Are You Fully Ready for a Business Meeting in Spain?
by Teva Serna
If you are preparing for a business meeting with Spanish partners or looking at concluding a deal in Spain, you have certainly looked into the details of the contract and prepared your negotiating arguments. But have you thought of how meetings are conducted in Spain?
As business culture and etiquette varies from country to country, adapting to the local business culture is essential to avoid any faux pas and optimise your chances of success. We have put together a few tips to help you navigate the business etiquette in Spain.
1. Addressing people
Handshakes and the use of surnames are standard for business meetings in Spain, as is the use of formal titles of courtesy such as Señor and Señora. However the informal tú may be used instead of the formal usted, after the usual introductions.
2. Becoming acquainted
While in the UK business and private life don’t usually mix together, it’s a different story in Spain. Any business relationship with Spaniards will start by getting to know the people involved. During the first meeting, your Spanish counterparts may ask you questions about your background and family life. Be ready to answer these, as it will demonstrate you are trustworthy and reliable.
3. Business is for the office
Closing business deals over a meal is not as common in Spain as it would be in other countries. Business is usually done at the office while meals are usually a time for relaxing and celebrating. Use mealtimes to develop rapport with your potential partners. Another tip: bills are normally not divided and are paid for by the host. If you have been invited, reciprocate at a later occasion.
4. Being punctual
Southern Europeans may not have a reputation for punctuality, but being on time is as essential as it would be in the UK. Your Spanish partners should be on time, but you may have to wait up to 15 minutes.
5. Making decisions
When it comes to decisions, the key word is patience. Reaching a final decision can take time, especially if the company needs to make substantial changes as a result. It is likely that several meetings will be needed before making a decision. And decisions are typically made orally before being put in writing.
How to be Ready: Cross-Cultural Training
Having Spanish language skills will strongly benefit your business on Spanish-speaking markets. But being culturally aware will optimise your chances of closing a deal and establishing strong business relationship. Cross-cultural training will help you develop key cultural awareness skills for doing business in Spain. At Cactus Language Training, we offer several options that you can combine together to be fully trained and ready:
To receive more information about how Cactus Language Training can increase your profits, or to get a quote, simply call us or contact us with any questions you may have. Cactus also offers a free no obligation language consultation for corporations and individuals.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
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