Italians enjoy a widespread reputation for their impeccable fashion sense. This also extends to professional spheres. As well as the right outfit, those wishing to do business there should come prepared with a healthy appetite and allow plenty of time.
With the greeting “Buongiorno, come sta?” she recommends the tried-and-tested handshake and advises – counter to some business guides – against two kisses on the cheeks. “That’s true at least for the first meeting. After that, you can see how the relationship develops. If it’s going well, then kissing both cheeks may be appropriate on the second or third occasion,” explained Arri. Speaking of development: Italian convention also requires opening pleasantries with a fair amount of small talk before getting down to business. Here, it doesn’t hurt for the German visitor to avoid overly formal introductions in favour of open conversations about their family or hobbies, for example. “Italians do not dictate such stark separations between professional and personal topics as in Germany. People are simply more open over there,” she continued. Good conversation starters also include good food, football and holidaying – whilst it is wise to avoid talking about the Mafia,the differences between northern and southern Italy or salaries. The coach stresses, however, that this recommendation – along with the rest of the statements in this article – comes from personal experience and is not intended as a generalisation.