Business dos and don'ts in Sweden

Rvo,  Sunday, 15 October 2017

Svensk sommar 

Even though British people and Swedes quickly speak' the same language' in cultural and social terms, there are differences that you should take into account.

Below you will find tips on how to do business successfully in Sweden.

Making an appointment

Generally speaking, it will not be difficult to make a business deal. Swedish managers are usually very accessible.

  • Preferably make the appointment at least three weeks in advance.
  • Working hours in Sweden are somewhat earlier than in the UK.
  • In July, many Swedes are on holiday. It is possible that only the operator or secretary can be contacted.

  • The conversation

    Conversations are quick and to the point. Swedish people quickly get to the point without an introductory talk.

  • Keep (Powerpoint) presentations realistic and detailed.
  • Data, facts, and graphs are important. Emotional arguments have little effect.
  • In discussions, give the interviewee (s) the time to make a decision. A start-up period is often required. Many people within the organization are involved in making important decisions. The operation of this market requires patience and thorough preparation.

  • Presentation

  • Wear correct clothing and arrive on time for appointments.
  • Punctuality is appreciated. Therefore do not make too many appointments on one day.
  • Travel times may be disappointing.
  • Make sure that you bring enough business cards to show your job in English. The addition of academic titles is not necessary. If possible, please give your first name or call sign on the card and do not fill in with initials.
  • Provide an excellent brochure in English or Swedish.

  • Language

    Most Sweden speaks excellent English. The older generation sometimes still speaks German. A couple of beautiful Swedish sentences often help break the ice.

    Business Gifts

    Business gifts are not common practice during initial contact. If necessary, you can give a little attention, such as an item with company logo, an agenda or (company) tie. Gifts that do not create obligations for the recipient. Avoid expensive gifts. The tax authorities regard these as a form of income.

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

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