Spanish business etiquette 101

Language and culture play an important role in defining how business is done in a country. Compared to other countries in Europe, transactions in Spain are more lax. They take their time to know their business partners carefully before entering into any social bond. As a matter of fact, social bonds weigh more to them than written contracts.

If you are already on the verge of outsourcing services to another firm, it’s a must that they are aware of Spanish business etiquette to make transactions and negotiations easier between the customer service representative and customers.

Personal relationship is essential

Spaniards put emphasis on trust and honesty. They begin meetings or any form of communication with personal conversations that strengthen relationships with people. This is why small talks before any actual negotiation or process is typical in their business setting. So in dealing with Spanish customers, it’s a must to have a team who knows how to start their spiels in a way that can loosen up the flow of the conversation. They need to establish a connection first before getting down to business.

Spanish is the business language


Spanish is the prominent language of the country. Despite their high English proficiency score, according to the EF Proficiency Index (EF EPI), most of them still prefer to speak the native language. In business meetings, it’s recommended that presentations and summaries are in two languages—English and Spanish. Hence, your bilingual partner overseas must have native Spanish speakers who can easily communicate with your customers. So, whether you have English-speaking clients in Spain or Spanish-speaking clients outside the country, you can ensure that your market is in good hands.

Siesta time is observed

The most common business hours in Spain is from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM, then resumes at 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In between, they have a siesta period wherein most employees go home to take lunch and a nap. Due to the time difference, it’s vital to be sensitive about the schedule of calls. Also, Spain has the most number of holidays compared to other European countries. They have approximately 14 national holidays. All these facts must be considered in order to know the perfect time to get in touch with customers.

Follow-ups extend customer service

To reinforce good relationships with clients, Spaniards believe that follow-ups are essential even after transactions have been closed. To them, it’s a way to strengthen and ensure clients that they’re still in full support after a deal. Also, it paves way for strengthening client relationships that can lead to customer loyalty and retention.

Agenda setting

In setting up client meetings with a business owner from Spain, expect a time-consuming process. Spaniards are believed to value personal relationships more than finishing a set of agendas. So, patience in holding meetings is a must. They usually have small talks first before proceeding to the formal meeting. Hence, preparing the points that need to be discussed is helpful so that by the time the meeting starts, all concerns would be covered.



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