When greeting a client or business partner in Nigeria, professionals should remember to make their salutations personal. While men commonly shake hands with other businessmen, it is common courtesy for men to wait for a businesswoman to extend her hand before attempting a handshake. Additionally, it is considered good taste to inquire about the health and well-being of the person you are greeting.
After the greeting, it is important for professionals to understand that initial meetings may run long due to interruptions, even in a private setting. The business culture of Nigeria is team-oriented, and leaders may pause in conversations or negotiations in order to answer e-mails, phone calls, or questions from in-house employees.
In contrast with the personal nature of business greetings and conversations in Nigeria, Nigerians place importance on addressing others using titles. Unless asked to do otherwise, business professionals should refer to others with titles such as “mister,” “miss,” or even industry titles such as “engineer” and “doctor."