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Rae's Journey chapter 2: No real fear for me...

Submitted on Thursday, 2nd March 2017

The Victoria Jiangsu Business Placement Programwas the best adventure and most fun possible in business. It has left an impression that is quite profound in terms of possibilities for our business in the future.

This is chapter 2 of Rae's journey. 

Before embarking on the trade mission we wanted to make sure that we had some useful information to offer our potential clients based in China.

We undertook research into how Western B2B buyers select China based suppliers online. This was research entirely aimed at what we thought our potential China based clients would like to learn about international buyers. For example, the first point of difference is that Westerners use Google to find products, whereas Google is not accessible in China.

The adventure made the biggest impression on me. I had no fear. It was such fun every day as the Victorian Chamber team took care of all the potentially difficult aspects of doing this kind of business. All our meetings were booked, organised and confirmed, all we had to do was show up. I had no worries at all.

"After we obtained a version of our documents in Mandarin, it was crucial to have a second translator check it and make sure it said what it needed to say. This second review caught some of the most extreme mistakes imaginable!" 

We also felt it important to find a translator who could translate our service offering description in our ‘voice’ - that is, in the style and tone we use in our English based descriptions.

Screaming as i was falling...

My first meeting in China was less ideal than it seemed at first glance. It was a great learning experience as you never know what kind of situation you will be faced with.

We had planned a ppt workshop session which relied on presentation equipment and a portable wifi device. The room for our first meeting had none of the components we needed for this.

The translator and I could not run the planned stand up presentation. Instead, we had to revert to running the presentation on some hand-held iPad minis, with me running the presentation remotely from my phone. 

To cap things off, I managed to enter the meeting space clumsily in full view of the assembled attendees by falling down the bottom steps, screaming as i was falling so everyone witnessed me sprawled on the floor. A memorable entrance to my first meeting! But I learned an important aspect of the kindness inherent in the nature of most Chinese people: the attendee witnesses all withdrew and let me pick myself up in ‘private’, thereby minimising my embarrassment. 

"I found this to be typical of the respect and thoughtfulness shown by the Nanjing population overall".

The Victoria Jiangsu Business Placement Program is an acceleration program which gives businesses a competitive edge when it comes to doing business with and in China. The program takes you to China’s Jiangsu province to build skills, gain first-hand China experience and benefit from 'guanxi' (relationships). These guanxi have been developed over decades, relationships that money can’t buy.

To register your interest or find out more about the 2017 program, contact Olivia Bowden or on 03 8662 5343.





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