Relationships & Communication
. Cypriots prefer face-to-face meetings rather than doing business by telephone or in writing, which are regarded as too impersonal.
. It takes time to develop relationships; this may be accomplished in the office, over extended lunches, dinners, and social outings.
. Once a relationship has developed, their loyalty will be to you personally rather than to the company you represent.
. If your company changes representatives, the relationship building will need to begin anew.
. It is imperative to show deference and respect to those in positions of authority.
. When dealing with people at the same level, communication can be more informal.
. Avoid confrontation. Cypriots do not like publicly admitting they are incorrect.
. Under no circumstances should you ever let someone think that you do not trust them, since trust and personal relationships form the cornerstone of business.
Business Meeting Etiquette
. Appointments are necessary and should be made in advance.
. The initial request should be in writing and may be confirmed by telephone.
. Punctuality is expected, although you should be prepared to be kept waiting. Avoid hyperbole and making exaggerated claims about your products or services.
. Meetings often veer off the agenda.
. Meetings may be interrupted frequently so be patient.
. Decisions are not reached at meetings. Meetings are for discussion and to exchange ideas.
. Personal relationships are the foundation of a successful business relationship.
. Who you know can be more important than what you know.
. Do not raise your voice or appear upset or emotional while speaking.
. Business discussions can be lengthy.
. Contracts are crucial and will be followed to the letter.
. Cypriots are skilled negotiators.
. Expect a great deal of bargaining.
. Opening bids should leave a great deal of room for negotiation and concessions on both sides.
Business dress is similar to most European conventions.
. Men should wear dark coloured, conservative business suits.
. Women should wear a conservative dress or business suit.
Throughout Cyprus, restaurants are open from 11am to 2pm and from 7.30pm to 11pm daily. Public-service hours are 7.30am to 3.30pm weekdays and also 3pm to 6pm Thursday (September to June), or 7.30am to 2.30pm weekdays (July to August).