• International Insurance Blog

  • Friday, February 23, 2018

Doing business in Spain is similar to doing business in the rest of Western Europe. A few tips, though, may help you in developing your business relationships in Spain.

Greetings: While many Spaniards will meet each other with a kiss on both cheeks, this is not common in business relationships unless you know the other party well. It is wisest to offer a handshake, and if a kiss is appropriate, the Spanish party will initiate it. (And note that you don’t kiss their cheeks. You kiss the air while touching cheeks.)

Addressing a person: Spanish people have two first names and two surnames, composed of their father’s first surname and their mother’s first surname. Use Señor or Señora as you would Mr. or Mrs. Spaniards do not, on average, speak English as well as a Northern European. Many companies in Spain have staff with good English language skills, but an initial approach in Spanish is more effective.

Business meetings: In the first meeting, Spaniards will want to become acquainted with you before proceeding with business, so you should be accommodating and answer any questions about your background and family life. Spaniards will really check to see if you are honest and reliable, to know they can place their trust in your products or business before starting a relationship.
It is unlikely that a meeting will stick closely to a detailed agenda. Negotiations in Spain tend to be quite open with one party taking the lead, but agreements can be flexible and you will probably need to persevere in order to ensure that commitments are put into effect. Understand that your goal is to do business in Spain, not to impose a business culture.

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