At some time or another, you may be required to make a Brazil business trip. If it’s your first time there, this Travel Guide will provide you with useful Brazil Travel tips and business etiquette to make you well-appreciated and increase your chance to successfully close a business deal.
The continent of southamerica has a huge population with Brazil having the largest at 165 million people. With this huge number for a target market, it is no wonder why most Fortune 500 companies have their Business in Brazil for a long time.
Why would business travellers want to go to Brazil? It is because Brazil business attracts a huge number of visitors from all over the globe. For one thing, Brazil is popular with international businesses for its world-class/trade shows that quickly introduce a certain industry. Another thing is the opportunity to meet with Brazilian companies that are open to do business with foreigners.
Brazil Business Travel Advice
If you go to Brazil for business trips, it is inevitable that you will visit one of its major cities and business centers like Rio de Janeiro. It is like the New York City of the country where a lot of big companies are based. Because this city has an urban population of over 11 million, it is the perfect place for numerous business opportunities.
Brazil business offices are spread out in a wide area of the city and the quickest way to reach them is through cars and taxicabs. Traffic is heavy in Brazil so you’d do well to schedule meetings according to location and plan your route. If you can afford it, rent a temporary office where people can come to visit you. This is a great way to save time and boost your productivity.
Brazil Business Etiquette
To be more appreciated by Brazilian partners and potential clients, it’s best to be familiar with the country’s business customs and etiquette. Being very communicative, Brazilians prefer face-to-face business meeting over written communication. Hence, don’t be surprised if you often get an invitation to a business dinner. What’s more, Brazilian business people want to know the person they are dealing with and so would like to discuss business during a drink or an informal dinner.
Brazil Business Relationships
In Brazil business environment, personal relationships are highly regarded. Brazilians do business with the person and not with the company. Good relationships lead to the success of the parties involved. For this reason, a good relationship should be established before business takes place. You must exercise patience as this cannot happen overnight.
Once you’re past the introduction stage, you’ll find that Brazilians usually mix social and professional relationships. Potential partners or clients will appreciate your people skill more than your professional skills. However, there is a thin line between being overly professional and overly sociable, so you have to know where to draw the line.
Before attending an important business meeting, show your sincerity to Brazilians by learning some basic Portuguese phrases and sentences. You may not be able to communicate effectively yet, but you’ll surely get high points for your effort.
As a rule, appointments in Brazil need to be made two to three weeks ahead. However, such appointments can also be made or broken on short notice.
Dressing for Brazil Business Meetings
In general, dark-colored business suits should be worn. Light colored suits are understandably acceptable during the summer months of December to February. Executives are usually associated with three-piece suits while office workers are linked to two-piece suits. Women should dress conservatively, whether in a suit or in a dress.
Brazil Business Hours
Business hours in major cities start early and end late. Except during public holidays, working hours are from 8 AM to 6 PM with noontime lunch breaks. Consider going on a diet before your trip because Brazilian business people love business lunches and dinner.
While arriving a few minutes late for a meeting is acceptable, there are places like Brasilia and Sao Paolo where tardiness is frowned upon. Be sure to arrive on time always until you get into the beat of Brazilian business.
Brazil greetings involve men shaking hands with each other lengthily while keeping eye contact. Men must wait for a woman to extend out her hand first before shaking it.
Brazil business dinners are usually informal and start with some light conversation. Favorite topics are family, children and soccer. Steer clear of subjects like religion, politics and other sensitive issues. Let your Brazilian colleagues raise a business topic for discussion and don’t start one yourself.
Interruption is very commonplace and acceptable in Brazil business culture so don’t feel offended if somebody cuts you of in mid-sentence. It only shows that the interrupter is interested in what you are saying. What’s more, body contact is a friendly gesture among Brazilians, so don’t back away or resist if someone touches your arm or back.
Bring plenty of business cards. They are typically exchanged during Brazil business introductions and everyone present gets one.