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Greek Negotiations Everything You Should Know

Greek negotiations are what we can call an etiquette of Greek or Hellene people when negotiating. Of course, just like any other country, they have their ways of negotiating in business. However, how can we distinguish it?

In this article, we will discuss the process of Greek negotiations. Additionally, we will tell you all the things you should know when negotiating with them. 

After you finish this article, you will have a deep understanding of Greek negotiations. Thus, it will allow you to know their culture which can be useful to avoid any misunderstandings when negotiating with them.

The Process of Greek Negotiations

As we told you earlier, Greek negotiation is a way in which Greeks or Hellenes negotiate with other people. This means that it is the proper etiquette to display when discussing with them to avoid misunderstandings and things that may disrespect them. 

Greek business partners like to build personal relationships before doing business with others. They need more time to form an opinion and negotiations are conducted slowly. Thus, you have to be patient. 

Additionally, they will test your knowledge and experience regarding the negotiation so you must be prepared. Negotiations do not start during the first meeting as it is mostly for the introduction. 

You must take note that the most senior person will tend to dominate the negotiation. Thus, you should know the importance of the hierarchy of their company. 


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5 Tips when Negotiating with Greeks

Greeks in business, especially the younger ones, usually have at least experience when negotiating or doing business with people of other cultures. However, it does not mean that they would always conform to what you wanted. 

When you are negotiating business with them, which is obvious even for other cultures, they will expect it to be done their way. Most Greeks are proud of their country and may strongly reject any critiques about it which is also a trait of other people. Of course, no one would want to hear their country being put in a bad light. 

Here are some things that you should know when negotiating with them:

1. Respect and relationship

Creating a long-lasting and trusting personal relationship with Greeks is important for them, especially those who expect to establish strong bonds prior to the negotiation. 

Like many people, Greeks usually want to do business only with whom they know and like. Thus, creating productive business collaboration requires long-term perspective and commitment. 

You should take note that you should only proceed with serious business negotiations only after they have become comfortable with you. Most Greeks tend to distrust people who are just going to waste their time and whose motives for relationships are unclear. 

For Greeks, saving face or avoiding others to lose respect for them is paramount. Causing embarrassment to another person is detrimental to business negotiation. Thus, the importance of understanding their culture and diplomatic tact is a must. Politeness is crucial to avoid any conflict with them. 

2. Way of communication

Although many business people can speak in English, occasionally, it is beneficial to use an interpreter to avoid offending them. However, you should ask them first whether you will be needing an interpreter in your negotiation. 

When you are going to communicate using the English language, it is important to avoid using jargon and slang. What you need to do is to speak in short and simple sentences. Thus, it will allow you to avoid offending them. 

Additionally, many Greeks like to speak rather forcefully as they respect assertiveness. Therefore, conversations may get too loud and passionate for you. However, you should never back down even if it seems closer than your personal comfort zone. Doing so can be read as a sign that you are uncomfortable with them. 

3. Negotiation style

Building strong bonds with Greeks is an important element when negotiating with them. However, negotiating in the country may also include tough bargaining at many levels. 

They expect long-term commitments from their business partners. Thus, focusing more on long-term benefits. Although the usual negotiation style is competitive, they value long-term relationships and look for win-win solutions. 

While proposals should be demonstrated to know the benefits of both parties in the negotiation, attempts to win the competitive advantages should not be taken negatively. You earn their respect by having a positive and persistent attitude.

If a dispute arises at any stage of the negotiation, you can try to use your personal relationship, assuming that it is strong enough, to reach a resolution or an acceptable compromise. 

4. Pace of negotiation

You should expect the pace of negotiation to be slow and prepare to make several trips if necessary to achieve your objectives. 

Decisions are typically made between meetings rather than at the negotiating table. Throughout the negotiation, you must keep your cool, control your emotions, and accept the delays that might occur. 

Attempting to rush the process will likely be viewed as offensive which can result in losing the deal. 

You should also assess whether they are stalling the negotiation. This indicates that they are evaluating some alternatives or they are not interested in doing business with you. 

5. Decision makers

Most companies in Greece are hierarchical and people expect to work according to the established lines of authority. Commonly, businesses in Greece are family-owned. Although the pace of business is accelerating, the decision process can be slow. 

The decision-makers are usually the executives who consider the best interest of the organization. They may consult the others and typically prefer to reach a consensus before calling the shots. 

The subordinates of the executives may be reluctant to accept responsibility and decision-makers rarely delegate their authority to anyone. Thus, it is important to deal with the senior executives. 

Frequentlyasked questions

+ What is negotiation?

Negotiation refers to the approach of two parties seeking to reach a concession by finding an acceptable solution for both of them.

+ What are Greek negotiations?

It is a way in which Greeks or Hellenes negotiate with other people. 

+ Why do you need to study how the other party negotiates?

It is important for you to know how they negotiate so that you can avoid misunderstandings or saying words that may disrespect their culture.

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