Episode 44 Transcript

Welcome to the Business in Morocco
Podcast this is episode 44 Tips for
Doing Business with North Americans.
Before we get into our topic for the day
we'll do a little update so Ryan what's
new? Hey Ryan good to see you things are
going well we had our first meeting of
the entrepreneurs Club of Casablanca
last Friday it went well we had a pretty good
showing I think in future episodes I'll
talk about the marketing funnel and sort
of the results from the recruitment
efforts for the club that I had and the
conversion rate etc using Facebook ads
and other metrics but we have our second
meeting tomorrow night so today's
Thursday we're recording on Thursday, our
second meeting is tomorrow night Friday
December 13th where you're gonna give us
a talk yeah I'm gonna be showing you
what the power of habits for success
normally I do this in a five-hour
workshop but I'm gonna just highlight in
on how we can leverage habits to help
reach our goals that's great because
habits are incredibly important when it
comes to running a business starting a
business being creative other than that
I had a business deal finally closed or
come to fruition that have been working
on since April, wow, so we received the
check for the paintings that we sold to
duty-free this was just another
indicator of why I think of all the
business situations in Morocco the auto
entrepreneur program is by far the best,
now the statutes are limited in terms of
the activities that you can do the
amount of money you can make but within
the statutes it is by far the best
situation, for example my client the
painter sold the paintings to a
distributor who then exported them to
duty-free he billed the distributor
16,800 Durham's and the tax that he has
to pay on that invoice is 84 Dirhams,
Wow it is an incredibly great deal what
is that like 0.5 percent? Wow
and the distributor's happy duty-free is
happy the distributor gets to deduct
that invoice from their taxes yeah
duty-free gets the product it's on sale
right now at the airport and we're
hoping in the next few weeks we'll get a
second order and expand to Marrakesh so
that's a great deal and while I'm at it
if you are a creator if you're a
listener of our podcast you're a creator
or you know a creator someone who makes
things, original works of art, toys,
paintings, pottery, crafts, any of that
kind of stuff that you think would
appeal to tourists or be something that
could be sold at the airport send us an
email at Ryan@Moroccopodcast.com or
message us on Facebook and I'm happy
to talk to any of our listeners who are
interested in exporting their products
and selling them not only at duty-free
but other stores here in Morocco. I now
have a relationship with this company
and they are open to distributing other
products so if you know someone or you
are a creator send us a message yeah
that's amazing because you've been
working on this for eight months
but you've built like a tunnel or a road
between this creator and a customer or
the customers at the airports and so now
that you've built this road you can
invite other vehicles to travel that
same route without a whole bunch of
extra work for you so I love that
long-term perspective that you have in
the perseverance to go through all the
barriers we can listen back to some of
the episodes when you are facing a lot
of headaches and it wasn't certain you'd
be successful but now you can multiply
that success by inviting others to be
part of
yeah it's exciting and I've got a few
other business things happening right
now I just signed a deal with a local
printer to be an affiliate so if they
sell my services then they gain a
commission the thing I wanted to mention
about that that deal was that there's a
saying in the United States, "I hear I
forget, I see I remember, I feel I
Meaning we always forget
things we hear if we see things they may
not have an impact on us but it's when
we really feel something that it can
change the way that we think and live
and so I went into this printer and I
put them on the map I did everything
that they needed in order to be on
Google Maps and have a Google search
presence and I did all the work for them
so I showed them everything that I did
and now they have a page that's up and
running and it looks professional and
it's it's optimized for SEO and
they're going to get they're going to
get customers from this I'm already
seeing the stats coming in and so now
when they show my services to others
they're not just talking about something
that is theoretical right they're saying
look what he did for us and they can
just show him they can just show the
potential client the work that I did
yeah so this is a tip for our listeners
don't just tell people what you can do
for them don't just show them literally
do something that has an impact on their
business or on their life that will be
more powerful yeah in the end for
example this short talk you're giving
tomorrow night perfect example people
are going to see in person your talk the
value can it can provide and God willing
that will open doors down the road
exactly. What about you what's going on?
This past weekend I visited a market in
Casablanca the Marche de Noël so it's
you know this Christmas thing and they
have all these vendors there but I was
really surprised to see a company that
was advertising their business there a
scooter company and they're specifically
targeting tourists they have a number of
electric scooters and they offer them
for rent either for hourly or day rates
so you can travel around Casablanca on
their scooter or they'll give you guided
tours and so they're on Airbnb
experiences and on TripAdvisor and this
is exactly what we've been describing on
previous episodes leveraging Airbnb
experiences where tourists are coming,
particularly in Casablanca there's not a
lot to see if you're going to Fez or
you're going to Marrakech you really
don't need to go to the haboos or the
medina here it doesn't compare so you
two are the mosque and then what? what
else are you going to do? and there's a
lot of tourists that come to Casa to see the mosque or because of their flights
but then they don't have a lot of things
to entertain them and so Airbnb
experiences is a powerful tool that can
be leveraged and this person has
switched onto that now back in September
I posted a video after a trip to Germany
I did about electric scooters and this
industry that's exploded the last couple
years around the world where you can
just rent a scooter using your phone and
they're just all over the place and I
couldn't believe the negativity and all
the haters that commented and said all
the reasons why this wouldn't work in
Morocco but failing to recognize okay
this could be something that can be
adapted to fit our local context so
maybe you can't just leave it on the
street because someone's gonna toss it
in the back of their Rhondda and drive
out to the bled but it could be locked
up or it could be adapted like this
company so right now they're starting
with targeting tourists it's you know
you can take it along the corniche but
they're seeing an opportunity
when haters are just seeing all the
problems with it and so we really need
to check our mindset be more solutions
oriented than always just critical of
what could work so that was a that was
really exciting because this is
something I foresee being being big
around the world including here in
Morocco. All right well let's get into
the topic of the day which is tips for
doing business with North Americans, Ryan
we've been discussing this topic for
some time when you were thinking about
the issue what was the first thing that
came to your mind regarding a tip that
you could give to our listeners if they
want to do business with North Americans?
Right away the first thing is time, our
perceptions of the value of time and how
you handle time so the idea that is a
foundation for all of this is that the
colder countries you think of the
northern European the the North American
countries they tend to have a colder
culture and the theory is when you have
winter coming you've got to be
disciplined about getting your food and
getting your home ready or else you're
going to die and so time really matters
whereas if you're living on a Caribbean
island or in a warm climate "maku mushkula" you can wait you can just abide
bide your time and if you can't do it
manana, you're gonna do it tomorrow so
typically these northern cold countries
tend to be very time oriented it's also
the places where the Industrial
Revolution first took off where time
really did start to equal money where
people had hourly wages where their
production was measured how much can you
produce per hour and so this really
became a value in our culture and so our
perception of time is that it's really
precious and it shouldn't be wasted and
so when somebody seemingly wastes your
time it is viewed as really rude
and disrespectful so the way this plays
out is say for example being on time for
something in our culture if we say two
o'clock we mean two o'clock and of
course there's you know small factors
that might allow a small window of grace,
a few minutes but it's not 30, 45, 60,
minutes that is basically a slap in the
face it's saying my time is more
precious and valuable than yours I don't
have the discipline to kind of follow
through and do what I say I'm going to
do and I don't respect you and I don't I
don't value you so people showing up
super late or cancelling last-minute is
very disrespectful from a North American
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yeah I completely agree and the main
thing I want to get across to our
listeners in this podcast is that things
that are very normal here in Morocco
things that everyone does things that
are not considered to be a rude or
offensive are completely unacceptable
when it comes to doing business in the
North American context the way that I
can describe it is say what you're going
to do and then do what you're going to
say and hold yourself accountable if you
abide by that rule most of the time you
will be completely fine for example I
just ordered some amazing couches and
people have come in and they've looked
at them and they look great they look
like they're very high-quality
but when they were being delivered
literally one of the legs on the couches
was falling off as they were delivering
it and then I go to inspect it and all
the legs have been improperly installed
now even though the couches look great
and they're really nice and the legs can
be fixed that's a bad experience and
there's no way that I can recommend them
to anyone else because they didn't pay
attention to the little details that
really shaped the whole experience I
ordered a chair it got delivered and there
was a little tear on the side of the
chair it ruins the whole thing so pay
attention to detail
and do what you say you're going to do
like you said to arrive five minutes, ten
minutes, fifteen minutes late or to
cancel the last minute is another way of
saying I don't care about you and I
don't care about our relationship, now I
know that's not true here in Morocco but
for an American or a North American or
Westerner the way you tell someone that
you don't care about them is by not
doing what you say you're going to do
and being late or canceling appointments
yeah as we're showing these cultural
differences we're not saying the way
North Americans do it is right and the
way Moroccans do it is wrong these are
cultural preferences that I don't think
have a lot of moral implications it's
how they're perceived but if you as a
Moroccan want to do business with the
North American you have to understand
their paradigm you have to understand
their view of the whole thing because
you might think you're being polite
but if they believe you're being rude
then it's going to be difficult to have
a trusting relationship yes it's very
normal here in Morocco for someone to
give an excuse oh there was a lot of
traffic that's why I was late
I'm sorry I haven't replied to your
messages your phone calls I've been away
I've had some family problems I'm sorry
I didn't complete that project on time
I've been sick something that all of our
listeners need to understand is that
excuses, they don't matter in the North
American business context they don't
carry a lot of weight you're going to be
held accountable for your performance, an
excuse while it may be true the fact
remains that you did not deliver your
promise on time and according to
specification when you're doing business
with Westerners oftentimes the business
has all these moving parts they have the
the product they have accounting human
resources marketing legal all of these
different elements that go into a
product or service and everyone is doing
their part and the project comes
together and if one part is missing or
is late or is inadequate it ruins the
whole project so you need to understand
that your part in the business has
implications right if you don't do your
part it can damage the whole business
and other aspects of the business and
that is simply not tolerated in North
American business context yeah yeah you
make sure your dominoes your part might
be one Domino in a long chain and so if
yours doesn't knock over the other ones
can't knock over after it and that can
be very very costly and because of this
culture if one supplier is unreliable
that they're going to be replaced
because there's that knock-on effect
that affects my reputation I can't go to
the people downstream and say oh well
this supplier didn't deliver on time
that person downstream doesn't think
about that other supplier that let me
down they put it on me it affects my
reputation and so I'm gonna quickly
replace an unreliable supplier that
doesn't deliver on time another thing
related to time is that if something's
on the calendar it's a commitment it
doesn't matter if it was booked six
weeks in advance or six months in
advance you know when we're doing big
events like a conference or a wedding
people send save the date and it could
be four five six months before the
actual event just so people block it off
in their calendar and they commit to it
but even something like a business
meeting two weeks in advance if I say
I'm gonna be downtown at some cafe two
weeks from now or January 10th at one
o'clock it's it's set and I'll be there
I will not need a reminder that's
something that's very common here is
that you can book something in advance
but then there's an expectation of
follow-up the day of your gonna text
the night before we still good for
tomorrow this is not necessary in a
North American context it's basically I
will be there nothing will change that
unless you hear from me and it would
have to be something pretty serious that
for me to cancel because once you've
committed to something you've given your
word and to break that lowers people's
perception of your reliability decreases
trust in the relationship yeah another
way of being rude and we really want to
help our listeners avoid offending their
North American clients or the people
that they're doing business with one of
the ways to avoid being rude is to allow
someone to talk and complete their
thoughts even if you disagree to
interrupt someone especially in a group
setting is considered to be offensive or
rude since America is founded on in
egalitarianism, it's an individual
society everyone is equal the idea that
some people are more important than
others or better than others this idea
is abhorrent to Americans meaning they
don't like it at all so if you have
American clients coming in to Morocco
you want to avoid things like cutting in
cheating showing special privilege that
takes advantage or disrespects someone
else and you'll see this all the time
here here in Morocco is that people
think that if I can show people how
powerful I am or how important I am and
how much better I am than the average
person then somehow that's going to puff
me up and make me seem better but in
American context if you take advantage
of other people and you cheat other
people the way that's going to be
interpreted is that you're a cheater
right and that eventually because it's
your nature to be a cheater you're going
to cheat me right again going back to
the foundations of where this culture
comes from think of the history of North
American they were immigrants fleeing
from kingdoms from fleeing from
monarchies places where there were
peasants and there was royalty and they
went and started a brand new country
where anybody had opportunity and it was
the American dream that you could start
with nothing and start from the bottom
and make it all the way to the top start
your own business become a millionaire
be successful and so the culture that's
grown up is to see opportunities but
also to abhor or to be repulsed by
classist thinking believing that because
I have a nice car
the police aren't going to stop me or
because I'm wearing nice clothes
I can cut to the front of the line or
because of the family name on my ID I've
got special privileges all of that kind
of stuff is very very repulsive in our
culture yeah the last thing that that
I'll mention is that performance is the
most important thing the quality of your
product or service the reliability the
customer service that they receive as a
result that is the most important thing
a North American will do a business with
a stranger if they think they're getting
the best product at the best price and
getting great service with it it doesn't
matter what your family name is it
doesn't matter your education it doesn't
matter who you know you can succeed
based on your performance yeah you're
bringing up a really crucial point is
the expectations of North Americans for
customer service is extremely high so if
you think about going into the local
marché and you're going to buy some
fruit or buy some beef you don't expect
that the butcher or the
fruit vendor is going to have extremely
high customer service whereas if you go
into the Four Seasons Hotel the guy
who's going to park your car or the one
who's gonna take your coat at the
restaurant or show you to your room
because you're in a luxury hotel you're
expecting to be treated like a king or a
queen that perception of a wealthy
person going into the Four Seasons is
similar to how North Americans treat
almost every interaction and a company
like McDonald's or Starbucks even these
kind of low-end transactions the
employees even though they're 16-year
old high school students they're given a
tremendous amount of training to treat
the customer like gold and the attitude
is the customer is always right when you
go into a bank or telecom provider here
even a retail shop it's rare to have a
really positive customer service
experience but if you want to attract
North American clients if you want to do
business with them just know that
they're thinking it's the Four Seasons
even though it's fast food the
expectations are extremely high the last
thing I want to bring up is
communication in Morocco I've had
several experiences where I had a
in-person meeting with a potential
it went well it was amicable it was
we had follow-on messages after that and
then at some point they just stopped
replying to my messages stopped replying
to my phone calls and my emails and my
texts and what I've come to learn is
that this is a way of saving face and
what Moroccans think is saving the
relationship and preserving the
relationship and not offending the other
person by telling them that they're not
interested in their product or their
service so they essentially what is
called ghosting they just don't reply to
the messages of the calls or the emails
anymore in the North American business
context this is the way that you offend
someone if you want to offend an
American client do not return their
phone calls
do not reply their emails and do not
reply to their messages that is the way
you offend them and that is the way that
you ruin the relationship if you want to
preserve the relationship and you want
to show them that you are a high quality
person and you have a high quality
company respond to messages right away
answer phone calls or return the phone
calls right away and reply to emails in
a timely manner even if it's negative
even if you're saying thanks again for
your pitch we've decided to go with
somebody else or you know what we've
decided to postpone this service we're
not going to be purchasing with you or
whatever reason you give be direct and
let them know I'd rather be rejected I'd
rather be turned down then left
wondering and every week or two pursuing
it hey just checking in you know have
you made a decision I'd rather someone
just lets me know yeah we've made a
it's no to me that's more respectful and
it wastes less of my time I can cross
that off my to-do list and stop thinking
about it or following up with them yeah
and it's in a North American context
it's it's bad for the company saying no
for example I had at least three
potential clients here that I was
offering my services and they ghosted me
essentially they just stopped replying
to calls and messages if instead they
had simply said oh it's not the right
time or I'm not interested right now but
I'll think about it and get back to you
I would have kept them in my book of
references meaning if I needed a doctor
or dentist or a carpenter or a plumber I
would have still referred people to them
because I would say oh they're
upstanding they communicate well they're
honorable and I would have sent business
to them but these companies that I've
already engaged with and met with and
then they just stopped replying to my
I'm not going to send them any business
yeah and it's important to clarify this
isn't just a cold email that you sent
there's not an expectation that you're
gonna reply to every sales pitch that
comes your way but someone who you've
met with you've had discussions with and
there was an open-ended finish so they
might have said okay we'll give us some
time to think about it or yeah I'll
discuss it with my partner and let call
me back in a week those kind of
situations demand us a straight answer
just be direct yeah in a North American
context it's okay to be direct even if
it's bad news I'm sorry
we're ending the contract I'm sorry
we're not interested in your product or
service I'm sorry we don't have the
budget right now but we'll think about
it next year you can say these things
it's okay it's actually a way of
communicating respect to the person that
you're dealing with yeah communication
direct communication is the preferred
method of doing business
one other thing related to time is when
you're texting or when you're emailing
get to the point so culturally here it
seems to be that you need to say hope
you're well hope you had a good weekend
hope your family is okay hope business
is good hope the children are doing well
in our culture it's not rude to get
straight to the point particularly when
it's a what's that message or an email
it's not face to face it's it's just I
need something from you I have an agenda
so I'm gonna get directly to it that's
not considered rude and in fact it can
be a little annoying or frustrating for
a North American when it feels necessary
to say everything yes this is how my
kids are this is the family's good yeah
praise God thank you for asking now
what's your question so we're very much
more direct and that's not considered
rude in the flipside if you get a
message from a North American and they
forget to follow all those social
protocols give them some grace because
from their cultural standpoint they're
not being rude they're they're not
trying to be pushy that's just normal
that's no
behavior for where they're coming from
yet to summarize there are big
differences in culture when you talk
about North America versus Morocco we're
not saying one is better than the other
we're not saying one is moral and the
other is immoral the point of this
podcast is to help you understand the
way that your actions will be
interpreted right by your North American
partners or clients if you want to do
well if you want to do business overseas
you need to understand who you're
working with and what they value and
what they consider to be polite and what
they consider to be rude or offensive
and if you can do that then you have
every chance of succeeding you've been
listening to the Business in Morocco
Podcast my name is Ryan Kirk here with
my co-host Ryan Maimone, if you enjoyed
this episode be sure to subscribe and
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your podcasts download our entire
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moroccopodcast.com where you'll also
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transcript of the show if you've got a
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cover on the podcast fill out the form
on Moroccopodcast.com or email us at
Ryan@Morocco.podcast.com and we'll
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theme music is lovely day by Bill
Withers used under Creative Commons and
we hope you'll have a lovely day doing
business in Morocco we'll see you next

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