If you think the business world is all one-note, you're sadly mistaken. The way you do business in your native country might be completely different from how it's done in, say, Morocco! Now, it's no secret that this North African country is becoming more and more of a major business hub in this part of the world. It's already a popular tourist destination, so it makes sense that many businesses. both local and foreign will also work here. If you ever get the chance to go here to do business, you might want to follow the Moroccan business etiquette!
Moroccans May Get Personal During Introductions
One thing you have to know about Moroccan businessmen/women is that they're pretty particular with who they do business with. They won't just work with you just because your company is famous or you have a good track record in terms of big deals and prominent projects. They have to know practically all about you before they agree on even talking about doing business together. So in your first meeting, don't be taken too aback if they go so far as to ask personal questions about you. And the more honest and open you are (even to your own extent), the bigger your chances are of sealing the deal!
Greet Muslim Businessmen/women Differently From Non-Muslims
come into play when doing business with Moroccans. Even down to how you greet one another. The way you greet businessmen/women here varies based on gender. For men, a loose and comfy handshake with the same sex is customary. For women, men should extend their hands and wait for them to shake them if they don't mind. When greeting the same sex, on the other hand, businesswomen typically exchange kisses on the cheeks with each other, there times alternatively. As for Muslims, they rarely shake hands or kiss the opposite sex. In such cases, a slight nod and a smile will do.
Punctuality in Meetings Aren't All That Important
When it comes to punctuality in Morocco, they're not really that important. Businessmen/women in Morocco generally don't care if you're punctual to a meeting or not, as long as you attend, participate, and take note of the important points. Nevertheless, they do expect (and prefer) that you, as foreign businessmen/women working in Morocco
, arrive on time. They don't like to be kept waiting. And remember, even though you schedule business meetings here just like in any other country, they rarely start and end on time. Always work your schedule with this in mind!
Never Confront Moroccans in Business Settings
Moroccans are not confrontational. In fact, they rarely engage in direct contact, especially with foreign businessmen/women. More often than not, they have interpreters who help communicate with those who speak English or other languages. With this in mind, you need to keep a sharp ear when the Moroccans are talking in the meeting. They will often relay their disagreements subtly and indirectly, and it's up to you to interpret what they mean and work with what you have. If your side has disagreements with their ideas or suggestions, on the other hand, express them as gently and as subtle as possible.
Moroccans Commonly Invite People Into Their Homes After Meetings
Finally, no matter what time the business meeting ends, Moroccan businessmen/women will often invite you out to eat. Most of the time, it will be at a restaurant but it's also common for them to invite you into their homes. So if you want to seal that deal, you better take them up on their offer. Just remember the social customs when dining with locals and entering their homes. For the former, if there aren't utensils available, always use your right hand to eat. And for the latter, don't forget to take off your shoes before entering their homes.
The business world is expanding and even countries like Morocco are becoming major players in the game. If you ever get the opportunity to do business here, don't forget to follow the country's business etiquette and social customs!