Italy is a place of alpine forests and magnificent mountains. It is a beautiful country in Southern Europe and boasts a variety of enchanting environment and culture.
If you are about to travel and engage business in Italy, you need to learn few Italian business etiquettes that will make you belong in their community and help you become a trustworthy person to work with. To have a successful business visit in Italy, there are things that you need to keep in mind:
- People in Italy are generally warm and friendly. They speak Italian although most business people can speak English. Most of them love to hear foreigners speaking their own language so better learn a few Italian words before your visit.
- Italians are fond of greeting each other through handshake and smile. For a formal introduction, you can give them your calling card so they can call you by name. They usually call you by your first name.
- Always establish a good business rapport and do not rush into negotiations or discussions. If you want to converse casually, you can talk about fashion, food, their place or football.
- Food and hospitality is a major part in doing business in Italy. Lunch is usually served in the late afternoon and dinner starts about 8:00 to 9:00pm. They have continental style of table arrangement.
- Fashion plays an important role in doing business in Italy. Italians can judge you by the way you dress. Wear decent business attire when meeting with them: men in decent short sleeves and women in dress with jewelry.
- You will notice that little personal space is made between two people interacting. For Italians, this is a sign of warmth and friendliness. On the other hand, keeping your distance or moving away may be interpreted as unfriendly and cold.
- Italians are generally relaxed when it comes to time. There is no negative effect when you come late for a reason. But if you come late for a deliberate reason, it could be interpreted as rude. Always try to be punctual in business meetings to make a good impression.
- Always remember to do business in Italy with someone you know. If you want to contact people you do not know or who do not know you, try to introduce yourself through some friends or contacts that are living in Italy.
Whether you are an expat, a visiting foreigner or a returning businessman, you need to keep the above tips in handling business in Italy. It will help you make a positive impression and help you build a good connection with them.