For a country like Turkey, following customs is important. It's no secret that Turkey is known for its history, heritage, and culture. And the people here are quite particular about all that. When you go here to visit, for work, or you've relocated here, you need to remember and follow the common etiquette in various situations. Even more so when you're doing business. The way the Turks do business differs a lot from how other people in different countries do it. In order to successfully work and seal the deal here, you'll need to know and act on them properly!
Be Social When Introducing Yourself
More often than not, Turkish people are pretty formal when doing business. They're serious, straight to the point, and prefer to focus intently on the job at hand. Even within corporate settings, according to traditional Turkish customs
, you should only address people by their title and surnames, no matter how close you are to them. With that said, when introducing yourself to new colleagues and potential clients, it's better to be more social. Save the formalities for when you're starting the actual work. But while you're getting to know each other, being more open and more social is better!
Business Meetings Are Always Formal
As already mentioned, the Turks are more formal when doing business. Most especially during meetings! Schedule all meetings one-to-two weeks in advance and avoid setting them on Turkish holidays
. Since Turkey is mostly an Islamic country, make sure to also put the five daily prayers of the religion into consideration when scheduling the meeting. Though you ought to be more social during introductions, avoid acting casual and friendly during the business meeting proper. No matter how close you are with the people attending the meeting, stay on the matter at hand at all times.
Prioritize Patience While Doing Business
When doing business in Turkey, most especially with the locals, you'll need a lot of patience. Commonly, Turkish people rarely arrive at business meetings on time. No matter how hard you prepared for the meeting, it's rare that one would start on the dot. With that said, though it may seem unfair, they will expect foreign businessmen/women to be on time. And if you'll be late, it's better to let them know beforehand. Furthermore, when a client is taking a long time to seal the deal or in making important business decisions, it's not a good idea to pressure them. You have to wait until they're ready to give their answer.
Maintain Contacts As Best You Can
It's common that one business meeting is not enough to seal the deal. And at times, it can take a long time for the next meeting to take place. So with that in mind, at the end of every business meeting, make sure to maintain contact with everyone who attended. Receive and keep all business cards handed to you. Write down any contact details shared with you. And if you have trouble remembering names, keep any document that listed down all the people who attended the meeting, down to the smallest subordinate. You never know who will matter in the end!
Business Meals Matter In Turkey
Although business meetings in Turkey are more formal, business meals, on the other hand, are an entirely different ballgame! For one thing, when dealing with local Turkish clients and colleagues, it's better to go for traditional food than foreign cuisines. The Turks love their food and even when doing business with foreigners, they prefer to eat their own dishes and delicacies with them. You'd do well in expressing your appreciation for Turkish food while out on a business meal with them. Who knows? That just might seal the deal for you and your team!
Practice Dining Etiquette During Business Meals
So, when you're out on a business lunch/dinner with a potential Turkish client, make sure you follow some local dining etiquette. Firstly, the host (who is often the one who invited the other out for a meal) pays for the meal. The concept of sharing the bill is practically non-existent here in Turkey. Secondly, since most Turks are Muslim, they're not allowed to drink alcohol. It'd be rude if you drink it in front of them during your business meal so forget about alcohol altogether. And third, since Turkish coffee
is considered a national drink here, make sure to include it in the menu.
Going to Turkey for business anytime soon? It's not enough to work hard to seal the deal. What will really help you is if you understand and follow the country's own business etiquette. Know their customs and act on them to really stay on top!
Whether in your luxury home
here or at work, you'll need to follow Turkey's proper etiquette. Especially when doing business!