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Business Etiquette in Greece

Business etiquette in Greece can be very different compared to other countries around the world. The Greeks are a warm and hospitable nation and on the first meeting with someone will shake hands firmly, keep eye contact and smile.

Often negotiation is done differently in Greece. Subsequently, if you are considering doing business in Greece we take a look at some points to bear in mind and gain knowledge within the business etiquette in Greece.

You will need to develop a good relationship with Greeks to form a successful business. They respect age and authority. Business can be slow so you will need to have patience and try not to be impatient.

Illustrate how your product or service can be of value to your new colleague and how it will improve there business.

Stay calm and try not to appear aggravated or lose you temper when conducting business, keep in mind cultures are different.

Greeks are skilful negotiators and also enjoy haggling so be prepared. You may have to wait for the decision to come from the head of the company you are dealing with. Try not to get ruffled and demand a deadline as this may be the end of business.

A contract may be basic because the etiquette of Greek business is to form a good personal relationship.

When conducting business in Greece dress smart is required for the occasion. Men should wear conservative suits in dark colours, and women should wear either dresses or suits also in darker colours.

Business cards are regularly presented at a Greek business meeting. Ensure that one side of the card is translated into Greek, and when exchanging cards present this side to the receiver.

It is required to make an appointment in advance at least a week before, but sometimes it is possible to get a last minute meeting. A day before telephone your potential colleagues to confirm your meeting time and date. Greeks have a lengthy lunch between 1pm -3pm so avoid this time slot.

Meetings can be interrupted, so you need to have tolerance with these disturbances.

Be prepared to have several meetings with potential Greek businesses. The first meeting will be about getting to know you personally; the second to build up trust and respect, the third will be where business may begin.
Have all business material printed in English and Greek. Some Greek businesses speak English but it is essential you understand important negotiations, so it is a good idea to hire the services of an interpreter.