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doing business in France (Do's and don'ts in negotiating)

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Pia de Marcillac

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of doing business in France (Do's and don'ts in negotiating)

Doing business in France

do's and don'ts in negotiating
French doing business with other French
"Le client est Roi" -> go wherever the client wants to and pay for it all.

You should know how to play golf -> best moment to discuss business
In a restaurant: drink alcohol
order many dishes and finish them all.
How to behave with French in business.
Eye contact
-> confidence and sincerity

Personal Space
-> be distant while interacting

Greetings
-> shake hands

The "vous" / "tu" issue
-> wait for proposal.

First names
-> only after being invited to do so.

How to dress?
-> usually formal


How to do business with the French.
Meetings
-> booked in advance in writing or by phone
+ goal = exchange information and NOT reach decision

Punctuality
-> relaxed: being 15 minutes late is fine

Communication style
-> direct, questioning and probing
Argumentation? -> the french way to analyze
Exaggeration? -> to be avoided
Clarity and rationality are important to convey messages

Management ->
rather "authoritarian"

Contracts
-> only written commitments are serious



The French "trick"


Surface
: orderly, quite formal, cold, unfriendly

Beneath the surface
: network of personal relationships drives negotiations.

Formality: business takes place on two levels.
Cultural nuances to be aware of:

-> strong national culture :
speaking french is appreciated.

-> Problem solving:
details matter cf justice issues.
-> develop a relationship: go out have dinner

-> show interest: disagreement is fine
Full transcript