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Business meetings are more formal in Latin American countries than in Spain. In Spain and Latin America, they use the formal way “usted” (you) to address the person who they are talking to using their surname after Mr/Mrs/Mss: “Señor/Señora/Señorita Martinez”. An initial introduction at business and social meetings would usually mean a formal handshake, while maintaining direct eye contact with the Spanish speaking client.

Before the formalities of a meeting, you should spend time getting to know your host and expect to discuss general informal subjects in a friendly way. You can talk freely about your/their family, or your travel/staying arrangements, your journey from your country and your opinion on the city you are staying.

When you arrive for a business meeting, have your business card ready which should be in English and Spanish. You need to present your card when you are meeting a new businessperson as this is seen very professional. Do not wait for them to ask you for your presentation card.

All your material should be in Spanish and would need to be translated to reach either the Spanish or Latin American markets as there are slight differences in the use of verbs and adjectives.

As long as you are willing to learn from your Spanish speaking client´s cultural matters, your business dealings will be a success.

Martha Jesty

Spanish Translator, Interpreter & Teacher of Spanish-English,

Specialist in Spanish, Latin American and British business cultures

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