Despite its nuclear dispute with the western countries (especially with the United States) Iran is an economic power (No. 17 in the ranking of world GDP) with significant purchasing needs specially in industrial products. Here are some keys to negotiating with Iranian companies.
- Islamic religion in Iran (Shiites with a minority of Sunnis) plays a major role in society and in Iranian politics. Similarly, religious precepts must be taken into account when conducting business in the country.
- Negotiations tend to be extremely long and scattered as the Iranians like to give the impression that negotiation is more a question of friendship than business.
- The essential aspect of any business is the price. Bargaining is very intense and is considered the key point, as in the negotiation process itself both parties find satisfaction, rather than in the agreement.
- It is common that Iran negotiators change their minds at the last minute, despite appearing to have reached an agreement. You have to be patient and persevere, because for them, the time factor is not as important as in the Western area.
- Iranian are not Arabs because they do not belong to the group of Indo-Semitic language (Aryan) and therefore should not be identified with them. They are very proud of their history and the ancient Persian Empire (Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid dynasties) that since the V century BC achieved great splendor.
- Once returned from Iran, you should keep in touch with them, and show interest in their family and the news from the country as they are a very ceremonial culture and value highly the personal relationship.
by Rezah Panahirad, Area Manager of Spain-Iran-Central Asia.
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