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Tel: +44 (0)117 932 1160  Fax: +44 (0)117 932 6572  Email: Bob.Feltham@rsj-international.co.uk

Doing Business and the Business Culture in and With France

If you have expanded your business ventures into France or if you are planning on setting up an enterprise in the country, it is first necessary that you understand the French business culture in order to promote successful business relations.

The French love their food and conduct a lot of business meetings over lunch, if you wish to discuss proposals or a new business venture, it is best accomplished over a business lunch in a fine restaurant. It is necessary that you entertain your contact with a good meal and good conversation, not all of which should be centred on business. Ideally, it is part of French culture to bring up business during the latterpart of the meal. Such lunches are a means if building business relations and function as a preliminary hearing before a proper meeting is held in the office.

It is also important that you have a strong grasp of the language, failing which you should have a good translator with you during all your business meetings. When conversing you’re your French business associates for the first time, do remember to apologise for not knowing their language, as this will make them realise that you value their language, which they hold in high esteem. Another good tip would be to have the other side of your business card written in French.

Although the French are liberal minded, they can be quite formal when it comes to business. Hence it is important not to be overly friendly with them and to keep business relations going in a respectful manner. Ensure that all forms of written contact you have with them is conducted in a formal tone, with emails, letters, documents and so on being worded in a formal manner. Also prepare yourself to answer a lot of direct questions, as this is the French style of doing business. Do not get into arguments or attempt to use hard sell tactics with them, instead present your case in the best logical manner possible and be well versed in all the facts, as you will be questioned on them.

Punctuality is important to the French, so ensure that you are on time for business meetings and lunches. You will need to arrange such events a couple of weeks in advance if you are dealing with high profile business people and have your secretary telephone to make the arrangements. Do remember that July and August are vacation months in France and it is possible that such events may not be seen as welcome, if arranged during this period.

Finally, the French value fashion and respect style; therefore it is necessary that you dress elegantly for all your business meetings. You can learn more about Parisian and French culture online and Paris Travel News.

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RSJ International Freight Services Limited, UK have head offices in Bristol, UK and Cardiff, South Wales.

Tel: +44 (0)117 932 1160 - for freight rates to Hong Kong.
Fax: +44 (0)117 932 6572
Email: Bob.Feltham@rsj-international.co.uk
or Steve.Frost@rsj-international.co.uk

Unit 16, Keynsham Road, Willsbridge, Bristol, UK.

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Bristol Office: RSJ International Freight Company, Unit 16, Londonderry Farm, Keynsham Road, Willsbridge, Bristol, BS30 6EL. England. Telephone: +44 - 0117 932 1160
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