Dos & Don´ts: Italy
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
Doing business with foreign customers is often challenging. Failure to take different cultures and taboos into account can jeopardise the deal. ACREDIA looks at dos and don’ts in other countries.
In Italy first impressions are very important. Make sure that you greet the other party in a respectful, emotional and honest manner. A stylish outfit doesn’t hurt either. If the first meeting is held in Italy, go to a café or a classic restaurant – Italians are very proud of their coffee tradition and culinary culture.
Be aware of regional differences. Behaviour may differ depending on whether your customer is based in northern or southern Italy. For example, being punctual is very important in northern Italy, while a more flexible approach is taken in the south of the country.
Use plenty of gestures and make frequent eye contact to avoid the other party thinking you are not interested. N.B. Italians are very proud of titles, so make sure to address them by them.
Avoid bringing up topics such as politics and the mafia. Also steer clear of making critical comments. Instead talk about points of common interest between your two countries, such as music, art, nature and food.
27 December 2017