Business Meeting

When you arrive for appointment, it is advisable to present your business card to the receptionist

It is advisable to take plenty of information about your company that you can give out.

You should allow plenty of additional time for business meetings

For the business matters to be discussed during a meeting, it is important to follow a set agenda so that the discussion does not stray too far from the topic

You should ensure that your presentation is clear, and that everyone in the meeting is able to follow and understand the discussion

It is customary to shake hands at every business encounter

Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right, forearm of the other person

After a good relationship has been established, men may embrace and pat each other on the shoulder

Trust and personal relationships are the keys to the success of doing business in Spain

Spanish people rarely conduct business with someone, they feel that they cannot trust or someone with whom they do not have any personal relationship

It is critical to get to know your counterparts well, in order to build that trust

Keep in touch with your Spanish counterparts, helping to implement what has been agreed during the business discussions

sensitivity must shown towards the pride that the Spanish feel in being able to handle things independently

Always be available

It is recommended that you show an interest in learning about life in Spain

Due to the value of trust within business relationships, Spanish executives usually do not insist on written confirmation of a deal.

Communication is usually formal and follows strict rules of protocol, that should be adhered to at all times

During a meeting or presentation, you must try to ascertain whether your audience really understands you

It is always helpful if you can provide a printout of the executive summary of your presentation in Spanish

Avoid confrontation as much as possible

Product samples, demonstrations and working examples of your services should also be used where appropriate

The first meeting is generally formal and is used as a means to get to know each other

When taking printed material to meetings, ensure both English and Spanish versions are available

They are very much concerned about how they are perceived by others and try to avoid looking foolish

Welcome topics of conversation include discussion about your home country, places you have visited Spanish art and architecture

The attitudes and values of a country have a significant impact on the way that business is conducted

Spanish are a very open and communicative people

They value highly their families, personal relationships and cultural traditions

They usually do not put too much emphasis upon work, as they like to focus on their leisure and live each day to the fullest

Respect the culture, values and traditions of your prospective partners

Spaniards like to interact with people from abroad, as they still believe in the superiority of products and services coming from abroad

You can expect your Spanish counterpart to be curious, about the products or services you offer and ask additional questions

When setting up a meeting, it is recommended to make appointments in advance, and confirm them by letter, fax or email just before your arrival

When arranging the initial meeting, it is advisable to choose a time around mid-morning

Spanish business culture places great emphasis on authority within organisations, and decisions will be made by the most senior manager present in a meeting

Senior managers tend to be far removed from more junior colleagues

Spaniards tend to work well in teams with managers seeing themselves as team players

Because of the peculiar timetable of the Spanish way of life, you may need to acclimatise, and get to know your counterpart’s habits before extending or accepting any invitation

Spanish people do not share the same concept of time, as other western European nations

The way business is conducted in Spain is more relaxed compared to other Western European nations

You should allow sufficient time in your schedule, for getting to know your business partners properly, before the start of negotiations

Social bonds must be built first, before business can be discussed

In Spain being late is usually not considered impolite, and deadlines are often considered as objectives to be met where possible, but are not viewed as binding

The majority of Spaniards do not give their opinion at meetings

Do not hurry

Don’t be surprised if your Spanish counterparts are late for a meeting or do not meet a deadline on time

When dealing with the Spanish, extreme patience and respect for their culture is required for successful negotiations

At meetings you may find that several people are speaking at once and interruptions are common

Spaniards pay attention on what they say, and how they say it, especially when dealing with outsiders

Spaniards will often insist that everything is in perfect order, even when this is not the case

Spanish managers tend to be averse to budgets and action plans, and they prefer oral, face-to-face communication to the written form

Any meeting will normally begin with discussing general matters, and catching up with each other on a personal level, in order to build and establish a solid working relationship

Feelings and relationships play much more, of an important role for Spaniards than facts and the personal relationships should be your primary focus

Be particularly careful here since Spanish people will not admit that they are having difficulties in front of others

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