Local time: :
Business etiquette

Business etiquette

If you were to think about the most important cultural attributes that you will see operating in business in Norway, they would be:
. Informal style
. Individual interests
. Transactional relationships
. Direct communication

Building Relationships & Communication

. Norwegians are transactional and do not need long-standing personal relationships in order to conduct business.
. Nonetheless, they prefer to do business with those they trust, so it is important that you provide information about yourself and the company you represent prior to meeting your business colleagues.
. Relationships develop slowly and depend upon the other person being professional and meeting all agreed upon deadlines.
. Giving a well-researched presentation indicates that you are serious about conducting business.
. The basic business style is relatively informal.
. Norwegians respect confident, self-assured businesspeople.
. They are excellent time managers who do not require face-to-face contact in order to conduct business.
. If you are like-minded, the relationship will develop over time.
. Appearing overly friendly at the start of a relationship may be viewed as weakness. Maintaining eye contact while speaking is interpreted as sincerity.
. Norwegians are direct communicators.
. They have no difficulty telling their colleagues that they disagree with something that has been said.
. Their communication is straightforward and relies on facts.
. They are conservative and deliberate speakers who do not appreciate being rushed.
. They are scrupulous about honesty in communication, often to the point of pointing out the negatives in their own proposals in greater detail than the positives.
. Norwegians are not emotive speakers and their body language is subtle.

Business Meeting Etiquette

. Appointments are necessary and should be made as far in advance as possible.
. Appointments may be made in writing or by telephone.
. If writing, address the letter to the head of the division, even if you do not know the person.
. Punctuality is imperative since it indicates trustworthiness.
. If you are delayed even 5 minutes, it is polite to telephone and explain the situation. Arriving late without prior notice can damage a potential relationship.
. It is often difficult to schedule meetings during July and August, which are popular vacation times; during the two weeks before and after Christmas; and during the week before and after Easter.
. Meetings are rather informal.
. Send an agenda before the meeting so that your Norwegian colleagues can be prepared.
. There is not much small talk. Norwegians prefer to get to the business discussion quickly.
. Presentations should be precise and concrete, and backed up with charts, figures and analysis.
. Avoid hype or exaggerated claims in your presentation.
. Leave time for Q&A at the end of a presentation. Norwegians do not interrupt and will save their questions until you have finished speaking.


. Decisions are consensus driven.
. Expect decisions to take time as your colleagues must weigh all the alternatives.
. Present a firm, realistic, and competitive initial price and expect a minimum of bargaining.
. Price is often the most important deciding factor.
. Norwegians do not generally give discounts, even to good customers or for large orders.
. Norwegians are detail oriented.
. Maintain eye contact while speaking.
. Negotiations are frank.
. Avoid high-pressure sales tactics.
. It is imperative to adhere to deadlines and commitments. If you do not, you will not be considered trustworthy, which will destroy the business relationship.
. New concepts should be shown to be high quality, practical, and already market tested.
. Do not interrupt others while they are speaking.