Industrial Marketing at Latin American country:-
Management at a large manufacturer located in the Mexican state of Nuevo León decided to improve productivity at one of its subsidiaries by investing several million dollars in state-of-the-art production equipment. As word circulated about the planned investment, vendors in Asia, Europe, and North America put together proposals. One such vendor was American company “Y”, which had a global reputation for quality products and service. Management at the American firm reviewed the size of the order and decided to bypass its regular Latin American representative and send its international sales manager instead.
The sales manager arrived and checked in to the leading hotel. He immediately had some difficulty pinning down just who was his business contact. After several days without results, he called the American Embassy where he found out that the commercial attaché had the necessary up-to-the-minute information. The commercial attaché realized the sales manager had already made a number of mistakes, but, figuring that the locals were used to American blundering, he reasoned that all was not lost. The attaché informed the sales manager that the Global Purchasing Manager was the key man and that whoever got the nod from him would get the contract.
He also briefed the sales manager on methods of conducting business in Latin America and offered some pointers about dealing with the purchasing manager.
The attaché advice ran somewhat as follows:
1. “You don’t do business here the way you do in the States; it is necessary to spend more time. You have to get to know your man and vice versa. Latin Americans like to do business with people they can trust. Many times it takes two or three lunch meetings before business is even discussed. And when the topic finally does come up, it is not uncommon for it to be discussed during the last few minutes of a two-hour lunch meeting.” 2. “You must meet with him several times before you talk business. I will tell you at what point you can bring up the subject. Take your cues from me.” (At this point, our American sales manager made few observations to himself about “cookie pushers” and wondered how many payrolls the commercial attaché had met.) 3. “Take that price list and put in your pocket. Don’t get it out until I tell you to. Down here price is only one of the many things taken into account before closing a deal. In the United States, your past experience will prompt you to act according to a certain set of principles, but many of these principles will not work here. Every time you feel the urge to act or to say something, look at me. Suppress the urge and take your cues from me. This is very important.” 4. “Down here people like to do business with men who are somebody. The person you are going to meet graduated from a prestigious university in Latin America. Titles are important here, and I recommend you use his title, especially when you are introduced to him. He is a Licenciado, which means he is a university graduate, and he will expect to be addressed using his title. (The sales manager thought to himself that it wasn’t that big of a deal-everyone in the United States at this level has a university degree. He just didn’t understand the importance of this in Latin America.) 5. “You will also note that the people here are very proud of their past and their Spanish blood, but they are also exceedingly proud of their liberation from Spain and their independence. The fact that they are a democracy, that they are free, and also that they are no longer a colony is very, very important to them. They are warm and friendly and enthusiastic if they like you. If they don’t they are cold and withdrawn.” The commercial attaché advised the sales manager not to talk about history, politics or religion unless the purchasing manager brought the topic up. 6. “And another thing, time down here means something different. It works in...
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