Our first edition of Business Etiquette Around The World explores the country of Denmark where 98% of the population speaks Danish. Denmark was recently crowned the happiest country in the world for 2016 and, for the sixth year in a row, also named the easiest place in Europe to do business, and that is why many companies are looking to do business in Denmark. If you’re in this business group, we hope you enjoy the ease of engagement, but we also want to make sure that you’re prepared to engage with them first by understanding how they do business. This list of business etiquette specific to Denmark should help you improve your closing capabilities.
General Business Knowledge:
- Most Danes are more concerned with the overall group than their individual needs. Danes are modest about their individual accomplishments.
- When researching prospective companies to do business with in Denmark, do a little digging into their success stories, and make sure to communicate to the entire team and not just the boss since their group mentality is strong and supportive.
- The Danish language uses gender-neutral wordsbecause Denmark is an egalitarian society that believes all people deserve equal opportunity. Don’t you wish all countries had this perspective?
- Danish women are highly respected in the workforce and have access to senior positions and in most cases receive equal pay.
Before The Meeting:
- Always make an appointment and confirm in writing.
- Avoid scheduling meetings mid June through mid August; this is prime summer vacation time.
- Send an agenda of talking points and do not deviate from plan while in the meeting.
- When preparing your presentation to be sure to include facts, figures, and charts to reinforce your argument.
During The Meeting:
- Show up on time! The Danes believe in punctuality. And if you are going to be more than 5 minutes late always call to inform them.
- When entering a meeting use the individual's title and surname.
- Not sure if they have a title? Use these before their surname instead:
- Miss - "Frøken"
- Miss - "Fru"
- Mister - "Herr"
- Make sure to shake the women's hands first before proceeding to their male counterparts.
- Handshakes should be firm, short, and should be given upon arrival and exit.
- When speaking maintain strong eye contact.
- Skip the small talk and don't be an afraid to get down to business.
- Final decisions are made once everyone involved has been consulted with.
Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, this southernmost and smallest of the Nordic countries is a fantastic place to live and work. By paying attention to these business and cultural tips, you can ensure a seamless engagement when doing business. And don’t forget your Kroners!