If you’re doing business in Texas for the first time, you’ll probably find that you can think of a whole bunch of stereotypes, and you’re wondering whether they’re true. The answer to that is “up to a point.” Understanding Texans, their likes and dislikes, and their business etiquette will help you to feel more comfortable and be better prepared, so let’s dive in!
1. You’ve Heard That Texans are Easygoing
Are Texans really easygoing? Up to a point. However, they do expect good service and professionalism. Running late for a meeting? It’s good manners to let them know. Documents due for delivery? If you can’t deliver them yourself ,use couriers texas means business, and so should you. Don’t let a seemingly casual attitude fool you – Texans expect efficiency and professionalism. Always be ready to put your best foot forward by being well-prepared.
2. They Say Texans Dress Casually, But…
You’ve probably heard that a good pair of jeans, cowboy boots and a stetson are fine for business meetings in Texas. You may even see folks sporting this kind of Texas chic. However, before you start digging for your cowboy hat, know that as an outsider, it’s wisest not to try this yourself. A suit is always acceptable, but not usually a must. For men, smart chinos and a button-down shirt plus tie can still be considered a businesslike choice. Ladies should dress smartly and somewhat conservatively. In either case, keep it neat and neutral and don’t let your dress code allow your business associates to think you aren’t taking them seriously.
3. Texas is Famed for Patriotism to Country and State
It’s absolutely true! Most Texans are not only proud of the USA, they also love their state. While avoiding politics – never a wise topic for business small-talk – do show your appreciation of the best things in Texas. Do you love ubiquitous barbeques? Do you find the Houson skyline impressive? Do you like the enthusiastic way they support their sports teams? Enjoying the friendly atmosphere? Keep it positive, avoid controversy, and be ready to express your admiration of the things Texans are proudest of.
4. Always the Handshake
When starting a meeting, Texans shake hands with everyone in attendance. When parting, it’s time for yet another round of handshakes. This applies to men and women, and limp handshakes are definitely out. Meet their eyes, smile, and remember that those handshakes are an important element of business etiquette that you definitely shouldn’t skip.
5. Old-School Manners are the Norm
The one thing that the stereotype of Texans fails to include is the immense diversity to be found among the people and places in this state. Each region of the Lone Star State has its own special personality, so visiting several cities can leave you feeling as though you’ve visited a succession of countries instead. One thing that never goes amiss in Texas, however, is old-school manners. You may find yourself being called “sir” or “ma’am” more often than you’re used to, and you will be expected to use the good, old-fashioned “please” and “thank you.” Always greet people regardless of their status, and remember that “ladies first” is an unspoken rule rather than just a nice touch.
Texas is a Great Place to Do Business
Texas combines a businesslike approach with friendliness, hospitality, and a touch of savoir-faire. Once you get used to it, you’ll enjoy doing business in Texas. Emulate the Texan preference for directness and brevity, and expect your associates to be courteous yet open and straightforward. You’ll soon find that the Texan habit of letting you know exactly where you stand in business dealings and negotiations is both refreshing and productive.