Published on December 18, 2013
BUSINESS CULTURE AND ETIQUETTE IN MEXICO
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE IN MEXICO 1. Greetings 2. Names and Titles 3. Business Meetings 4. Conversation Topics 5. Negotiation 6. Business Entertaining 7. Gift giving 8. Practical Advice Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
GREETINGS The usual form of greeting is shaking hands. A man should wait for a woman to hold out her hand first. Men, who already know each other, usually embrace each other. The usual form of an embrace is as follows: first they shake hands, then they embrace each other and, finally, they shake hands again. When they greet a woman that they know, they kiss her on her cheek. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
NAMES AND TITLES In introductions, Señor (Mr) or Señora (Mr) is followed by the surname. If the person has a university qualification, Señor or Señora is replaced by the qualification (Doctor, Architect, Engineer, etc.). First names are only used when there is a close relationship. It is better to wait for them to address you with your first name. University qualifications are important. In meetings it is normal to address people using only these titles. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
BUSINESS MEETINGS The best times for business meetings are breakfast or lunch, the main meal of the day. Business breakfast are usually held at a guest´s hotel and start at 8:00 am. or even earlier. The meeting begins with small talk before proceeding to the real business. During the course of the meeting, as well as discussing professional matters, they also make personal comments. Mexicans are ostensibly polite and friendly in both personal and professional contexts. Therefore they avoid giving a straight “no”. Although they may think that the proposal is not right, they will say that the product is good and has potential in such a huge market. They do not like to upset the foreign visitor. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
CONVERSATION TOPICS Controversial topics of conversation to be avoided are: the conquest and Spanish colonial period, comparisons with the United States and illegal emigration. Despite the image of the colonial period portrayed in murals by Mexican artists, Spain is greatly admired and relations between the two countries are excellent. Favourite topics of conversation are the Mayan and Aztec cultures, Mexican cuisine and the country’s natural beauties. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
NEGOTIATION Balance is the key to negotiation in Mexico: you should not always take the initiative, but neither should you sit back and give them free reins. Pressurising tactics are counterproductive. You should stress trust and the mutual benefits for the companies negotiating. Emotional arguments can be more effective in negotiations than logical arguments based on figures. Haggling is widely used and takes up time. In the initial offers you should have a wide negotiation margin. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
BUSINESS ENTERTAINING Lunches are between companies that know each other. If the after-lunch session to talk about business is expected to be long, the other party should be forewarned. When you eat Mexican food you should be aware of Venganza de Moctezuma (Moctezuma’s revenge). If they say that it hardly has any chilli, it is best to ask for something else and make sure that it does not have any chilli. During the meals you should be careful with the amount of alcohol that you drink. They are used to drinking large amounts of tequila, wine, and whisky. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
GIFT GIVING Presents are not usually given in a business context, but they are highly appreciated. For example, a correct gesture is to give a present to the secretaries on a second visit to the country; perfumes or scarves are a good choice. A male executive must say that it is from his wife. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
PRACTICAL ADVICE To obtain the Mexican Business Culture Guide with more than 100 tips about etiquette and protocol, verbal and nonverbal communication, negotiation strategies, etc., clic on: Mexican Business Culture and Etiquette Guide To obtain Business Culture Guides in other countries clic on: Business Culture and Etiquette Guides in 70 countries Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
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