To: Helene Lamarre, Supervisor
From: Jay Ivetic
Re: The Emerald Isle: Business Practices and Customs in Ireland
In researching Ireland’s business practices and customs, I have discovered the following and have made recommendations on what we should and should not be including in future sales messages:
Customs and Culture:
There are two main languages spoken in Ireland: English, which is the most prominent, and Irish Gaelic. Religion plays a large part in Irish culture. Catholicism is an important part of many Irish people’s lives. The Catholic faith is very strong in Ireland with a majority of 92%.
Women have equal rights in Ireland, and have recently begun to obtain top positions in companies. However, women’s salaries are much less than men.
St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, which is the national holiday. On this day festivities are held celebrating their country and proudly honoring their history. The colors of the Irish flag are kelly green, orange, and white.
Ireland has been going through positive economic changes over the last ten years; however, many people fail to notice because the culture is resistant to change. Therefore, it seems as though Ireland is behind the times.
Ireland has a very strong farming community that it relies on. Farmers in Ireland are very well respected. In fact, since the increase in land prices farmers are identified as one of the riches socio-economic groups in Ireland.
Older Irish generations can be more resistant to conducting business with other cultures. Trust is a huge factor with the Irish no matter what generation they are. The Irish want to develop personal relationships and they don’t like being pressured. The main anxieties for the Irish are being profitable and making deadlines. They are always looking for the best deal and will almost always bargain for it. Discussing costs in initial conversations can be an embarrassing topic.
Many businesses are family run or operated. Ireland is not big on using professional titles such as Director or Senior Vice President. Company rules or policies are strictly followed. However, the Irish do not respond well to outside authority. They are usually running late to meetings or with submitting payments.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
Since the Irish are not very prompt people, we could provide incentives for timeliness. Similar to how the Irish telephone and electric companies automatically give customers who pay their bills on time, a free entry into a raffle.
The Irish like having personal relationships, therefore, sales people should follow up via phone or in person to develop those business relationships. Sales teams should take time to get to know their overseas contacts and they will be more accepting of any offers they may have for them.
Although more and more women are moving up the ranks, our messaging should be targeted towards the male executives. Using Irish sport references can be effective way to attract business. Family is extremely important to the Irish. There should also be an emotional component in messaging about how our company can help benefit them and their families.
Ireland uses a low context communication style. That means that they will take our messages literally, and we should do the same in return. Try to refrain from making any sarcastic or inappropriate jokes while writing any business communications. Messaging should be truthful and not embellished. We need to be keen not to emphasize professional titles in messaging or make any references to British culture. England and Ireland have a very long and sorted history, and it is best to avoid the topic.
Due to England and Ireland’s history, the Irish do not respond well to authority. When communicating with them,