5 tips for successfully doing business with Nigerians

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In order to successfully build up business activities in a foreign country and to establish them on a long-term basis, it is very important to know and accept the cultural conditions and to apply them to the best of one’s knowledge and belief. In addition, there are also certain guidelines that determine the day-to-day business and the initiation of any business. These include, above all, business meetings and meetings with potential partners.

Based on the extensive experience we have already gained in cooperation with numerous companies in Nigeria, we have created a series of tips that can help German companies with business meetings.

In Nigeria it is very important to plan for a longer period of time in order not to lose flexibility and to let things run their natural course. So it is not usual to go straight to business topics, but first of all small talk is primarily done, which is filled with humor at best. Nigerians usually insist on a face-to-face meeting, because such a meeting strengthens trust much more than virtual meetings or the like. We have listed further tips that may be relevant to everyday business life in Nigeria below:

5 tips for successfully doing business with Nigerians

1. Don’t rush into business related topics!

Take some time to get to know all involved parties, to exchange business cards and to break the ice with some ease and humour.

2. Add buffer times!

Be generous and patient in your project planning and don’t expect fast negotiations and decision making.

3. Don’t be too direct!

Don’t criticize in front of someone else and choose your words carefully and wisely.

4. For a striking impression: pay the bill!

If you go out for a business lunch or dinner, you can leave a very striking impression by paying the bill. Depending on the status of the business partner, the Nigerian might offer to do so. But by insisting on paying you can make a big difference.

5. Make time for face to face meetings!

As far as it is possible the business relationship highly profits from personal meetings. When traveling is not possible it is much better to have a video conference than to only have written email contact.

Do you want to dive deeper and gather more insights about cultural differences? Check out our blog post about the 5 biggest cultural differences between German and Nigerian.

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