From: Elwood Blues, Foreign Relations Director
Date: October 10, 2005
Subject: Important Info for your Business Trip to Mexico
On Thursday, October 20, you'll be taking a one-week business trip to Mexico to meet with our potential clients there. As you have never visited the country before, I have prepared a short report for you on what you will need to know so as not to offend anybody.
Mexicans place a good deal amount of emphasis on personal relationships. The key to a successful business trip to Mexico is establishing a close relationship with the client. Good personal relationships are the basis of business success in Mexico. In Mexican business culture, interpersonal skills such as "fitting in", cultivating relationships, and, most importantly, winning the favor of others, are sometimes considered more important than professional competence or experience.
Mexicans prefer to do business only with people whom they "know". Getting to "know" the clients will be a difficult task especially on your first trip. Because establishing close relationships, trust, and favor are so important in Mexico, it may take many return trips to Mexico to build these bonds.
You'll find that Mexican business culture has a warm, friendly relaxed atmosphere, with a slower pace. Mexican men are warm, friendly, and may initiate physical contact. They often touch shoulders or hold the arm of another. Withdrawing from these affectionate gestures can be perceived as an insult. Personal space is not as important in Mexico as it is in the United States, therefore they may be only inches away when they talk to you. To avoid insulting them just relax and speak normally.
Many Mexican companies are family owned, and because families play such a dominant role in Mexican society and have such a large influence on individual behavior it is wise not to ignore or overlook any person in the meetings you... [continues]
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