In a diverse world the specialized skills every international business manager should emphasize on acquiring to help meet the challenges that could arise with respect to communication and negotiation are cultural sensitivity, multilingual, and having a wide-range way of thinking, as well as behaving. Knowing that there are several gestures, greetings and ways of conducting business oversea will greatly aid managers get their foot in the door to succeeding a long term relationship with the host country business or individual.
For example, in South Africa it is preferred to conduct a face to face meeting rather than discussing business over the phone. And it is expected to arrange several face to face informal meetings before the main business meeting takes place. The purpose for the face to face interactions is to give each party the chance to get to know the other more formally. The final business meeting is arranged right away and since it could take a few days, it is scheduled way in advance. However, the final meeting does not take place before establishing a relationship during the several informal small talk meetings. During the final meeting introduction process, maintaining eye contact while shaking hands, providing business cards to everyone present at the meeting is a must. This is similar to how people in Indian do business as well; where after the initial handshake and greeting business cards are exchanged. Although, in South Africa if there happens to be any woman present at the meeting let her initiates the handshake first, this is part of their business customs. In South Africa, make sure to always present your business card so the receiver of the card may be able to read the card, as it is handed to them. (from page 111, chapter four of eight edition book-International Management Culture, Strategy, and Behavior, by Fred Luthans and Jonathan P. Doh)
While in Indian handshaking is common when dealing with westerners especially in the large cities among the more educated who are accustomed to dealing with westerners. In addition men shake hands only with other men and women with other women, but rarely at any time do shaking hands occur among the two genders. http://www.amritt.com/india-business-guide/business-etiquette-in-india/ viewed on 05/14/15
Another South Africa business custom is that an individual does not sit down until invited to do so. (from page 111, chapter four of eight edition book-International Management Culture, Strategy, and Behavior, by Fred Luthans and Jonathan P. Doh).
These customs are somewhat similar to the United States of America, with some exceptions. For example, in the United States of America during a face to face meeting a business manager weather it is at the first meeting or not exchanging of business cards with all parties present at the meeting is done. In addition, there is no custom as to which gender should initiate a hand shake first during any greeting