Meet and Connect with Arab Customers

Arabian Business and Cultural Guide is a 200+ pages guide for visitors, exporters, and international traders to understand the culture, business culture, and how to do business with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and other Arab countries. Author: Mohammad Al-Sabt.
The Arabian Business and Cultural Guide have a very valuable section that contains interviews with Arab businessmen sharing their experiences as importers, agents, and distributors for various products. This part is a treasure of business information. The multiple business interviews cover at great length information about Arab business customs and culture, market environment, business challenges, and success needs and ideas.

Through this chapter titled "Meet Your Clients", you will read answers to questions such as:

  1. Which countries do you prefer to deal with and why?
  2. How did this move affect the sales volume of Swiss products in the Kuwaiti market?
  3. What do you mean by the "agency soul"?
  4. How about doing business with American companies?
  5. What do German companies use that gives them an edge over American companies in providing better and faster support to their agents?
  6. How do you locate foreign companies that you want to represent?
  7. What is the reason that some Kuwaiti companies wish to represent other brands of similar products they already sell successfully to the market?
  8. What other difficulties do you face with foreign companies?
  9. Could you give me an example of a very successful USA company in the Kuwaiti market? And why is it successful?
  10. Who should decide the best advertising methods in this market, the foreign company or its agent?
  11. From you experience, what makes a product attractive to your Arab consumers? And what makes a product go into high demand?
  12. What weaknesses exist in your country's companies?
  13. Why don't you have any agencies? How do you guarantee a continuous relationship with your suppliers?
  14. You mentioned that you have a friendship-business relationship with your Taiwanese and Italian suppliers. Was the effort to create such a relationship mutual?
  15. What is your advice for a foreign company searching for a Saudi representative?
  16. What are the qualities a visiting international representative should have in order to succeed in his/her mission in your market?
  17. Describe your market and what is needed to succeed in it as an agent for a foreign company?
  18. Some foreign businessmen complain that some Arabian businessmen are hard to read when it comes to measuring the degree of their interest in the subject under discussion. What's your opinion?
  19. From your extensive experience what are the weaknesses that exist in Saudi companies?
  20. What are the difficulties that face Saudi companies?
  21. Why do companies search for non-Saudi employees to fill the marketing and sales divisions?
  22. From your extensive dealings with American companies, could you give some suggestions on how to better the partnership?
  23. .... etc
You will find out the answers to these and other questions in "Meet Your Clients" chapter of the guide.
Here are few quotes from some of the answers given within the interviews:

  • "American companies should visualize that their expansion into an international market is like extending their arms and that the fingers represent their agents in every country. If the arm does not provide support to the fingers, how would the fingers function well?"
  • "Intensive competition accompanied by the absence of any restrictions on foreign imports is a major feature of the Kuwaiti market. Only goods of high quality and competitive nature will survive"
  • "My relationship with my Taiwanese and Italian suppliers from the beginning was more than business. When we visit each other, it is not only heads of business that meet but also our families. Because of that, business was established on strong ties and mutual trust that was built on human interaction. When business starts with such human relationship you will see that trust and loyalty are established faster than waiting for its creation using a business only interaction."
  • "To understand anyone's culture and environment you have to actually not only live in the geographical location but also mix with the people and interact with them on a daily basis. You will not get a grasp on understanding a country and its people by staying in the Sheraton or the Hilton for few days."
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