Business Culture Overview A brief overview of Etiquette/Relationships, Business Negotiations, and Communication when dealing with business in Turkey. Etiquette and Relationships Business etiquette in Turkey revolves around personal relationships. Appointments are necessary and should be made in advance. Avoid making these appointments during Ramadan and the months of July and August. Be punctual, although be prepared to be kept waiting for appointments or meetings. Small talk is welcomed during business meetings, do not open up with the business matter at hand immediately.
Have all documents in English and Turkish, as well to include charts, graphs, and visual aids. When dressing for business in Turkey, it should be conservative. Exchanging of business cards is a sign of trust from most businessmen. It is important to shake hands when entering, however not so when departing. Business Negotiation Always come to Turkey knowing two things. Success is defined by your ability to establish to build effective personal relationships. Business is personal. Many businesses are still family run although it is changing with MNC’s growing fast.
The first meeting is purely social, then from there it will be about business. Do not include any surprises or mystery to your proposal. They are more inclined to visual objects, so include charts, graphs, statistics in presentation. Decision making tends to be slow, it has to pass from less senior members all the way up the hierarchy. Turkish businessmen will start at extremes to engage responses. Know your target figure and work to compromise to a number in the middle. Do not use any pressure tactics or abrupt deadlines because they will just reverse this tactic right back at you and it may drive them away from the deal.
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Communication Turkish people prefer to conduct business with people they are very trustworthy of. Courtesy is crucial in all business settings. Stand close while conversing, do not back away as it considered rude. Do not be impatient, many initial questions will not be about the topic at hand, but rather about family, children, soccer and more. Turks are proud to answer questions about their history, culture, but avoid political history. It is vital to maintain eye contact while talking, it is a sign of sincerity. Make sure any gifts are appropriate if given. It is not customary for them to exchange gifts in a business setting however.
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