care so much about?"

Chinese salesmen are required to actively introduce and recommend products to customers, which is not feasible for foreigners. Because people think that buying something is their own business, and others can't control it. If we have to talk about this topic with foreigners, we should try to be tactful. Pay special attention to the tone, use less imperative sentences, and don't let the other party feel that they are giving orders to him.

Second, personal life. When talking with foreigners, they shall not casually inquire about each other's age, marriage, experience, income, address and other aspects of family life. This kind of topic is common for Chinese people to teach, but in the eyes of foreigners, it means inquiring about personal privacy, with impure motives. Do not comment on the price, style and origin of foreigners' clothing, residences, furniture, cars and other articles. They are all related to income and belong to the scope of personal privacy.

Third, unpleasant things. Topics such as aging and death, annoying beetles, tragedies and scandals are all harmful and sensational, with low style, and should not be touched when talking with foreigners. They believe that talking about these topics is both disappointing and unlucky. When Chinese people meet, they often ask each other how their health is, but it is better not to talk about this problem with foreigners, let alone talk about his illness in detail with a foreign patient.

Fourth, the short and long of others. Spreading gossip, commenting on the beauty and ugliness of colleagues, the likes and dislikes of superiors, the fatness and thinness of women, and the clothes of passers-by will be regarded by decent foreigners as lacking in education and doing nothing. Talking about interpersonal disputes and other people's mistakes is also regarded as boring.

Don't criticize foreigners' political opinions, religious beliefs, customs and personal hobbies. It is impolite to sneer at Her Majesty the Queen in the face of the British and tell a collector that he has lost his mind in playing games.

It should be pointed out that in conversation, once a foreigner avoids or refuses to continue a topic, he should not go his own way, but should immediately change the topic and apologize to the other party if necessary.