Lesson 7 "Knock on the door a hundred times!"
Over the years, I've shared much on business norms and expectations with Korean, American, and global teams and management. I, too, have learned much in exchange. In fact, I've been fortunate to have a number of senior Korean leadership share their opinions and thoughts.
Last year I was asked by a Korea client to find out if a successful and high profile American brand was interested in the Korean market. If so, the Korean firm would like to be considered as a potential partner.
After talking to the American brand's founder and CEO, he politely shared that their plans were to focus on the US market. Any Asia expansion would not be for at least 2-3 years.
Several month's later while they were visiting the US, I hosted the Korean client's Chairman and his wife at a VVIP lunch meeting. Over the meal, the Chairman's wife quizzed me on my progress with the American brand. I explained that the US brand's founder and CEO was polite, but they were not currently looking at Asia and Korea.
Pausing a moment, the Chairman's wife expressed that their Group was still very interested in the brand for Korea. She then hoped I'd keep trying and not take "no" for an answer; adding firmly that sometimes we need to "Knock on the door a hundred times!"
I came away with 2 insights worthy of sharing...
1. My Korean client's success was evidently rooted in their perseverance and not taking "no" for an answer. A trait I find in many of the top Korean Groups.
2. That the company's success was also due to the Chairman's wife--a strong and influential woman who has gained my respect and esteem.
When challenged with an issue, situation, or problem...we need to "Knock on the door a hundred times."
I hope all is well. Let me know if you have any pressing questions or issues.
I'd be happy to share my thoughts and perspective.