When you’re trying to do business in China, forget the Western approach of “Here’s my PowerPoint presentation, here’s the contract, sign here.” You need to start with a personal touch. Make it clear to the Chinese that you come without guile and that you’re not there to pillage but rather to establish a relationship that goes beyond business. For starters, find out if the person you’re meeting with has a son or a daughter, ask to see pictures, and bring a gift from the U.S. for the child. That is more important than any advice you’ll read in any business journal.

Jeff Ruffolo Senior Adviser China Southern Airlines President Ruffalo Communications Orange, Calif.

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