Slovenian Business etiquette
Slovenians take business meeting very seriously and they prepare for them carefully. The first meeting is dedicated to getting to know each other and even if a strict agenda is not necessary, the objectives should be stated clearly.
When individuals want to have a meeting with their Slovenian partner, they should make the appointment in advance. When having lunch or coffee, the practice is that the inviting person pays the bill. However, that is not such a strict rule and can depend on the situation.
When two people meet and when they leave, they usually shake hands with each other. By doing that, they confirm the deal. During the first meeting, it is also traditional for Slovenians to exchange business cards.
The best time for a business meeting is between 9 am and 12 pm, because lunch normally takes place between 12 pm and 3 pm.
Negotiation in Slovenia is a bit of a give and take. To obtain a win-win situation, it is best to show Slovenians personal and corporate benefits of the deal. Once a verbal agreement has been reached, Slovenians will expect a written contract with defined terms and conditions in full, to make the agreement official.
Slovenian businessmen are very punctual. Being late shows lack of respect to other participants. If someone is late, it is better to call or write a message and apologize for the delay.
If individuals have a meeting at the business partner’s company, it is also not appropriate to come too early. It is best is to come 5 minutes before, not more.
BUSINESS DRESS CODE
Clothing represent the person, so if an individual want to be taken seriously, he/she should wear conservative business clothes (avoiding bright colors) when attending a business meeting. For men, a dark suit or jacket and trousers with a tie is appropriate business wear, and for women something similarly formal (not provocatively). Clothing also depends on the type of business.
Generally, it is not common practice to give gifts at the first meeting. Gifts are more appropriate later, when deals are already made.
However, some souvenir is acceptable also at the first meeting (for example, a bottle of wine, a corporate gift, etc.) It is recommended that the present is inexpensive, so that the host is not put in a difficult position. Usually, there are some inside company rules about the value of the gift that can be accepted. Individuals must be careful that their host would not take the gift as bribery.