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Succeeding in a Japanese Company: 1. Omoiyari

A one hour conversation between Pernille Rudlin and Rochelle Kopp on how to satisfy internal and external Japanese customers (audio file)

The old saying goes that "The customer is king" but Japanese have an alternative version: "The customer is God." And indeed, that well captures how Japanese customers, both internal and external, expect to be treated. This means that satisfying those customers can be exceedingly tricky. In this interview, Pernille will share what Japanese customers most want, and the best ways to provide it. The art of omoiyari -- anticipating customer needs before they are verbalised -- will be analysed and examples of how to do it provided. You'll come away from this conversation with some great ideas to keep your Japanese customers happy.

  • Why Japanese customers are famous for being difficult to satisfy, and what makes them so fussy and particular
  • The different approach to use when trying to win business from a Japanese customer, as opposed to a western customer
  • The best way to establish your credentials with Japanese businesspeople
  • How to choose the main client contact for the customer
  • What to keep in mind about negotiations with Japanese customers
  • The best way to ensure smooth communication with a Japanese customer
  • What omoiyari is and why you must know it
  • How to deal with unreasonable demands from a Japanese customer
  • You've made a mistake or there's a problem, and now your Japanese customer is upset. What should you do?
  • What Japanese expect in terms of customer service
  • The differences between dealing with internal and external customers and how best to deal with each


Your Instructor


Pernille Rudlin
Pernille Rudlin

Pernille Rudlin was brought up partly in Japan and partly in the UK. She is fluent in spoken and written Japanese, and lived in Japan for 9 years.

She spent nearly a decade at Mitsubishi Corporation (the Fortune 500 $70bn Japanese investment and trading conglomerate) working in their London operations, Europe & Africa HQ and Tokyo headquarters in sales and marketing and corporate planning and also including a stint in their International Human Resource Development Office.

More recently she had a global senior role as Director of External Relations, International Business, at Fujitsu, the leading Japanese information and communication technology company and the biggest Japanese employer in Europe, focusing on ensuring the company’s corporate messages in Japan reach the world outside.

Pernille Rudlin holds a B.A.(Hons) from Oxford University in Modern History and Economics and an M.B.A. from INSEAD and she is the author of several books and articles on cross cultural communications and business.

Since starting Japan Intercultural Consulting’s operations in Europe in 2004, Pernille has conducted seminars for Japanese and European companies in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA, on Japanese cultural topics, post merger integration and on working with different European cultures.


Class Curriculum


  Omoiyari: a conversation between Pernille Rudlin and Rochelle Kopp
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