| Doing Business Abroad
|By Terri Morrison|
© Copyright 2004, All Rights Reserved
- Greetings can be effusive, from extended handshakes at the first encounter,
progressing to embraces once a friendship has been established. Women often
kiss each other on alternating cheeks: twice if they are married, three times
if single. The third kiss is for "good luck" in finding a spouse.
- Make appointments at least two weeks in advance. Never make an impromptu
visit. Schedule meetings from 10 a.m. to noon, and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. If your
business runs into lunch, be prepared to spend at least two hours.
- The lack of punctuality is a fact of life in Brazil. Become accustomed to
- Brazilians resent being spoken to in Spanish. Be sure all your
documentation - including business cards - is printed in both Portuguese and
- Brazilians consider themselves to be "Americans" - as all North
and South Americans rightly may. Do not use the phrase "in America"
when referring to the United States.
- Sometimes Brazilians find U.S. aggressive business attitudes offensive - do
not expect to get right to the point. Avoid confrontations and hide any
- If you change your negotiating team, you may undermine the entire contract.
Brazilians value the person they do business with more than the firm name.
- It is normal for a conversation to be highly animated, with many
interruptions, many statements of "no" being interjected, and a great
deal of physical contact.