Business Meetings in Mexico: Three Rules to Keep in Mind

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business in Mexico

Mexico’s business culture is one that appreciates and enjoys the negotiation process. To ensure your success when doing business in Mexico, it’s important to understand how to conduct business in a way that shows you are aware of Mexican business practices.

Here are three rules to keep in mind while conducting business meetings in Mexico.

  1. Take it slow

  • Mexicans are warm and gracious and will want to get to know you better when doing business. They enjoy a more leisurely concept of time in a business setting and don’t always embrace the “time is money” mentality from other cultures. It’s important to respect that relationships are more important than time.

  • Don’t be surprised by the lenient standards of punctuality. While you should always aim to be on right on schedule, time is a flexible commodity. Start and finish times should be viewed as estimates.

  • Know that the common Mexican saying “ North Americans live to work, but Mexicans work to live” sums up the how business is conducted in Mexico. Take your time in meetings and engage your Mexican counterparts in small talk before getting to the negotiations.

  1. Status and titles matter

  • Expect that most Mexican companies will be hierarchical in structure. Titles are important in Mexico. Take the time to understand the organizational structure of the company with which you are doing business.

  • Key decisions are typically made by a small number of individuals at the top of the hierarchy, so make sure that you are dealing with the right people.

  • When sending colleagues to Mexico on your company’s behalf, be sure to send people that have the appropriate level of seniority to deal with Mexican business partners. It may be insulting to send junior colleagues to negotiate with older, more senior businesspeople.

3) Think long-term relationships

  • In Mexico, personal relationships are at the heart of most business dealings. Take the time to cultivate strong, long-term relationships.

  • The negotiation process is key to helping to build trust and credibility, so it’s important to build solid foundations for your future relationship.

  • Get to know your Mexican business counterparts at lunch. Lunch can often last several hours and conversations are more personal in nature and may not revolve around work. This is a great time to learn about your business associate’s hobbies, family and personal interests, and it will be an important part of the relationship-building process.

business success in Mexico

Increasing your awareness of cultural differences and taking a few simple steps, can help everyone to be more comfortable and lead to more positive business negotiations.

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Business Meetings in Mexico: Three Rules to Keep in Mind