Business dos and don'ts in Portugal

Rvo,  Wednesday, 11 October 2017

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Portugal has a southern culture that influences business practices.

Below are a few tips:

Personal relationships in Portugal are almost as important as the product or service you want to sell. Business is done on the basis of trust. Take the time to get to know each other. Do not come straight to the point. A Portuguese person prefers to do business with someone he knows and trusts.

Be aware that Portuguese society is more traditional, formal and hierarchical than most Nordic countries. There is a great deal of respect for the elderly, their position in society and their ranks. The older generation in particular attaches great importance to manners and respect. Find out what your Portuguese business partner's position is within his organisation and whether he has the power of decision.

Portuguese have many titles and surnames. Check in advance which last name your caller is using. Please note that not everyone speaks English. So make sure in time that there is an employee who speaks English and Portuguese. It is appreciated if your documentation and leaflets are in English and Portuguese.

Lunch is an important moment in Portugal. Your business relationship will be happy to accept an invitation for lunch. This may be a good time to present your product. Do not expect your partner to make a decision immediately. Above all, make sure you build up a good atmosphere and be patient.

Use a hands-on approach when doing business. Do not assume that you will automatically receive a response to your request or email.

This article of is based on . Translated from the Dutch language by Jos Deuling.

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