Tips on International
Calling across borders and time zones can be tricky. Be sure
to cover these essentials before you launch your call with
Check for Complete Phone Numbers.
An international telephone number will look different than
a number within the United States. It will have an international
code, a country code and a city code before the local number.
These codes vary in length, so accuracy is difficult to determine
at first glance. Premiere Conferencing calls all international
numbers prior to an international conference call to ensure
the numbers are correct.
Be Aware of the International Date Line.
Crossing the international date line can
cause confusion. Your reservationist can determine the correct
date for any international location.
Ask About International Time Zones.
It is important to know the time of the
call in both the United States and all international locations.
But on the international level, time zone changes can be 15,
30 and 45 minutes, as well as hourly. Your reservationist
will assist you in determining the correct time for any international
Americans typically speak faster than other
cultures. Be aware of how fast you speak, especially if a
language barrier is present. Make a conscious effort to speak
clearly and slowly, and stop periodically to ask your colleagues
if they are following along.
Many business people might boast about
their ability to converse in foreign languages. However, technical
‘business speak’ and technical jargon are a whole
different ball game. Therefore, don’t leave room for
miscommunications. Premiere Conferencing can arrange for translation
in more than 100 languages.
No Comedians Allowed.
Be conscious of your use of humor, slang
and colloquialisms—they do not translate well. This
also applies when you are doing business with people who speak
the same language as you. If they are not familiar with your
culture, people often take what you say literally. In addition,
it is good to avoid terms such as "domestic,” a
word that has more meaning in our country and could be viewed
Don’t Be Late.
Typically in the United States, you have
a grace period of 10 minutes before being considered late.
In other countries, however, being just five minutes late
is enough to upset a colleague. If you are late, be sure to
apologize and explain your tardiness, but the best rule of
thumb is to be on the phone ahead of your guests.
Prior to a call, e-mail a copy of the presentations
or notes, as it helps participants with language barriers
to have something to read ahead of time. It will also help
them prepare and give them more confidence to ask questions.
The rules for international business etiquette
change from country to country. Therefore, if you want to
make a great impression, take the time to research and learn
about a particular country’s culture. Are formal or
informal presentations customary? Should you use first or
last names when addressing colleagues? These small efforts
can reap big rewards.
Provide Alternate Access.
Sometimes no matter how much planning is
done, it is impossible to arrange a convenient time for all
international parties to meet on a conference call. With SoundByte,
international participants can access a recorded conference
at their convenience and even leave messages for all parties
to respond to at a later time.