Initial meetings with any prospective partner are extremely important when looking to do business in Turkey. Turkey is a strongly relationship-oriented business culture and people are unlikely to do business with people until they have gone through a lengthy relationship development phase. Your products, price and delivery are still critical but you are unlikely to get to talk in any detail about those issues until you have been through the initial relationship-building process. Therefore, all time spent with in meetings potential clients and partners should be seen as time well spent and you are well-advised to be patient in these early-stage dealings.
As Turkey is also a hierarchically-based business culture it is important that you interface with senior people within the organisation. Within a meeting it is likely that the most senior people will do most of the talking and highly unlikely that more junior people will interject with their own ideas. Likewise, they would expect that your senior people would lead your side of any discussions any key presentations.
As early-stage meetings are often for information gathering and relationship building you can expect them to be quite long. Don’t try to fit to many meetings into one day – a combination of long meetings and a lack of concern over punctuality makes it difficult to over-pack your agenda.
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This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Turkey only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.