Negotiating International Business - Mexico Essay
This section is an excerpt from the book “Negotiating International Business - The Negotiator’s Reference Guide to 50 Countries Around the World” by Lothar Katz. It has been updated with inputs from readers and others, most recently in March 2008.
While some businesspeople and officials in Mexico may have only limited exposure to other cul- tures, many are reasonably familiar with and prepared for doing business internationally. However, that does not always mean that they will be open-minded. When negotiating business here, realize that people may expect things to be done ‘their way,’ in which case you should strive to understand, and occasionally emulate, their behavior in order to gain the …show more content…
Third party introductions can be very helpful as a starting point to building a trusting relationship with a potential partner, especially since people may initially not trust outsiders who are neither part of their family nor of their circle of friends.
While Mexicans are usually warm and friendly, most of them, especially males, are also very proud and may be easily offended by comments that leave room for misunderstandings. ‘Saving face’ and respecting everyone’s honor and personal pride are crucial requirements for doing business in the country. Openly criticizing someone in front of others can have a devastating impact on your negotiation. Avoid open conflict, and know that politeness is crucial. In addition, showing genuine interest and compassion will win people’s hearts.
In Mexico’s business culture, the respect a person enjoys depends primarily on his or her status, connections, and education. Age, while respected, does not necessarily determine the seniority of a person. Admired personal traits include sincerity, integrity, charisma, and sociability.
While the country’s official language is Spanish, it is notably different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. Many businesspeople speak English. Mexicans usually prefer and are more familiar with American English. Since it is different from British English to the point where misunderstandings may happen easily,