Business Practices in Ireland
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
Many executives will be pleasant, approachable, and willing to meet to discuss business.
Be punctual. In some cases, if you are a few minutes late to a meeting, it will be overlooked.
The Irish are always slightly suspicious of foreigners, it takes a good while before they will trust you.
But they are always keen to learn from other countries and bring new ideas into their business.
- First Contact
Irish generally prefer direct eye contact.
The Irish are enthusiastic conversationalists and debaters. A wide range of topics may be open to discussion, including religion and politics. Don't hesitate to express your views if they are sincere and informed.
Irish like to criticize themselves, but they are not receptive to criticism from others.
The handshake is the preferred greeting.
In conversation, the Irish tend to move on quickly to a first-name basis. Terms such as "sir" and "madam" are rarely used. First names are used both in personal greetings and business correspondence.
- How to Present Yourself
- Professional titles are not prominent, and are usually dismissed as pretentious.
- Business Relations
- Local businesspeople are very friendly and an informal business approach is most successful.
- Generally, gift giving is not part of Irish business culture. But, if you are invited to a home for dinner, it's permissible to bring a token gift of flowers, chocolates, a craft from your home region, or wine.
- Business Communication
Before a meeting proceeds, there is usually a good bit of preliminary "small talk".
Establishing rapport is important in Irish business culture. Silence will be taken as rudeness and will make you appear cold and unfriendly.
Do not expect to do a deal in a hurry. The Irish buy from the Irish primarily, and secondarily from within their circle of network contacts. As a foreigner, it's very hard to break into these networks. It takes time and persistence until such time as you are trusted and you have something to offer that they cannot get from an Irish supplier.
- Dress Code
- Formal clothes for meetings.
- Visiting Cards
- Present a business card at an introduction.
- For Further Information
Your guide to Ireland
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