Doing Business In Ireland
Referrals are an essential element of the Irish business culture. Irish business people prefer to conduct business within their own network of contacts.To break into this, a personal introduction is the best way forward.
After such an introduction is made, be prepared for a couple of informal meetings in order to get to know each other. Most Irish are used to discussing business in a restaurant or café.
When going to a subsequent business meeting in an Irish company, you should be on time. Being late is seen as inconsiderate.
Shake hands with everyone in the room. Then exchange business cards and engage in some friendly small talk. Try not to be too quiet, as this may be perceived as arrogant or even rude.
Be Engaging And Active
Later on, when the relationship is well established and people are talking about business in more detail, you should also be engaging and active. The Irish love lively discussions. So be prepared for controversial debates and join in.
Topics are discussed as they arise, this is one of the reasons why Irish business people hardly stick to an agenda. While this can give the impression of being rather unstructured, there are some rules of etiquette you should follow. For example, make sure that you do not interrupt others when they are speaking. Always be polite and friendly, even in a heated debate.
Talk About The Good And The Bad
In presentations, you should also embrace different aspects of a topic, so talk about the positive as well as the negative points. Always be sincere and tell it as it is. Keep the presentation simple and to the point though.
When negotiating, you should also be ready for an intense debate. It is very common to haggle over prices until a good deal for both sides is being reached.
When a meeting or negotiation is coming to an end, take some time to recap what has been discussed so far. If the decision-maker is sitting at the conference table with you, you may get a firm decision straightaway. Otherwise your Irish partners may need to consult senior colleagues first before they can get back to you with a decision.
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