When a company sends a salesperson into the Indian market, the goal is to fill the order book as quickly as possible – there is no time for that person to build ongoing relationships.
The result at best is a quick transaction based on price. It rarely lasts.
India is a country where relationships drive and impact all aspects of business. That is “how they do things there” and expect us to be the same.
Some tips for relationship building in these tough times:
- You can build good relationships during Covid by hosting a zoom or similar catchup to see how things are going – no big agenda, just share experiences and listen.
- You can join groups and chambers and be seen as a player.
- You can accept the intangibility of relationships and give your key executives time and resources to build them.
- You can look up Indian culture, architecture and history so you can have informal conversations about things close to their heart.
- You will need strong curiosity and listening skills.
Really, decisions about future business with India need to be C-Suite and Boardroom driven, based around a minimum three-year strategy. And giving your people the right to spend time on the intangible of relationships is the best first step.