A Guide to Doing Business in Thailand
If you are preparing for a corporate meeting with Thai affiliates and clients, here are some tips that can be helpful for your negotiations in the Kingdom. When you meet your local counterpart, greet him by preceding his first name with « khun », which is the equivalent of « mister ». This is their polite term for addressing people during formal, social, and business gatherings. Also, using the last name is not practiced. So, if your name is Wallace Brown, you will be called as Khun Wallace, or Khun Wally if that is your nickname. Once you have become more familiar with each other, it will be more acceptable to drop the Khun.
The second tip is to bring a souvenir from your country around the second time you meet your business partner or customer. Select something that symbolises your nation or culture. You can also give products that are useful in the corporate world such as a formal shirt, motivational books for entrepreneurs, or small decorative craftwork. This gesture is a sign of friendship and appreciation.
Additionally, do not be late for your official appointments. Thai businessmen might be late for meetings, but they do expect you to be on time. Remember to check for updates regarding any sudden rerouting or blocking of streets because there are usually unexpected traffic changes. Also, ask for your local counterpart’s contact information so you can check and estimate how long you will be waiting.
Lastly, be ready to compromise. You can develop a good working corporate relationship with your partners and clients in the Kingdom if you keep an open mind and are willing to negotiate.