Have you started the expansion of your company into the Italian market, do you want to know the secrets of successful meetings with customers, partners or suppliers in Italy?

The ability of your employees to adapt to the Italian language and customs is a key factor when it comes to successfully internationalising your business. To achieve this, the most effective solution is Classgap for Enterprise’s Italian courses for companies.

Below, we share our top ten customs you should know if you have a meeting in Italy. Knowing the working customs of the Italians will be the perfect complement to your employees’ language training for companies.

Italian courses for companies: How to do business in Italy

1.Understanding the business context in Italy

There is an old saying: “Where you go, do as you please”. In Italy, as a good Latin country, human relations are very important, and the business context is no exception.

Italians need to know their interlocutors in order to establish relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Your employees will need to be open, polite and friendly. They should also be prepared to have conversations about family, leisure or sport.

2. In Italy, food and business go hand in hand.

The Italian family tradition is very present in the business world. To be successful in negotiations with Italians, you must accept their invitations for lunch or dinner.

Take it easy and don’t be anxious to leave, as these meetings tend to last a long time. Make sure you have a good command of the language so that you don’t fall into the most common “false friend” mistakes in business Italian.

3. The importance of in-company Italian courses

If you want to be successful in the Italian market, you must make it a priority to train your employees in Italian for business. Italians like all communications to be conducted in their native language.

Before doing business in Italy, it is essential that you test your employees’ Italian for business in order to discover their shortcomings and be able to correct them through tailor-made training with specialised tutors such as the one offered by Classgap for Enterprise.

4. Taste for good clothes

It is well known that Italians have a taste for good dress. To make a good impression at a meeting in Italy, you should dress smartly. It is worth investing in a branded suit, good shoes and a few accessories such as a watch or good cufflinks.

5. Don’t be late

Punctuality is highly valued for business meetings in Italy, especially in northern cities such as Milan. If it’s your first time in an Italian city, make sure you plan your itinerary thoroughly and leave early so you don’t have any problems with transport.

6. Ready for presentations

In order for everything to flow smoothly from the very beginning you should be prepared for introductions. The most common is a good handshake.

Your interlocutor may also grab your forearm with the other hand or accompany the squeeze with a pat on the back. Be open, natural and give him or her the best of smiles.

7. Master several topics of conversation

Art, history, gastronomy, sports… These are some of the most recurrent topics in a conversation prior to a business meeting in Italy.

Once again, it is essential to choose the best Italian language courses for companies, as these courses help employees to master both the Italian language for companies and the customs and interests typical of the transalpine country.

8. Topics to avoid at a business meeting in Italy

Some topics of conversation such as religion, the Vatican or politics are very sensitive for Italians. Avoid referring to these topics during business meetings and, above all, don’t dare criticise the local football team!

9. Take the utmost care in the presentation of your products and services.

Italians love everything that is attractive to the eye. If you intend to market a product in Italy, make sure it is presented as neatly as possible, both in terms of design and packaging.

10. The beginning of a great friendship

If you manage to make a good impression in your first meetings with clients or collaborators in Italy, you will be able to start a stable relationship that will last over time.

As soon as they know they can trust you, you will become part of their “famiglia” and it will be much easier for you to close future deals.

Mastering the language is the key to success in a meeting in Italy. Classgap for Enterprise provides you with specialised training tailored to the needs and objectives of each employee. Contact us today and train your employees with our Italian language courses for companies.