Doing Business In New Zealand
New Zealanders do not like to be under pressure in business. Taking advantage of being in power, being too pushy during a conversation or any form of bargaining tactics while negotiating are frowned upon.
Therefore, rule number one for successful business in New Zealand is to be friendly, calm and relaxed.
From Reserved To Informal
Initially, New Zealanders seem to be reserved, but their business culture is still highly informal. So use lots of small talk and a some humorous remarks to lighten the setting before talking any business.
Be prepared that quite often the first couple of meetings are scheduled just to get to know you better. Always do your best to provide a good atmosphere, even later on when negotiations might be getting tough. Be clear and open about your intentions and strive for a win-win-situation. Anything less will be dismissed.
Communicate Indirect, With Clear Facts
In order to keep the good atmosphere at any point, New Zealanders communicate relatively indirect. This usually involves making hints, but they never express themselves too vaguely so that one has to read between the lines.
While being diplomatic and avoiding any conflicts, New Zealanders still want clear facts and information they can rely on.
Follow The Agenda
Meetings are quite structured. Everyone follows the agenda that has been provided beforehand. Due to the flat hierarchies and a strong sense for equality in society, anyone present at a business meeting is most welcome to contribute. For that reason you should always expect that a meeting with New Zealanders will overrun – each point on the agenda will be discussed as long as it takes to come to a satisfying outcome. So the only part of the agenda which is not followed is the scheduled time frame.
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