In this era of globalization running a business means dealing with people from all corners of the world. This means we have to deal with ethnic and cultural differences, time differences and communicate with people whose lifestyle and work ethic might be totally different from ours. These differences may have a huge impact on forming positive business relationships across the globe.
Effort should be taken to break through these cultural barriers and form positive and cordial relationships with foreign clients and business partners. This is possible by trying to get educated about their culture, tradition, family and general interests in life before proceeding to the actual business at hand. Though this might seem to be small talk or quite forced in the beginning the value of forging these cross-cultural friendships can go a long way in building and maintaining good relationships with your business partners, and international clients.
So the key player here is communication. While talking to the other person always have a cautious approach and do not indulge in humor or sarcastic comments without finding out if it is acceptable in their country. Otherwise you might lose a valuable client when a casual word on your part turns out to be an insult to the other.
Also it is better to have all discussions and business terms clearly laid down in writing with the signature of all parties to avoid general conflicts and the regulatory arbitrage brought about by the laws of different countries. These small but significant measures can go a long way in expanding your business internationally.