Business Practices in Greece
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
Greeks want to get to know you before they will do business with you. Business meetings will usually begin with general conversation before business is discussed.
Trust is a major ingredient for acceptance and is much more important than qualifications, expertise or performance. Greeks may be slow to trust foreigners.
There is one boss, and he/she takes complete responsibility. The boss is the owner or the owner's most trusted employee.
Meetings are often forums for expressing personal opinions or to inform the group about what is taking place; they seldom have a formal agenda.
The official work day starts early, ends at lunch and may start again at 5:00 p.m.
- First Contact
- If you don't have a connection, a personnal call will be more effective than an email or a letter.
- A handshake is customary at the beginning and end of a meeting, sometimes after a first meeting you may receive an embrace.
- How to Present Yourself
- Use your name and present your company.
- Business Relations
- Only professional or also personal
- Acceptable gifts for business meetings are items for the office, quality pens (including pens with your company logo) as well as specially selected wines.
- Business Communication
It is recommended to start a business meeting with polite
conversation of a general nature, over a cup of coffee or with soft
drinks. Only after that, should the conversation turn to business
Punctuality is expected although a slight delay will not be held against you. Meetings are usually vibrant affairs. Be prepared for lots of questions, many people talking at once and interruptions. They will usually test your knowledge and experience and demand proof. You will be expected to bargain, and bargain hard.
Seniority is respected. All authority and ultimate decision making will rest with them. A leader is expected to provide a way of rallying the divergent opinions together. Never do anything to cause your Greek colleagues to lose face in front of their counterparts.
- Dress Code
- Dress in Greece is formal, even in the hot summer months.
- Visiting Cards
- Business cards in English and Greek are customary.
- For Further Information
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