Business Meeting

Italians, generally establish relaxed personal relationships

They tend to be eloquent and curious

Handshaking is common on all business and social occasions

Italians tend to ”multitask”, since they like to do many things at once

Italians often feel uncomfortable with silence – a fact that can be used to great effect during negotiations

You will be expected to “jump in” with your thoughts and opinions

If the conversation is in English- slow down, don’t use phrases that are unlikely to be understood

The handshake is firm but not too long

In the case of a very friendly or family relationship, people may embrace and/or “kiss” on either cheek

In this case, “kissing” is done by simply pressing the sides of the face together

When being introduced pronounce your name clearly while shaking hands

If no one is giving a formal introduction, it is proper to shake hands and introduce yourself

If you move away or keep your distance, this can be considered  unfriendly

Italians are often guided by their feelings

You should make small talk and demonstrate your interest in Italian food, art, fashion or sports

Business cards can be exchanged at any time during a meeting

Most Italians who work for international organisations or large companies in Italy, speak very good English but this is not always the case

Italians who work in family-run or smaller companies may speak very little English, or perhaps have only one or two managers in the company who are fluent

It is advisable to ascertain the language level of the people you are meeting with, while setting up the meeting.

Organising for an interpreter may significantly help discussions and negotiations

The goal of early contact is to establish a reciprocal climate of trust and respect

An introduction by someone who is already connected to the company would be useful

Questions about you, your family and your personal interests are all possible topics of conversation

During the earlier contacts, the establishment of trust in a business relationship, is as relevant as the presentation of a business project

Meetings are one of the best ways to get a deeper and common understanding, of an issue rather than being the conclusive part of a decision making process

Meetings are more analysis-oriented than decision-oriented

If you only have a general reference for the company you wish to approach, your phone call should be addressed to a secretary

work plans are often not taken too strictly, so that some flexibility can be  built into a deadline

Where a deadline must be firmly met, be sure to make it very clear to your Italian partner

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