Canada is one of the most attractive markets in America, due to the purchasing power of its population, economic and political stability; Not surprisingly, see why hundreds of companies export or have established plants and operations in the Canadian market. If you are interested in doing business, here are a series of guidelines and tips for doing business in Canada.
Canada is, above all, a price market in which the world’s most competitive exporters are present. Therefore, the most important thing is to make a positive, honest, and reliable first impression before trying to sell a product or service.
Before contacting Canadian businessmen, the region must be taken into account. The corporate culture in Canada varies from region to region, and most Canadians feel very identified with their province. The negotiation environment is formal in big cities like Toronto and Quebec and more relaxed in the western part of the country like Vancouver.
When establishing business with Canadian entrepreneurs, it is preferable to make an appointment for a first meeting. It can be done by phone or by email. If a person is really interested, they will set a meeting quickly.
Punctuality is an important tag code. Due to the formality of business meetings in Canada, it is expected to respect the established hours. A 15-minute delay is considered rude. It is recommended to prepare a schedule and meet it.
In case of a delay, you must notify by phone. It is convenient to prepare an agenda with the points to be treated and stick to it. If the meeting takes place at lunchtime, more substantial meals will be offered, or it will be proposed to continue the meeting in a restaurant.
Regarding the material for business, it is advised that the promotional documentation is in English and French. It is common to use a PowerPoint presentation or any other technological support. On the other hand, business cards are used in Canada. They are usually written in a different language on each side (English and French). They are usually exchanged at the beginning of the meeting.
The key to starting a good relationship is a firm, honest and courteous handshake, looking into your eyes and without the slightest sign of arrogance. You have to shake hands and introduce yourself and the company you represent, thank you for the appointment given and make sure that the interlocutor is the right person in case you do not say your name.
In business conversations, the subject is usually entered directly. Canadians listen to the interlocutor without interruption. It is worth mentioning, Canadians like to negotiate concessions so that the starting position must have room for maneuver.
In the same way, not delivering requested information can be interpreted as suspicious or elusive. It is important to mention that they tend to pay special attention to the opinions of everyone present in the negotiation, regardless of their hierarchical level within the company.
The power of decision is quite decentralized, so that middle managers have the capacity to decide; yes, always in accordance with the general policy of the company.
Finally, agreements are often closed with a handshake and a written request, which must be subsequently confirmed by letter, indicating the agreed terms and conditions. A formal contract always enjoys good acceptance.