Pre-sales and culture

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The relationship between the pre-sales process and culture is an underresearched topic of study within business economics. Understanding cross-cultural differences in the pre-sales process of the service sector is important, since this can help practitioners and firms to improve their pre-sales operations according to the specific cultural characteristics of a country. In this study, five countries (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) are studied using exploratory interviews and an online questionnaire. The results show that within the pre-sales process, these countries differ with respect to the location and duration of business meetings, the preference for communication channels, the importance of status, titles and last names and the speed of the decision-making process. Although there are differences between the countries, only in a few cases culture could explain them. Firstly, it was found that in countries with a relatively high score on uncertainty avoidance, people have a preference for trust-based relationships and the duration of business meetings is longer. Secondly, this study found that status is more important in countries with a higher power distance. Finally, it was found that in individualistic countries, it is less common to talk about personal affairs, as compared to collectivistic countries.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen