Doing Business Abroad - Spain


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Doing Business Abroad - Spain

  1. 1. Lico Reis Consultoria & Línguas Rua Domingos Rois. Alves 321 Guaratinguetá - SP - Brazil Doing Business Abroad - Spain Phone: 55 12 3133 1393 For the international business person doing business in a foreign country offers certain intercultural challenges. Differences in culture mean differences in etiquette and protocol. Understanding a country's business culture, protocol and etiquette is important in achieving success abroad. This guide to doing business in Spain offers some introductory points to some of the above mentioned areas such as business culture and etiquette. Laico Reis Consultoria & Línguas Doing Business Abroad Meeting & Greeting When doing business in Spain handshakes are standard as with the rest of Europe. First-time introductions will be formal; as the relationship develops it will naturally become less so. It is always a good idea to try and use some of the local language. A simple means of doing so is in using the appropriate greeting for the time of day - "Buenos dias" (good day), "Buenas tardes" (good evening) or "Buenas noches" (good night). Most people can be greeted using Señor (Mr), Señora (Mrs) or Señorita (Miss) followed by their surname. You may also hear people being addressed with their professional titles; Profesor may be used with teachers and engineers are referred to as Ingeniero.
  2. 2. - - Twitter: @licoreis E-books: - Linkedin: Negotiating Initial meetings may be more focused on the relationship rather than business. Let your Spanish counterpart take the lead. There may be an agenda and a starting time, but they serve more as guidelines rather than a rigid timetable. Issues may be discussed simultaneously rather than separately. Several people may also try to speak at once and interruptions are not uncommon. If this happens it should not be interpreted as rude but rather an indication that what you were saying was of great interest. When doing business in Spain remember that agreements must first be reached orally and then in writing. Decision-making is carried out at the top of a company. Business Lunch Protocol 1. Be on time. 2. Lunch rarely starts before 2:30 p.m. 3. A luncheon is a social occasion first, a business event second. 4. Your guests will be impressed if you pick an appropri- ate restaurant. Spaniards like to be seen by and see peo- ple they know. 5. Most meals are accompanied by wine. Spaniards like their excellent domestic reds (vino tinto) so much that they will drink them with not only meat, but also the tra- ditional white wine dishes of fish and fowl. 6. Hands should be kept above the table at all times, if necessary resting the forearms on the table edge. 7. When business does come up, talk principles. Do not pull spreadsheets or reports from your briefcase, start drawing calculations on the napkin, or press on money-related subjects. 8. If you are the host, signal discretely for the bill (la cuenta) after the coffee has been served and liquors offered. The waiter will never bring the bill to you unasked, but he will be prompt once you have done so. 9. Your business lunch may appear to end with nothing more than warm thanks and a promise to follow up, but expect results. Be conscientious about anything you have promised.