The magnitude of appreciation for something beyond our expertise may be the only barrier we must destroy.
“The crucial differences which distinguish human societies and human beings are not biological. They are cultural.”- Ruth Benedict
In a globalized world, respect and cultural understanding is highly valued, not just for general knowledge but also for the capacity of empathy.
Doing business abroad, negotiating with international companies or working with foreign professionals, demands comprehension of culture as an elementary factor to communicate and deal with others.
It should be noted that when we approach a culture, we enter the story behind the nation. Every community is strongly tied to their language, values, traditions and norms that gives strength, identity and purpose to its people.
When we talk about Mexican culture it is impossible not to mention their privileged geography and location; a single destiny for connecting with nature, heritage, and food. But what about talking of Mexicans doing business, meetings, their etiquette and business culture?
Mexicans and Business Culture
Mexico’s population is diverse due to the mixture of European and American heritage shared by the colonization and later by the Latin American migrants. Mexicans are very proud of their country.
Without a doubt, when doing business with Mexicans, it is important to note that they are capable of adapting to meet challenges, they are exceptionally creative, optimistic, and networking is extremely valuable.
1. What’s really matters, when making business:
Personal relationship is the key to success when doing business in Mexico,because it creates trust, which can lead to potential recommendations for future business. Networking is powerful and Mexicans know it, therefore they invest time and effort in making real relationships to connect and get to know the people with whom they work.
To build a stronger relationship, your charisma and transparency will speak for you. The impression you leave can have a great impact on the decisions a Mexican makes. Customizing each proposal, focusing on the benefit that your service / product will bring to the business is always taken into consideration.
2. To take into account:
Mexicans expect certain gestures and attitudes from their counterparts when doing business, although they are always open to interacting with professionals from all over the world. The politeness and courtesy when making a deal, tells them a lot about the person.
- Particularly Mexicans are often very welcoming; they love sharing experiences with each other.
- When meeting, try to always be respectful and courteous; Hello and Goodbye greetings are essential.
- Allowing some time for small talk to precede any serious discussion is part of building a good relationship, politeness shows personal interest while greeting.
- A firm handshake with eye contact and a smile is the appropriate greeting in most situations.
- The formal title as sir or madam is usually practical and older people as sir (don or doña) to emphasize respect, unless the person clarifies what they want it to be called.
- When arranging a meeting, it is expected to receive a confirmation.
- Arrive on time to give a good impression. Start and finishing times are usually set as estimates.
- Meetings may not always follow the proposed agenda systematically. The outline of the meeting usually serves as a rough guideline while topics and issues may be addressed as they are mentioned.
- People may become quite passionate and emotional during meetings. Emotional investment is normal in Mexico. It is thought to convey commitment and interest.
- Understand that negotiations can proceed slowly as people look to cement personal relationships first.
In general, Mexicans are formal and stylish when it comes to their appearance. Suits, ties, dresses, heels–in the business world, Mexicans consistently uphold a polished and professional appearance.
Mexicans are very friendly. But they don’t confuse friendliness with informality. This formality is a means of respecting their relationships. Mutual respect leads to trust, which solidifies into a relationship. Take a look on Business Etiquette
3. Extra considerations:
- Personal Space: Mexicans typically stand quite close to each other while talking. Maintaining too great a distance from each other can be seen as unfriendly or standoffish.
- Eye Contact: Direct eye contact is expected and appreciated. Sometimes Mexicans may hold your gaze for a prolonged period. This is normal and is not meant to imply any particular connotation other than interest and sincerity.
- Body Language: Mexicans tend to use many hand and arm gestures throughout conversations.
- Mexicans prefer face to face communication.
- Decision-making procedures are quite hierarchical.
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Internalizing culture gives us tools to face reality “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”― Joseph Fort Newton
If you have already made a decision and you are looking for a business assessment in Mexico, contact us.