Out-of-the-office meetings like lunches or dinners offer the best occasions to get to know your client in Spanish speaking countries. You will obtain the best information in a relaxed and pleasant situation and certainly not during meetings between the four walls of the office.
As a result of Spain’s large colonial influence, 250 million people around the world have the Spanish language as their mother tongue. Doing business with Spanish speaking people – like many other cultures – means building strong relationships. You need a large network.
Generally, Spaniards are initially quite formal in a business setting. This will soon change to into a much more informal behaviour. Always shake hands when you enter or leave a room with people. Address people by their academic or professional titles followed by their surname. In case people have no titles address them as senor, senora or senorita and their surname. Spaniards show respect by addressing each other by the title ‘Don’. If you speak Spanish use the formal form ‘Usted’ until you are invited to use the familiar form of address ‘tú’.
What’s your experience of doing business with the Spaniards?