Are you thinking about traveling to Greece for business? If you would like to do so, it is good to know what to do while you are there to have the most success with your business ventures.
Display Proper Etiquette in Greece
Displaying proper etiquette is a must when you are working with the people of Greece. Upon meeting with people for the first time, make sure to introduce yourself and shake their hands. If the relationship is a bit more personal, you can always give a person a tap kiss on the cheek. It is a sign of respect and thoughtfulness in Greece.
When you are introducing yourself, always let the people know of your first and last name. The only time you should only use your first name is if the people you are talking to already happen to know your last name or if you are within the same age range. You must always show respect for your elders while in the area. Those that are older than you should have the chance to order their meals from the menu in a restaurant before you do so.
When you want to discuss business, it is better to do so in the morning or afternoon. Many people like going to coffee appointments where they can discuss ideas over a cup of coffee. When you are meeting someone for dinner in Greece, they usually do not want to go over business matters and would much rather prefer to have a relaxed conversation. You should always confirm any appointments you have a day in advance just to ensure that everyone is going to come. While those living in Greece are often late for events, they will expect you to get there on time.
If you are traveling throughout Athens, remember that traffic can get a bit hectic. You should plan accordingly by leaving early to account for any traffic that might get in the way. When it comes to meeting with Greeks, you never need to feel uncomfortable because they are genuinely hospitable people. They will often invite guests to their homes where they will serve you some delicious food. If you are invited to the home of a Greek person, make sure you bring a good gift with you.
The gift does not need to be expensive, but it should not be cheap either. Avoid giving something that has your business logo spread out all over it because then it is going to look like a sales pitch rather than a gift from the heart. During your meeting with the Greek people, they may want to ask about your level of education and the kind of work you have completed in the past. They want to get the best possible impression of you.
Some Greeks are very proud of their country while others have critiques about things that are going on. Listen to what they say, but do not get involved in the political aspect of it all. Your opinion on these matters is not needed.
Many people living in Greece speak English. Some may speak additional languages, such as German or Russian. These individuals care about making good connections and they have strong family values with good work ethic. They like to discuss various topics and may even become extremely passionate about a specific subject. If you are not getting a professional opinion from a Greek person, they are probably not interested in the conversation with you.
Most Greeks are not going to change their minds with ease. You should not start an argument just because you do not agree with their views. Try not to take things personally because their views are different from yours. Most Greeks make decisions at a slow pace. You might need to contact these individuals to remind them of the decisions that you would like them to make.
How to Negotiate
Always talk to the correct person when you have an interest in negotiating specific terms of a business deal. You need to speak with someone who is in charge. When working with a family-owned business, the person to go to is the oldest person working for the business. Even if they have more skills, younger individuals do not have nearly as much say in Greece as the elders do. During negotiations, Greeks may try to get the best discounts possible. You should offer some flexibility.
If you are bringing contracts with you, make sure those contracts get straight to the point. Greeks typically do not like reading through lengthy documents that contain complex words and phrases to cause confusion. If you keep things simple and are respectful of the Greek culture, you can do exceptionally well while you are there for business.