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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 190 IDEA: Learn about a Culture before Going Abroad

Sometimes an international deal that makes perfect sense falls apart for no apparent reason. The numbers look good, but personalities clash or someone says something that sends the deal spinning out of control.

The problem may be caused by a breach of business etiquette, according to experts in protocol and negotiation.

“About 80 percent of all business owners going abroad fail to complete a deal because they don't do their homework,” said Syndi Seid, founder of Advanced Etiquette, a training and consulting firm based in San Francisco.

Frank Acuff, author of several books on global business, agrees. “American culture focuses on the logical part of the deal, but in other cultures the relationship ...

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