How to Manage Business Relationships in Argentina
With a society formed by a mix of Europeans and Indians, Argentina has definitely brought some attention to itself for its cultural and social aspects. But what does it take for a foreigner when it comes to doing business with them? Some key factors should never be ignored, especially the fact that they are a relationship-oriented society.
Argentineans are famous for being very sociable and valuing their relationships a lot, no matter what the environment. Whether it’s at home or at the office, relationships are cherished with close attention. Business deals won’t happen overnight. It takes some time and patience to earn the Argentinean’s trust, so frequent trips and talks will always be a part of the business intention. Even business meals are usually not about business but are all about small talk. That’s the way they build relationships, talking about a variety of different and random topics that make it easier for all sides to get to know each other.
Compared to the rest of South America, meetings in Argentina are quite formal, and have to be scheduled a week in advance. Considering the materialistic aspect of the society there, the way you present yourself matters a lot, from the hotel you are staying in to the clothes you are wearing. Argentineans are usually very well dressed, and expect the visitor to be on the same level, so expensive brands would be highly appreciated.
During a meeting, it is common to have more than one person speaking at the same time, but even though everybody’s opinion is appreciated, the opinion that really matters comes from the person with the highest position in the company, and it is he (or she) who always has the final word. When addressing people, it is highly recommended to use their titles.
If there is an invitation for a meal or any other activity after a meeting, it is a good sign that you have earned their trust. If the event is at the host’s house, it is really important to always bring a gift.
To maintain a relationship, it is of paramount importance to keep in frequent contact. It is recommended to always come over for a meeting and be present physically, but if not, at least a phone call every month to keep the relationship warm is essential.